Newspaper article International New York Times

In Paris, a Store Goes 'Brooklyn'

Newspaper article International New York Times

In Paris, a Store Goes 'Brooklyn'

Article excerpt

Le Bon Marche, the Paris department store, has a retail promotion for the New York borough.

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, creative directors of Kenzo, who will unveil their spring collection for the brand on Saturday, are not the only Brooklynites in Paris this month. Indeed, thanks to Le Bon Marche, the Left Bank department store that has adopted Brooklyn as its annual autumn cultural theme, the entire borough is having something of a fashion moment.

"Each time we go to New York, we find that we spend more and more time in Brooklyn, or we hear a lot about it," said Jennifer Cuvilliers, the store's style director. "We know a bit of Williamsburg, which is the center, but in fact Brooklyn is vast, and it's a lifestyle that is completely different from Manhattan. We'd cross the bridge and find ourselves in another universe. It really knocked us out."

Now items from more than 100 Brooklyn purveyors are for sale at Le Bon Marche, through Oct. 17.

The retail mix is what Ms. Cuvilliers calls "Brooklyn style," with housewares such as Kempton & Co. ceramics next to Brooklyn Lager longnecks, Ulla Johnson's boho skirts, M.N. Davis & Son's feedbag totes and D.S. & Durga craft fragrances -- a decidedly unFrench way of merchandising. There also is the convivial Sunlee Howard Coffee Tape Shop, with pecan pie to go with your cup o' joe.

Indeed, the store's commitment to the Brooklyn aesthetic is so complete as to border on caricature. It is even offering Lynn & Lawrence woolen beanies and Ball mason jars (which happen to be made in Indiana), and there are a few products created exclusively for the promotion, such as Four & Twenty Blackbirds honey, black ganache and sea salt pie (available at "Le Bar a Pies") and limited edition J.Crew sailor-style T-shirts that buyers can customize with "Brooklyn phrases" such as "Fugeddaboudit."

Ms. Cuvilliers and her Bon Marche confreres spent nearly a year researching the borough, with several on-the-ground visits and the help of Celia Ellenberg, a Brooklyn-based style consultant, to "understand the local culture and the way Brooklynites live," she said.

Ms. …

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