The Finer Things

Celine Hakoun, founder and CEO of 3-2-1 Framboise, on doing the research, loving the process and never settling.

EURO CLASS I exclusively purchase labels designed in Europe. If a brand is manufactured in China, I’m not interested. While it may seem picky, it’s a formula that works. The strict filtering of brands from the get-go allows me to confidently provide exceptional quality and superior design, season after season.     

CORNERSTONE COLLECTIONS Customers demand a lot of variety, which is hard to provide on a six-month cycle. To satisfy this craving for newness, more brands are offering permanent collections. This has been so helpful to refresh looks more regularly. It’s also been a positive for my budget!

TRICKS OF THE TRADE SHOW I do tons of homework before I attend any show. I’ll research every exhibitor, look at reviews to see what people are saying online and ultimately, I’ll compile a list of booths to hit. If you don’t do this before a show, you’re probably wasting a lot of valuable time and missing some really spectacular finds.

EXPORT ADVICE If you’re not careful, a new season can end up a customs nightmare. Just because European designers are willing to bring their collections stateside doesn’t mean they’ve completed the tedious process and paperwork it takes to do so. Even if I fall in love with a new label, I’ll wait patiently for a year before purchasing it. It’s better to sit out the first round than put yourself at risk.

STORYTIME I’ve noticed a growing appreciation for craftsmanship and authenticity among my customers, which is incredibly exciting as a buyer. It allows me to uncover the heart and soul behind a collection and convey that story. A recent example is a modern, well-structured line I spotted at Playtime Paris. Turns out it was designed by two former architects. What a cool selling point!

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