Éditions de Robes, a 100% blue basket company, which has accompanied some of our historical moments, will close its doors on Saturday. The pandemic and post-COVID-19 questions brought out the best in its business model.
Posted at 7:00 am
Éditions de Robes marked the historic victory of Montreal’s first mayor and highlighted the meeting between Canada’s First Lady and Duchess Kate Middleton. A blue basket concept, with a reduced ecological footprint, that wanted to help women break glass ceilings.
“I’m going to la robe comme bouclier pour aider les femmes professionnelles à mener les combats qu’elles ont au quotidien”, explain with passion the creator and owner Julie Pesant, who souligne avoir acquis sa confiance en elle étape par étape, elevée par une mère In the home.
“I am a combative person in life,” he continues during an interview with Press. I never give up, but I didn’t want to be ruthless. You just have to be realistic in business. I’m trying to live this shutdown gracefully, because I didn’t mishandle my business. »
At the forefront in 2012
It was after working 20 years at Jacob and 10 years in San Francisco, companies where clothing was made locally, but especially in Asia, that Julie Pesant wanted to change things. “China has become the world’s factory,” she observes. I wanted everything to be made in Montreal and for the products to be sustainable, because I told myself that I was going to serve a clientele of professionals and smart women who were going to want to consume smartly. »
Their only difference, he says, is the fabrics imported from Spain and Italy, because there are no weavers in Quebec. Therefore, in materials that resist time and magnify all kinds of silhouettes, the dresses were made in the Montreal workshops.
Galas and cocktails
For the last ten years, impeccably lined dresses have accompanied the careers of CEOs Manon Brouillette and Isabelle Hudon, but also many lawyers, judges, women in finance, actresses and artists. To the professional dresses were added those for galas and cocktails.
Clients of Éditions de Robes
In 2019, Éditions de Robes created around forty styles per season and sold 150 dresses per style, including as many as 175 for the Leila dress.
a slow death
However, the pandemic, with the offices closed, the city center deserted, telecommuting and the tendency to laziness gave him a hard time. When stores first reopened in 2020, there were no lines outside the store. Not the second time.
“For two years, I continued to develop myself so that it would always be more beautiful and more interesting. We couldn’t guess how long it would last. »
Julie Pesant and her team improved the website, added jackets, pants, created the new Parada collection by Flor Amélia Taillefer-Pérez, who has been working with Julie Pesant since 2012. But these efforts and this passion did not translate into figures: sales have fallen. by 50 to 60%.
“It was a slow death. The elastic is stretched, she illustrates. I am drawing on my personal resources. The financial statements are disastrous. »
Questioning how to consume
Saturday, during the passage of Press, customers followed one another not only to come to enjoy the last days of the store, but also to show their affection. “What am I going to do without you?” one exclaimed. “Where will I find quality dresses for my figure? another said. A recognition that moved the designer.
The Quebec woman is extraordinary. If we had the opportunity to fill a large room with the women I have known, we could really change the world.
Julie Pesant, owner of Éditions de Robes
If the store and the website close officially and definitively on Saturday, June 11 at 5:00 p.m., the projects are gradually taking shape.
Bespoke, special orders and other proposals you can’t talk about. “I will respawn differently. In my head, the word retirement means nothing. I have always seen myself as artists, like Renoir who painted until the end of his life. »
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