Can you tell us a bit about the background and history of Paule Ka – when, how and why was it founded?
Paule Ka has a longstanding history as a major player in the premium ready-to-wear market and has been devoted to providing French chic for the past 30 years to our clientele.
In 1987, the brand was founded in Paris by Serge Cajfinger, an aesthete passionate about the glamour of the 1950s and the sensuality of the 1960s. This, together with his love for daring and explosive colors, made for a great welcome to the Parisian scene, starting from the successful first store in the heart of the fashionable and vibrant Marais district.
What are some of the company’s core philosophies and ultimate goals?
At Paule Ka, we believe in creating a well-tailored and effortlessly elegant wardrobe for the contemporary woman. Our goal is to make women feel confident and strong in their femininity, and we believe our clothes have the power to do so.
Where does the passion for fashion stem from?
From the freedom of expression through style.
What makes Paule Ka’s garments truly stand out in your opinion?
The Paule Ka Woman appreciates quality, a perfect fit and garments that will stand the test of time and the passing of trends. Our garments stand out because we strive to meet her needs in everything we do, and ensure a superior fit to our collections thanks to our in-house atelier, where craftsmanship is valued above all else.
Tell us about the kinds of garments and collections you produce? Is there a specific theme or signature element present in all the designs?
All the collections are designed as an ode to femininity, with an element of understated elegance.
From the very first collections, the Paule Ka silhouettes have been inspired by architectural elements, with tasteful use of bold colors. We have some iconic shapes that you can find in any given collection; for example, the trapeze dress and the power suits. The feminine bow, both big and small, is a Paule Ka signature detail that you can find both on accessories and in the garments.
Can you give details on your latest ready-to-wear ranges?
The best way to explain our collections is to break them down into segments. We follow the official fashion calendar and currently present four collections yearly.
First, we have the Permanents. These are the kind of permanent style choices that our clientele knows us for, and that are always in demand.
Secondly, we design the Essentials; these vary in color and form and make each collection unique, while remaining recognizable as Paule Ka. The Essentials are the perfect pieces you can mix and match with and that complement your wardrobe.
Since 2008, we also have a Black Carpet line. Here, we present a wardrobe worthy to match your most glamorous moments.
In the future, we want to offer a range of pieces for the Mademoiselle, and create a wardrobe that matches a younger aesthetic.
Where does the inspiration for the design of the clothing come from?
Each collection is built around a season-specific color palette and around a set of prints. The Paule Ka design team aims to create versatile, wearable pieces, that will make you feel strong and confident in your femininity.
The inspiration for the final product really comes from the note of wanting the Paule Ka Woman to feel (–and look!) like she is the best dressed in any room she enters; from a business meeting to a cosmopolitan cocktail hour, to a gala dinner. The Paule Ka Woman moves with ease in the world, with a flare of French elegance as her signature.
Where are the clothes made and what materials are used, and why?
Every piece of our collections, with the exception of knitwear, is purely handcrafted by our Parisian in-house atelier. After that, we collaborate with manufacturers all over Europe, and rely on Asia for the production of our knitwear.
What influences the choice of fabrics is embedded in our design values: longevity and luxurious quality. Our clientele trusts us and knows that a piece from Paule Ka will last for a lifetime if cared for properly. We use materials that feel great on the skin, look beautiful on every skin tone, and have an effortless movement and flow. The current collection (Fall-Winter 2020) that you can find in our stores and online include satin, taffeta and charmeuse, plumetis and tweed, high-quality wool and organic cotton.
Tell us about some of your all time favorite designs or pieces…
The consistency of the Paule Ka style is what is closest to me, and it’s hard to pick only one piece. The fact that every silhouette is designed with understated elegance and with the real potential of making you the best-dressed person in the room, that’s what is my all-time favorite element.
What has been the company’s greatest success thus far?
Our faithful clientele is an essential part of our story and our success. We’ve been here for the past 30 years, we’re still here and we’re not going anywhere.
Another thing we are proud of and that definitely is part of our success story is that we manage to stay relevant and to keep up the consistency in both quality and design, and that we keep up with the same pace of the big fashion houses.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your industry and how do you overcome these?
On a more serious note, we do recognize that the world is changing, and the occasions you dress for are different than prior to the pandemic. One of the big challenges is maintaining the joy of clothing and dressing up, especially in times like these. There is a joyous element in our clothing that we want to hold on to.
With the world turning more digital and with fashion events moving to online platforms more than ever before, we wanted to step into a more virtual Paule Ka. We’re completely redoing our digital home, and the renewed online shop is being revealed this fall on www.pauleka.com.
What’s next on the cards for Paule Ka?
In the future, we want to make you even more familiar with the Paule Ka Woman and her world. She is passionate about arts and architecture and is committed to finding beauty, quality and elegance in these – and we want you to discover her findings too.
With every collection, we want to continue to bring an element of excitement and of surprise. We want to remain open and discover new possibilities and situations. Design-wise, we want to expand the signature Paule Ka elegance to a wider clientele, and in addition to a younger line, we might even complement the wardrobe of the Paule Ka Man with equally well-tailored pieces.
Photography: Marthe Sobzcak
Artistic Direction : Avin Jarjis
MUAH : Aurelie Deltour
Models : Léna Peuvergne and Catherine Lambin
Production : Alfa & Co
Special thanks : H Gallery & Axel Roy