Sarah Andelman Talks Travel, Shopping, and Life After Colette

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The co-founder of the cult concept store dishes on what's next in fashion, her favorite croissant, and how to spend a perfect day in Paris. 

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One brisk Wednesday evening in Manhattan, New York's streetwear-clad fashion enthusiasts made for indie theater The Metrograph. They were here to see Colette. Well, the screening of Colette, Mon Amour. A new documentary retracing the last days of fashion's most celebrated concept store. 

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Two years on from its closure, Colette, Mon Amour focuses on the retailer’s last days, with interviews from regulars at the store including Virgil Abloh, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and more familiar faces who according to the documentary would often make a beeline there straight from Charles de Gaulle airport before even checking into their hotels. Few stores have had quite this impact on the fashion industry. Behind the store's success are the "tastemaker's tastemakers": founders Colette Roussaux and her daughter, Sarah Andelman, an American Express Platinum Collective member. 

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The mother-daughter duo shaped Colette into a true Parisian retail landmark known for its cutting-edge fashion selection and one-of-a-kind events and exhibitions for 20 years. Since saying goodbye to the store to allow Colette to retire, Andelman has brought her reliably cool curations and innovative finds to a new consulting company, Just an Idea.

We caught up with the master of all things cool, Andelman after the highly anticipated screening. 

Departures: What's it like being part of the American Express Platinum Collective?

Sarah Andelman: "It has been a real honor, a very inspiring moment to listen and share some ideas with the other members of the collective."

Do you think anyone is filling the void left by the closure of Colette?

"Well, personally, I think you find newness, cool labels, and inspiration on Instagram, but also, just in the street, everywhere around you. You just have to pay attention." 

Where do you see the retail industry heading in the next five to 10 years?

"More authenticity, more specialties, more care for sustainability."

What can stores and designers really do to combat climate change?

"To offer and [make fewer] products. We don’t need so much."

Who are you inspired and excited by right now?

"I love the creativity of Advisory Board Crystals from Los Angeles."

Where’s your favorite destination for shopping and finding souvenirs?

"Tokyo, and everywhere in Japan."

Related: Find the Best Japanese Fashion at These 7 Tokyo Boutiques

What’s the best find you picked up while traveling?

"Konbi’s pain au chocolat, in Los Angeles

What's your favorite bag and suitcase combination to travel with?

"Rimowa Essential Sleeve Cabin ($750, rimowa.com) with the pocket outside for my laptop with a Longchamp Le Pliage bag on top." 

Do you have any rituals/routines you always do when you travel?

"To look for the best 'epiceries' (food stores) around my hotel."

And finally, what’s on the itinerary for a perfect day in Paris for you?

"Mornings at Café Verlet, lunch at Toraya, a walk around Palais Royal, then a tour of Galerie Perrotin, dinner at any Jean-François Piège restaurant and end the day with a last drink at the new Kunitoraya bar on rue de La Sourdière."