When Olivia Kim arrived in Seattle to take on the role of special projects director at Nordstrom this past winter, one of her first Instagram posts was a picture of the Space Needle. The caption read, "The Eiffel Tower of the Northwest."
As the fashion insider and former vice president of creative at Opening Ceremony showed me around Nordstrom's brand new, launching today, Paris-themed pop-in shop on the metro level of the downtown store, she paused on a Maison Michel rain hat commissioned exclusively for the boxwood-enclosed temporary hub and remarked, "Because it's always raining in Paris. And Seattle."
Loving those parallels? You'll love French Fling, which is a high/low mix of fun, ridiculous, quotidian, and highly stylish T-shirts, books, notebooks, hats, and, you know, scented macaron coin purses meant to evoke the French lifestyle.
Kim called on her friends and friends-of-friends in the scene to create special items for the shops, which are in eight cities and online, and to source the normal stuff-of-life items that makes Paris Paris.
Think Rodarte hoodies, Liberty of London carryalls, berets, Proenza Schouler backpacks, Olympia Le Tan clutches, Merci bed linens, and the water glasses found in every cafe in the City of Lights.
Think "sold out quickly," too. (The right-here, right-now frenzy of retail is one of the things that drives Kim; she's a shopper's shopper—a gal after our own hearts.)
When the merchandise is gone, it's gone. But not to worry: a holiday-themed pop-in will replace this one in mid-November, and a few months after that, another themed or otherwise cleverly curated experience will follow.
And so on and so on. Stay tuned.