The reinvention of Maria Luisa
Maria Luisa Poumaillou is a legend of fashion, renowned for her intuitive buying style and innate ability to spot the next big thing. She has become one of the most iconic and influential women in Paris. But even after the closure of her Paris boutique, the pioneer of indie design has adapted to the evolving world of fashion and is still going strong with the opening of her online boutique on thecorner.com and the design of her own collections.
Maria Luisa Paris opened in 1988 on rue Cambon, pioneering the growth of specialised, multi-brand boutiques. Poumaillou used the shop to showcase up-and-coming designers, and over the past 20 years she has sold the likes of Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
In a time before Internet shopping prevailed, fashion addicts would travel all over the world to hunt down those one off pieces and lesser-known designers.
Now, sites like net-a-porter have globalised fashion, having a knock on effect on indie boutiques and the reason why Maria Luisa was forced to close its doors in August 2010, a move that Poumaillou dubbed as a ‘positive thing’.
In response to this change, Poumaillou has reinvented herself on the web and moved her boutique online, to fashion connoisseur website thecorner.com. In addition to this, Poumaillou has been designing her own collections since 2009, but unlike the clothes that she stocks in her boutiques, her own clothes are what she described as ‘style for less’.
‘These are affordable, universal clothes, indispensable allies for active, urban women in Paris, New York or elsewhere’ says Poumaillou on her website.
Each collection varies dramatically from its predecessors and is a move away from the simple wardrobe basics but at an average of £250 per garment on ASOS, it seems that Poumaillou is still catering for the Parisian elite.
Have a look at the website here.