Rendez-vous with “29 Février”

29 Fevrier Store

“29 Février”. Located in the Parisian neighborhood of Batignolles.

LONDON, United Kingdom — There are parcels, and then there are parcels you cannot wait to open, especially if you know that the parcel contains a unique creation made just for you. And so, while I am unwrapping my second pair of customised pumps sent from a hidden gem of a shop tucked into a cute street in Paris, the anxiety starts to build. Have I made the right decision? Do the colours I chose really match? Will the shoes fit me? And voilà there it is, a design that speaks for itself and that fits like a glove. In no time, I am smiling, walking with my new shoes around the house, admiring them in the mirror and reassuring myself that customisation at good value is the way to go.

29 Février, is a beautiful concept store located in the heart of Batignolles, surrounded by little cafes, boutiques, parks and that local ambience that makes 17ème arrondissement so welcoming. My first encounter with 29 Février was by poor chance, after I was attracted by a beautiful window display, which gives you just a taste of what you end up discovering after setting foot inside.

I started by browsing a beautiful romantic, chic collection of tops, dresses and casual looks with a distinctive African flair. I was then mesmerised by unique pieces of jewellery, vintage style accessories, customised hairbands, leather clutches, bags and jackets. Finally, I landed into what could only be described as the “heels” paradise. A cute little corner displaying shoes featuring all sorts of cuttings, shapes and colours. Everything looked so harmonious and well thought-out as all the collections on display beautifully complemented each other. And so, I asked to myself: What makes this place so unique? Who is behind this brilliant idea? And how do they make such variety work so well together?

29 Fevrier Store

Alix de la Forest

Under the Same Roof

A year and a half ago four talented emerging designers Alix from Alix de la Forest, Marie from Mariouca, Angèle from Sangbarani and Fanny from Les Dormeuses de Madapolam decided to join forces and gave birth to 29 Février. As Marie explains: “It all started with an opportunity. It was a rational business choice of people getting along together who decided to do this project.” While Alix adds: “Our business started as fortunate encounters.”

Certainly, emerging designers that want to enter into a more classic retail model on their own face a considerable economic burden and are not able to share the risks. However, if they work together with like-minded designers they can share the overheads while improving footfall, growing sales and gaining flexibility. As Angèle beautifully puts it:

We try to bring all what we have to each other and have everyone equally represented at the store while the brands are managed separately. This collaboration is working because we made it work.

29 Février has a unique selling point: to offer their clientele the variety of four different but complementary brands, unique and limited editions and a good value personalised service. On this point Marie comments: “The idea of the shop is to offer women unique pieces, accessories and limited edition clothing under the same roof.” While Angèle adds: “Our products are difficult to sell as you need a lot of counselling. We all needed to fully understand each other’s brands to be able to explain to our clients our offerings, especially the custom made products.”

29 Fevrier Store

Mariouca

“We try to respond to the client needs and tastes. The idea is to please the client and for them to find something special that is not created en masse,” says Marie while Alix firmly states: “Our clients are not brand oriented. They are more interested in the quality, the design and the story behind the products. The uniqueness of a piece and the fact that they can customise their own product is very important for them.”

A Bespoke Experience

Hairbands seem to be on vogue these days, a niche that Fanny spotted a few years ago: “It is becoming a big trend among brides, bridesmaids and also for special occasions. Hats in Paris are a bit out-dated and this is paving the way to hairbands as they render you that nice stylish touch to complement your outfit.”

29 Fevrier Store

Les Dormeuses de Madapolam

29 Fevrier Store

Les Dormeuses de Madapolam

Leather goods seem to never go out of fashion and yet finding the right fit can be a real challenge. But Marie seems to have found the perfect fit: “I think that the women that buy my leather jackets were looking for THE leather jacket for a long time.”

“These are designs based more on their physiology rather than fashion trends. At the same time, I try to add some details that make the jackets unique and different such as a specific silk lining while keeping a level of functionality with detachable collars, etc. The more you use it the better it looks.”

29 Fevrier Store

Mariouca

There is nothing like having the opportunity to get hands on experience when choosing the colours, fitting and heel for your perfect shoe. As Alix comments: Having 150 colours from where to choose can be a bit overwhelming for some clients but at the same time, this vast choice is what sets us apart.”

“The pumps sell very well as I think this is a shoe that you always need and it is difficult to find. When you go into a high street shop, it is never the right heel or the right colour, so our clients are happy to be able to assemble the perfect pump.”

29 Fevrier Store

Alix de la Forest

The customisation experience culminates with Angèle’s designs, which embrace the client in a collaborative experience: “Adding and making changes to the designs we propose connects us even more to the clients as we have the feeling that we are creating together.”

29 Fevrier Store

Sangbarani’s top and Les Dormeuses de Madapolam’s hairband.

29 Fevrier Store

Sangbarani’s skirt, Alix de la Forest’s shoes, Les Dormeuses de Madapolam’s hairband and Mariouca’s jumper.

This unique combination of products make 29 Février a must stop destination in Paris for those women in search of effortless and timeless pieces. The girls conclude:

Our client is a woman who knows herself and her style and who really looks for something that will reveal who she is rather than trying to follow trends. I would say, a client that is fashionable but not a fashion victim.

29 Fevrier Store

Alix de la Forest

In this holiday season, 29 Février is offering to our readers a tote bag “29 février” and 15% off on any purchase online or in store. Use the promo code: FG Magazine valid until 13th December. For your e-shopping experience go to:

Courtesy of: Alix from Alix de la Forest, Mariouca from Mariouca, Angèle from Sangbarani and Fanny from Les Dormeuses de Madapolam | Website: 29-fevrier.fr
Elizabeth Deheza About the author

Hyperactive perfectionist, vintage lover and working mother, coordinates and directs content across The FG Magazine. Comes from everywhere and nowhere; educated in six different countries with a MALD in International Security and a career in management consultancy.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this lovely article! And so glad to hear you love your new pair of shoes. Hope to see you soon!

    Best
    Alix

    • Elizabeth Deheza Elizabeth Deheza :

      Alix,

      Thanks for your kind words and for following us! We love your designs and the business model behind 29 Février. We are happy to support you and look forward to seeing more of your work in 2015!

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