“Destination rue Hérold! L’Eclaireur is an exceptional place extraordinary. As its name suggests, «LECLAIREUR» is a personalised brand that looks forward to tomorrow.
With LECLAIREUR, it is a question of imagining the future and daring… By shattering the boundaries between fashion, design and the plastic arts, the founders of the brand, Martine, and Armand Hadida, have been imposing their personal vision for over forty years.
The adventure began in 1980, when LECLAIREUR opened for the first time in Paris in an art gallery on the streets of Champs-Élysées. By offering a selection of contemporary designers, LECLAIREUR stood out from what was available on the market at the time.
Paris, Los Angeles… Today, with its multiple locations, LECLAIREUR imagines privileged experiential spaces (the art of setting up) to propose creation at the heart of the scene. Thus, each visit is special, unforgettable…
Airs de Paris wanted to know more…
What was your original idea behind opening such a concept store?
Apart from the diversity and beauty of the brands, I like the idea of not being like everyone else! The «difference» is this way of living and thinking with a different spirit. It is our culture, our DNA. It is important, even more so today when many things are similar, not to play the sheep of Panurge!
To exist in a community is normal, but it does not mean necessarily doing what others do. We have always liked to exist on a personal basis, to stand out and this is what makes us original. This concept resembles us, it is our image.
It’s true that «daring to be different» always represents a risk. How to associate, bring together, mix with another, the smallest detail of a creator, whether he is a designer, a master glassmaker, or a master goldsmith? It’s not easy to mix artistic genres while putting each one at the highest level! But this is how we want it, and this is what every visitor likes and asks for.
The time was right when LECLAIREUR started?
Paradoxically, this concept was triggered by itself! It is there and it imposes itself. At that moment, it seems logical…
I have to do this!
We had to think and then change the form and the materials. We felt it was necessary to tell another story, our own. When a story is told too many times, it no longer interests anyone.
Do you think fashion has changed?
Life forces us to question ourselves every second. We are in a new world. It is essential to live like this. Of course, everything changes and evolves. But what is interesting to observe is that the acceleration of evolution is there. Evolution has always existed. It always takes a certain amount of time for things to be understood, to settle, to take root and to become established.
Today the codes have evolved. We have power and advanced tools and technology. There are mobile phones and artificial intelligence… Who could have imagined this ten years ago? The consumer’s curiosity was evolving at the same time and at the same speed.
We have known COVID. Today, new behaviours and new rules are being imposed. We must accept them, apply them. They are part of our common life.
Has COVID changed the way we think, create, and behave?
Yes, certainly. Sometimes there are dates that remain engraved on the calendar. What an awareness! Don’t you think that the world was galloping in the direction of superficial culture, pushing aside true values?
Today we are returning, it seems to me, to the basics! To understand these important changes, we must live them. The appointment that the planet had with the virus was an imposed reality. Everything came to a halt. Man has obsessions, desires, and dreams. Even if you stop him, he starts again. Awareness was important, it imposed its changes in other ways.
It is possible that more and more people are now turning away from fashion. It’s true that we always live in times of plenty. We have a lot, our cupboards are full! It is time to take the time to refocus, to think about our own existence, our relationship with nature, to be aware of values, to do what we want to do without being obsessed with the race, especially the financial race. Let’s not get away from reality. There is a pattern of awareness here, let’s hope there will be more…
Will LECLAIREUR become an ephemeral boutique?
This boutique is unlike any other (especially on the main tourist avenues with their spectacular, flashy facades). We have withdrawn from this outdated vision and preferred to locate ourselves in streets where few passers-by go, that is our choice!
Our address has existed for twenty-three years. The place doesn’t get old, it lasts forever. We have never had any sales or promotions; our customers’ investments are carefully preserved. You are right that the shops are in danger of disappearing. This is the end of «the shops». The system is outdated. Even if the owners want to keep their shops. Customers will soon have more demands. The shop as we know it, with a shopfront, no longer has a future.
In my eyes, a shop is a prison with racks and clothes. When the customer pushes open the door, he is surrounded by clothes from everywhere. He is trapped in the «mold». This does not correspond to a feeling of well-being. It is not something that makes you want to walk around. There are few salespeople who know how to address the customer. There is no generosity, no interest, no culture. The system is flawed. For these many reasons, the curtain on the shops is closing.
How can we reach out to the customer with the attention they deserve?
We have always wanted Rue Hérold to be a unique destination!
We have always communicated by word of mouth. It’s a place where people meet and share. There are great houses that come here to have their dinners. Our address is an epicenter of convivial meetings.
We offer fashion and design from abroad. The offer is an invitation to dreams and discovery. We must think about surprising, astonishing, even to the point of disturbing the customer, while maintaining, it goes without saying, «good manners».
Why the name: LECLAIREUR?
As I have just said, we wanted to get out of the «groups». We point out a path: the path of the other. This is the true translation of «éclaireur» as opposed to «follower». It is the one who indicates the path to be followed, the path that must be taken, as opposed to the motorway with its traffic jams. We pass through the secondary roads where poetry remains. Look: there are trees, flowers, and houses.
We were the first to present important brands that have become great houses. Prada, Dolce Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood, or John Galliano…
Precursors? We are indeed: LECLAIREUR
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