Situated in the heart of Pigalle, Paris, two shops that share the area’s name have started a cultural phenomenon that has gone from the streets of Paris to the NBA hardcourt.
The first is Pigalle’s flagship store, that is a 3-minute walk from the center of Pigalle, a trendy neighborhood known for its nightlife and the Moulin-Rouge. In the last ten years, however, the area has seen a rise in high-end clothing stores, and brands like Pigalle have turned the area into a hub for fashion and Parisian culture.
The Pigalle brand and shop was founded in 2008 by Stephane Ashpool, who aimed to create a place where he could sell streetwear and sneakers, but once the store took off, his attention soon turned to create clothes of his own. Since then he has spent over 10 years in the game, in which time he has frequently put on shows at Paris fashion week and fitted high profile names like LeBron James on the court, and A$AP Rocky, Drake, and Rihanna in the street.
At the start of this year, Stephane Ashpool and his brand collaborated with Nike and Converse on a collection of basketball-themed apparel. From basketball shorts and tank-tops to Jackets and Chuck Taylor’s, the collection had a wide array of colorful clothing, that sold out soon after hitting Nike’s website. The collab also came out a couple of days before the NBA 2020 Paris Game, and who was sitting courtside? Only PSG and France star Kylian Mbappe wearing the Pigalle x Nike Story Jacket.
The second Pigalle store is much easier to find, thanks to the colorful basketball court they own on the other side of the road. Known as Pigalle Basketball, the store sells its own merch alongside the latest basketball sneakers, but its standout detail is its own public basketball court. Situated between two blocks of flats, Pigalle have built and decorated an abandoned car park, turning it into a unique court that is repainted with new designs every couple of years. Legends of the game such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James have stopped by, and last year EA Sports put the court into their basketball video game, NBA Live. The brand often hosts tournaments at the court and has used it as a hub to create its own team that has entered basketball competitions in Paris. I visited the court on my first trip to Paris and ended up talking to one of the workers at the Pigalle Basketball store. Not only was I surprised at quite how friendly he was, but he seemed like a genuinely nice guy who loved the job because of how close he was to the culture. This is what I think Pigalle have done so well, they have truly integrated themselves with Parisian culture, not by getting close to the big names, but by interacting with the locals and putting them first.
From their humble beginnings in a trendy neighborhood in Paris, Pigalle has grown its brand and created popular collaborations that have carried their name far beyond Paris’ figurative walls. A pop-up shop in Tokyo and working repeatedly with Nike and Converse has caused the brand to become globally respected, whilst staying faithful to its French roots. So faithful that their own clothing line has only recently become available to buy online. In celebration of their 10th anniversary and to cope with the new restrictions due to the pandemic, the brand released a special collection on their website for the first time. What's more, another Paris store known as Shinzo has started to sell Pigalle Basketball apparel on their website, so it has never been easier to join the increasing wave of Pigalle fans.
So far in 2021, Pigalle has had a very respectable year, given the restrictions that have been in place during this time. Firstly, they have consistently updated their website, releasing a Dolce Vita collection, and a collaboration with Havana Club. Both collections have been hits and use the colourful pastel palettes that Pigalle are known for. They have also published a lookbook for their Spring 2022 menswear collection, influenced by the idea of once again being free to roam after quarantine. An accompanying video to the collection called “freedom fields,” depicted models dressed in Pigalle's bold clothing, cycling through Paris and the countryside. And in July, Pigalle Basketball was heavily involved in the Amiral League, a popular summer league hosted in Paris. Not only did Pigalle create the kits for the teams, but they also made a lifestyle collection with the Amiral League that we can’t get enough of.
The brand has everything and offers a refreshing take on clothes, that blends the top of fashion week with everyday streetwear. High quality and reasonably priced, we simply cannot recommend Pigalle enough.
Checkout Pigalle latest collection here