French apparel and accessories brand the Kooples brought its Parisian-chic meets rock-‘n’-roll ethos to the Chateau Marmont this week to celebrate the launch of its most recent collaborative collection with model, actress and “Blurred Lines” star Emily Ratajkowski.
The label, founded by three brothers from the south of France — Laurent, Raphaël and Alexandre Elicha — derives its name from the French slang for “the couples,” which perfectly encapsulates the gender-fluid nature of its designs as well as its penchant for partnerships with other brands and stylish tastemakers: Puma, Waris Ahluwalia and Richard Orlinski, among them.
The brothers Elicha, who first partnered with Ratajkowski on a fall 2017 range of handbags, were on hand Dec. 4 to celebrate the new season’s offerings, celebrated in one of the West Hollywood hotel’s sixth-floor suites that had shimmering golden Christmas lights strung from floor to ceiling, white candles and lots of red roses (unfortunately no Chris Harrison, host of “The Bachelor,” to announce the final rose) with music played by D.J. Mike Nouveau adding to the festive feel.
The stars of the show, though, were the spring and summer 2018 additions to the Emily by the Kooples bag lineup, which includes 30 new styles (think faux crocodile, faux python and denim fabrications and an assortment of new colors including lemon yellow, pistachio green and lilac purple). Also new to the mix is a belt bag that riffs on the classic fanny-pack silhouette.
The Emily bag, with its built-in accordion-folio-style compartments that allow you to go sans wallet, might be the perfect choice for the woman with the multifaceted day, allowing a seamless transition from day to night.
“I literally looked at bags in my own closet and I thought about when I was 13 and the bags that I dreamed of,” Ratajkowski said. “I loved my grandmother’s vintage bags. I still have them. That was the entire inspiration.”
The spring/summer ’18 bags will be available at the Kooples bricks-and-mortar stores, including the Robertson and Santa Monica doors locally, select department stores, including Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, and online at www.thekooples.com, starting at the end of January. Prices range from $375 to $495.
“For me, forever, I couldn’t afford the bags that I wanted,” Ratajkowski said. “But what I love about this collaboration, they are all made in Italy in a tiny factory but they are affordable. They are not a month’s rent, but they are that quality. That is what makes these so special and why I am so proud of them.”
The Kooples reached out to Ratajkowski because they wanted a strong and fun woman that spoke to the essence of their brand.
“She is feminine, feminist and an actress that you can love,” Alexandre Elicha said.
The Kooples, which started in Toulouse in 2008, has expanded across the globe over the last decade, opening its first U.S. standalone store on Robertson Boulevard in 2014 and adding one more L.A. store in the years since.
The Kooples take on L.A.? The brothers believe it’s a rock-’n’-roll city that is constantly inspiring them and pushing fashion boundaries.
To that end, who better to “Koople up” with than L.A. native and ascendant fashion darling Emily Ratajkowski?