Curated by Highsnobiety and presented during the time period formerly known as Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Not In Paris 3 is our third in a series of bi-annual digital exhibitions celebrating creativity in the age of remote interactions. Head here for the full series and cop our new merch via our online store.
Café de Flore is a uniquely Parisian institution. Founded in 1887, the café has played a vital part in French culture, playing host to notable writers and artists including Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, and Simone de Beauvoir, among others. It even played a role in the birth of not one but three artistic movements — Dadaism, Surrealism and Existentialism.
Then came the fashion world. From the '60s, Café de Flore became home to a revolving door of fashion's elites, most famously Karl Lagerfeld who lived nearby the café, alongside models Pat Cleveland, Corey Tippin, and Yves Saint Laurent's muses Betty Catroux, Loulou de La Falaise, and Clara Saint. Naturally, the café then became a backdrop for work by iconic photographers including Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, and Peter Lindbergh as they captured the essence of the era.
Today, Café de Flore has remained a mainstay in the fashion world, it has served as the set for numerous campaigns and runway shows, including from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Longchamp and Louis Vuitton. But most importantly, the café's central role as as a cultural meeting point is something that's remained throughout the years.
If you've been to fashion week, it's likely you've ended up at Café de Flore, whether it was for an early morning coffee, a post show pastis — the café is still at the center of Parisian fashion. In honor of our collaboration with the eminent institution (which you can shop here) and our Troisième Édition of Not In Paris, we caught up with some of our favorite fashion insiders and asked them why Café de Flore is a fashion week landmark.
Tiffany Godoy, Journalist
"The decadent and intelligent clientele make it the city’s place to be. As someone who writes and works in fashion spending time in a place frequented by Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and then Yves Saint laurent and Karl Lagerfeld brings out the stan in me."
Eva Losada, Photographer
"The atmosphere at Café de Flore is vibrant. l love that people are dressed in catwalk pieces and we all come together as spectacle for people walking by."
Stavros Karelis, Founder & Buying Director MACHINE-A
"Café de Flore is the epitome of chic, elegant and cool. I remember the first time I visited about thirteen years ago, while we are having dinner with friends I saw Riccardo Tisci sitting on the next table — at that point the Creative Director of Givenchy — and alongside Raf Simons he was my ultimate favorite fashion designer. I was in a full Givenchy look and I remember that moment so vividly in my mind."
Silas Oda Adler, Founder & Creative Director Soulland
"[Café de Flore] is that classic Paris combination of overpriced pastis and chic Saint-Germain vibes."
Kevin McIntosh Jr., KMJR studio
"My favorite memories at Café de Flore are running into editors, stylists, friends grabbing lunch or dinner before or after shows, before going to parties. It’s such an interesting start to the night, or the start or an interesting car share to the next destination."
Gaultier Desandre Navarre, Stylist & Fashion Director for CR Fashion Book China
"[What sets Café de Flore apart is] the vibe it offers: a sort of left bank intellectual experience, with tourists yes, but ones who 'pretend”'to be intellectuals themselves too. I also love their paper table cloth, they are perfectly shaped for the round tables, with drawings from iconic illustrator Sempé."