Express: Loving The Kooples

Knowing about something first is kind of a great feeling, isn't it? Over the last year or so, more and more European labels have been making inroads into New York, and while this is exciting for many reasons, my first emotion upon seeing the ads for those new stores tends to be a slight feeling of, well, smugness. I'm not saying this is a good way to feel - nobody wants to be described as smug - but like it or not, that's how I feel initially.

I get over it quite quickly, and move onto plain old excitement, followed swiftly by my plan-making mode, when I look at my schedule and work out how soon I can go see the new stores for myself. But that little feeling of, ooh I know and love this label already, tends to come first.

That's how it went down when I saw Bloomingdales advertising the new presence of French label The Kooples a few months ago. I first became aware of The Kooples a few years ago, in the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Its posters got me first - large, loud images of pretty people wearing pretty clothes - and when I went to examine further, I saw that sure enough, loving the advertising* meant I loved the fashion also.

One of The Kooples couples (they do, of course, choose gorgeous couples for their ads). Image: The Kooples
One of The Kooples couples (they do, of course, choose gorgeous couples for their ads). Image: The Kooples

The Kooples uses images of actual couples in their ads, and shoots them in such a way that even before you know that, the intimacy and authenticity of the images captures you. It's one of those brands that doesn't take itself too seriously, but produces seriously beautiful, well-made pieces. It's one of those brands that I have to be careful with, because if I let myself, I would quite happily buy everything they produce, and while I love their marketing, I don't want to look like I just stepped off a poster.

Top, The Kooples; Dress, The Kooples; Skirt, The Kooples
Top, The Kooples; Dress, The Kooples; Skirt, The Kooples

Although, going through the website has made me reconsider. I think I'd be okay looking like an ad for The Kooples, actually (although I do not think I'm mysterious enough to fit).

What labels were you 'first' with**?

*It's rare that I don't love the advertising of my favourite labels and designers - they know how to get me, every time.

**You hipster, you.