Meet another neighbor in the 75007. She’s blonde, beautiful, drives a green MiniCooper, and listens to Curtis Mayfield. Her name is Sophie Albou. OH, did we mention she has two sons, aged 11 and 14? Their names are Paul & Joe.
Paul & Joe happens to be my favorite French label. People like Sienna Miller, Julia Roberts, and Keira Knightly may agree with me. Since lauching her womenwear collection 1997, Albou has gained international fame for her collection of feminine yet bold designs, all meticulously crafted with amazing fabrics and prints. The collection sells in 30 flagship stores worldwide, as well as in major retailers. The closest store to me is on rue de Saint-Peres, practically adjacent to Sonia Rykiel.
Born in Paris to a family of shirtmakers, Sophie studied at the prestigious Institut Francais de la Mode and began her professional career working at fashion house Azzedine Alaia at age 16. From there she joined her family business, La Garage, where she trained in the art of fashion design under her mother. After seven years, she stepped out on her own with the creation of the Paul & Joe brand in 1995. Initially only menswear (worn by Usher and Jake Gyllenhaal to name a few), she came out with the killer womenswear line a few years later.
Now Paul & Joe is on its way to becoming the lifestyle brand of Europe. Sophie is to Europe what Ralph is to the US. Her brand now boasts women’s, men’s, children’s, accessories, beauty, lingerie, and home– not to mention a stunning new store on Avenue Montaigne. Your carte bancaire might burn a hole in that new Muse bag.
Compared to YSL a few doors down, however, P&J seems perfectly rational. And it is, to be honest: these are clothes that are truly seasonless.
http://www.paulandjoe.com (the website is dreamy, opening music is Romeo & Juliet theme by Nino Rota…. ahhhh).