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Fashion Powerhouse Lucien Pagès is Taking Colette on Holiday

The PR maven talks us through his vacation-themed curation of the famed Parisian store, and shares some of his treasured holiday photographs

Before it shutters definitively, Parisian powerhouse Colette has invited a succession of fashion interlocutors to transform an entire floor of the boutique. The latest is Lucien Pagès: the man behind the Parisian PR agency which represents Courrèges, Lemaire, Jacquemus, A.P.C., Olympia Le-Tan, and Astier de Villatte, among others. The namesake Pagès, who graduated from the Chambre Syndicale fashion school, transitioned into PR after assisting art director Marc Ascoli for many years.

His curation for Les Vacances de Lulu includes not only his roster of clients, but also a nod to friends he came up with in the business: Peter Philips from Dior Make-up (who did the looks for a multi-screen video installation with dark lips and glittery eyeshadow), M/M Paris (who did product branding and the vitrine installations), plus consulting with sound designer Michel Gaubert and stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington. The limited-edition products and brand collaborations reflect, for the garrulous Pagès, his universe of fun-flecked fashion. He sat down with us in his office in the Marais to talk creative minds and relaxed holidays, and shared some of his personal snaps from vacations past. 

On the PR métier…
“Since the beginning, I wanted to do made-to-measure communication. Working for Loewe is not like working for Koché or Adieu shoes – they all have different expectations, targets, products. They each have their specificity and I try to build something for what they are.”

On working with designers…
“I almost feel like a psychiatrist, because everything that creative people have in mind is complex. I have to make them feel confident: PR is linked to vanity [laughs]. If you have your face in a magazine, or people say you are a genius, or people don’t like your collection – it’s all about your pride. It’s not just doing articles and sending clothes; its about paranoia, and FOMO, and being miserable after being king of the world. Everyone can be paranoid, but I think in fashion if you’re paranoid, you’re super paranoid. Fashion is an exaggeration of everything.”

“Colette has changed Paris, and has changed fashion. It will be missed – a lot. It’s a grand goodbye” – Lucien Pagès

On selecting the line-up…
“Sarah [Andelman, who heads up Colette] said ‘I want everybody’: she wanted all the clients, even the ones she never bought. I wanted to add friends too, to make it very personal. Peter Phillips, I’ve known him a long time; I wanted him to be involved. We decided to do this casting of Peter’s muses and my friends, like Bella Hadid, Yaz Bukey, Aymeline Valade… They’re shot by Studio L’Etiquette, saying things about beauty and holidays based on a script written by [fashion journalist] Sophie Fontanel.”

On representing a brand in situ versus in the press…
“A store is a different approach. We want people to come in and spend money. I really listened to Sarah’s advice, because if I had a store I probably would not sell anything! I don’t know how to do buying and sizing. Because I’m quite voluptuous, I always think everything is so small and probably would buy only big sizes… And all the customers from Asia who are tiny wouldn’t find anything!”

On the unique features of Les Vacances de Lulu
“I wanted as many special, exclusive products as possible. The Vanessa Seward T-shirt ‘Talk to My PR’ will be a big hit – it’s not even in the store and we’ve received messages. There will be espadrilles from Loewe – I wear them all summer. Byredo is doing a special travel set printed with an ‘out-of-office’ message. Elie Top did a card game that he drew himself. I’m from Les Cevennes, in the south of France – they produce honey there, so we have honey tagged with labels from M/M Paris. Jacquemus will do an installation: a kind of garden for children, built by his father. There are frisbees and balloons for the beach with special logos. And each brand does a beach chair: some printed, some in leather. There will be an ice cream stand by Mira Mikati. And everybody is doing a postcard. The showcase is very personal but it’s not pretentious: it’s fun, it’s the holidays, it’s friendship. I really wanted it to be light and creative.”

On Colette closing…
“I will be the last multi-brand showcase at Colette: after me, it’s Sacai, Thom Browne, Chanel, Saint Laurent. It’s a big responsibility, and it’s emotional to be linked to that. Colette has changed Paris, and has changed fashion. It will be missed – a lot. It’s a grand goodbye. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

On his own summer plans and lifestyle…
“I will go to Les Cevennes. It’s not summering in Greece or on the Mediterranean. My mum lives there, and my friends love to go. There’s la fête du village, and a little bar where we go to drink pastis; you can walk everywhere, it’s not sophisticated. It’s all about food, drinking rosé, and being laid back. I don’t like crazy holidays because my life is crazy enough. Holidays are when I relax as much as I can. I need to unplug. None of ‘we have to visit this, and we have to visit that’ – it stresses me out; it looks too much like work. I love to do nothing.”

Les Vacances de Lulu is at Colette, Paris until September 2, 2017.