Exclusive Interview Of Liliane Jossua

Passionate about fashion since a young age, Liliane Jossua is the founder of Montaigne Market New In to shop, a luxury concept store that opened in 2005 on Avenue Montaigne and then relocated on Avenue Matignon to be only in St Barth now. She is a fashion-savy businesswoman who was born in Switzerland but studied fashion in Paris

liliane jossua walking on Paris
@lilianejossua instagram​​

"My passion, what drives me in my work, is to discover up-and-coming designers, those whose potential can take them to the top"

At the age of 26, the fashion lover that she is opened her first boutique, Calypso, in Saint-Barth in 1996. She had arrived on the island seven years earlier, at the age of 19. Since then, she has become a prominent figure in the Parisian fashion world, but she has not forgotten the island where it all began for her.

Hello Liliane, to start off, can you tell us about your beginnings in the fashion world?

Hello, of course. I opened my first boutique in St Barthélémy when I was 24 years old, with a concept of luxury multi-brand stores. I chose the trendy brands of the moment, such as Plein Sud. I left France for my store because here, there are only two collections per year, while in the United States, there are four. This allowed me to enrich my selections while mixing French institutional fashion brands and new designers.

After being in Monaco, you then returned to Paris to create Montaigne Market. How did this project come about?

Indeed, I came back to Paris in 2005 in search of a location that would suit the St Barth clientele for a new boutique. I chose Avenue Montaigne, where at the time, there were no multi-brand fashion stores. It's a place that matched the clientele I already had in St Barthélémy, on the most beautiful avenue of Paris. I jumped at the chance, and took up the challenge of opening the first multi-brand store on Avenue Montaigne, in the midst of all the major institutional brands. I wanted to desacralize this iconic fashion spot, by incorporating Montaigne Market, which allows customers to mix the big names of fashion with small designers. I changed everything, broke down walls, rearranged everything in the store differently, and accepted this new challenge.

"Thanks to Alber Elbaz, I opened my dream shop in Paris"

At first, the brands didn't want to risk bad publicity because Avenue Montaigne brought a lot of visibility. But Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin since 2001, changed the game. He believed in my project and agreed to follow me to Paris. He notably opened Montaigne Market with me, with a fanfare and all the influential people of the time. Thanks to him, the other brands decided to follow me in this project.

Liliane Jossua
@lilianejossua instagram ​​

How do you choose the brands you offer in your stores?

I have always wanted to position institutional brands. But my passion, what drives me in my work, is to discover up and coming designers, those whose potential can take them to the top. I always function based on feeling. I take risks and even if it doesn't work, it's not a big deal. It's rewarding to see that I have highlighted designers who later become big names in the fashion world. For exemple, I have made known some great designers as Alexander Wang, The Row Olsen (frome the Olsen sisters) or Alexandre Vauthier. It's my biggest pleasure to find small designers and to make them shine internationally. 

How would you describe your approach to fashion and how do you choose your selection ?

I think the most important thing in fashion is the mix of the pieces. You have to build trust with the customer and make them believe with the conviction that if it comes from Montaigne Market, it is of quality ! As I said, I have always sought to offer a selection of brands that combines the big names in fashion and the new up-and-coming designers. I like to discover new talents, designers who have potential and can become big names in fashion. Of course, I also bet on institutional brands because they are an important place in the fashion world. But for me, the key to success is the mix between these two types of brands.