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Friday, January 8, 2010

The Fashion of the French

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If you’ve taken a trip through Lenox Square recently, you may have noticed a new store with which you are unfamiliar: Façonnable. Located on the first floor in the space previously inhabited by Ralph Lauren, the 4,200-square-foot boutique sells chic ready-to-wear basics for men and women.

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hnFaçonnable was founded on the French Riviera in 1950, and the name is based on the French verb “façonner,” which means “to fashion.” The brand originally gained renown as the go-to shop for Hollywood heavy-hitters looking for the perfect suit for the annual Cannes Film Festival, and, in 1960, it was developed into a full menswear line. Today, the men’s and women’s fashions are the epitome of easy chic, designed with lightweight fabrics in typically cool, neutral tones. According to Façonnable, each collection is designed to “reflect the fit and sensibility of the Côte d’Azur.” A signature detail is that the inner linings in many pieces are designed to allow reversibility.

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Façonnable boutiques (located stateside in New York, California and Florida) have recently undergone a face-lift, and the Atlanta boutique is a reflection of the aesthetic redesign. Carefully thought out and inspired by Southern France and the furniture of renowned French decorator Jean-Michel Frank, the décor includes unfinished white oak floors, honey-colored oak paneling, honed limestone and indigo-colored ottomans.

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In 2008, the brand hired industry heavyweight Eric Wright as its new artistic director. Wright began his career as a studio director at KL by Karl Lagerfeld in New York, followed by a move to Paris, where he wore many hats at both Lagerfeld and Chloé. Wright then worked as the design director for Fendi in Rome, followed by stints in the same role for Trussardi and Roberto Cavalli before his appointment at Façonnable. “Eric brings with him the knowledge and technical experience of working in Europe many years with the most important luxury brands,” the company states. “This, paired with his understanding of the needs of both our U.S. customers and our international clientele, makes him an ideal addition to our team.” As for why the brand chose to expand to Atlanta, our position as a highly accessible, international city came into play. “We are rapidly growing within the U.S. market in key regional areas like Atlanta,” Wright says. And when asked what Atlanta can expect from the brand, he replied, “Quality and style with a modern, classic twist.”

For the upcoming season, that twist comes in the form of a slightly wider color palette: earthy tones mixed with reds and blues, and a mélange of fabrics, from linens and cottons to wools and silks. In short, Façonnable offers effortless, chic style to appeal to the Francophile in us all.