Emma Widsen, Managing Director and Lizzie Dawson, Design Director
What did you open a store in Paris now ?
E: We have been looking for a very long time and obviously we want to be in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, this store came up last year and we came to look at it, it is funny thinking about it last night because it was all boarded up and the transformation was enormous. A lot of stores would think this would be very difficult, but we really think it seeks our brand.
Is there any characteristics in this store in Paris?
E: We have a big strategy and it is global, and also local. We like to compliment the store and the original features of it, every single store we open up is individual and we specifically told hem to fix stuff so each store has a very different feel and is very unique.
What is unique and specific in this store in Paris?
E: The voyage is very unique, well the proposition of the products we looked at, we’ve done this much research possible in regards to Paris and our employees, young people are currently living here and it’s a very emerging world, we have had concessions in galleries in BHV for up to 4 years which has given us a really good indication of what the customers like about our brand. We haven’t only looked at the looks and sales, we want to create the best out and a beautiful experience for that young and emerging customer, there will certainly be more things they love than others and we will learn and listen and make sure we are delivering to our local customers.
Is there something specific in general in the French market for you?
E: I have worked for a French company before a tong time ago as in intern in France and having worked for a French business very preconceived idea that present customers love natural fibers, beautifulness and natural so had we not had the experience, conversations, and brainstorming it might have been a little bit weak, and we know the young costumers really want that call undergrounds influencer, hopefully we have got that right.
So with the H&M debate and the store closing down we are now seeing more people buying from the internet so why did you chose to open up the store?
L: First off we’ve only got 50 stores in Europe so we are not over exposed, this is our fist whole year in this store in Paris. Our target customers is 18 to 24 and we know shopping is part I the social life, they are young they are discovering and they are learning about themselves, shopping and having a store that creates this day in and day out is a really important part of their lives and our brand as well, you are never going to feel the DNA of a Urban Outfitters on a website and we have to have some flagships that customers can go to. They might have a look and shop online but we have to have some sort of foundation, we have worked really hard with the team abut Fabrics and Colors, one thing we feel very strongly about is the customers and I'm sure in Paris as well as anywhere appreciates good quality and beautiful details, we work really hard on Delivering this new collection and I’m just looking at one of beautiful rib jerseys, the Quality is amazing and I think you can actually touch and feel that and this is really important because you can’t get that online. I feel like with shopping online everyone is doing the same thing, it is very nice that urban came through with this excellent experience, when you walk around the store and take a look at everything and the way we put together the collections all the way down to the styling we have done, this is something you can not get online. It changes quickly.
Do you plan another opening in the next month?
E: We're opening in Germany in 3 weeks and it will be our 6th store in the last month, in July it was Vienna and this is really exciting to be working with different retailers, we have all these ideas and exciting propositions and we want to open more stores.
you always have some great collaborations and ideas; do you have some more others to come?
L: We have a collaboration coming up with Champion so that will placed around later and it was brilliant and it was also a non gender collaboration and we were very excited to be able to play with a new color pallet and working with what they are established for, sweaters and other key pieces and we played a lot with the styling of it, it is something that has not been done before by us. Hopefully, we can send you the collaboration on it because it is not just champion but we have collaborated with some young British musicians who is opening up for us today.
Sometimes we want to say designers are copycats especially on the runway?
L: What we want to make sure it to try to create something that no on else has got, we have so many influences like what goes on our social media so we do a lot of vintage shopping to observe the new and trending shopping to see what customers are wearing or want to buy, I have always had influences from the catwalk, we have found inspiration from all around the world and when you put it together in a store like this it gives you a wide range of selections, we are looking at different places where no one else is looking because it is about being new and unique, and who wants to be a copycat? Because I find it embarrassing it is not sustainable, we want a unique proposition, we have one a kind fabric, 90% of the stuff you buy in our stores you can not get any where else. Sometimes I think too much credit is given to runway, were all in the same cycle and very few designers surprise us and many times it is just done in different colors and silhouettes.
Are you working with many millennial?
E: Yes, and what is exciting is they always keep us on our toes and our teams is made up of many millennial. I love the excitement and passion they have for clothes and lifestyles it is infectious! And it is exciting sitting in a office full of them and listening and being inspired by what they have to offer, we took those messages and try to deliver them to the customers we have. The millennial these days want the whole package and we listen to them and often what we try to endorse is “there is really no right decisions”.