Around this time every year – as you’re packing away decorations and waving a fond farewell to another festive season – I embark on my Winter pilgrimage to Paris to prepare for next Christmas. Insane as it sounds to be planning so far ahead (and it can be confusing finishing up one season, receiving another and forecasting what you’ll fall in love with twelve months from now) it is one of my favourite times of year. And Buying in Paris is one of the best tasks I get to do as a boutique owner.
Not only does flashing my passport, skipping to another country for a few days and being absurdly lost in a language I don’t understand scratch many itches for me; but I get to shop on a MASSIVE scale.
Over two days not only do I meet with myriad designers as excited to inspire me with their latest collections as I’ll be to share them with you, but I’m completely immersed too in a glimpse of the future – from trends and textile innovations, to catwalk shows and new concepts in lingerie technology.
Mostly buying trips are unglamorous and shows are held in vast conference centers, but there are opportunities to sneak out of the usual surroundings and into private Parisian apartments where some designers preview to more select buyers.
These invitations are especially exciting; so much more intimate… A luxurious apartment in central Paris, the lights dimmed and the heady scent of decadent Dyptique candles burning. That’s a sensory explosion right there: but add in wall-to-wall lingerie and a seductive soundtrack and I’ll buy just about anything. This is serious lingerie heaven.
Post show, the Tetris-esque challenge of choosing what to bring into store commences.
Not only do I need to curate a size selection to fit (and the slightest pattern change might completely throw out my knowledge of a brand) but I must marry these to the correct quantity and styles of bottoms & coordinates, and be certain my edit nods to each of the practical, pretty & provocative aspects Odyssey represents. All this while translating trends into exciting and inspiring intimates you won’t want to take off.
As a niche retailer the brands I work with and the collections that make the cut are selected for impeccable quality, perfect fit and exquisite design. And if the store edit seduces you just a fraction of what the designers and their crafted curio do to me then the 3am wake-up calls, whirlwind buying trips, and losing my mind over which drawers will make your derrier look devine – it’s totally worth it.