France Colignon grew up in Paris with a love of high-end fashion. Her desire to see the world brought her to Sydney where she expected to spend a few months, little did she know she would fall in love with Australia and choose to stay. As seasons ticked by, France struggled to find designer handbags in Sydney as a reasonable price, that is when the idea of Cosette emerged. France shares with us her love of luxury handbags and bringing a business to life.
I am born and bred in Paris where I’ve studied Modern Literature and Communication in La Sorbonne University. When I started studying, I wanted to be a journalist specialised in Design, Fashion or Art. But as I was passing degrees, doing my internships in PR, Event and Advertising, I realised I was really fascinated about Brands, how they communicate through relevant media strategies including digital and innovative platforms.
After I finished my degree, I was lucky to integrate one of the best advertising Agency: BETC Euro RSCG, as a strategic planner. I absolutely loved it, learning so much about talented, brilliant people. All my relatives have been involved in fashion industry for many generations. I grew up from an Italian heritage, surrounded by artists and designers between Paris and Milan. I remember from a young age wanting to work some day in Fashion.
The need of travel took me to Sydney where I thought I would spend a few months before going someplace else for a year or so, before going back to Paris where I thought my life was.
When I settled in Sydney, I found it very frustrating to have such a small choice amongst high-end designer collections from international brands at such unreasonable prices in comparison to those found in Europe. By taking advantage of the season inversion between Europe and Australia, I realised we were able to purchase all of the overstock from European distributors and bring them to Australia for very competitive prices.
After a few months of brainstorming and hundreds of emails with established department stores and boutiques who were thrilled to sell their overstock so far away from their main marketplace, COSETTE was born!
The behind the scenes aren’t as glamourous as a Fashion Week Events but they are for sure as busy and exciting! A typical day working at COSETTE includes an early-healthy-start with a yoga or a run followed by reading the news and catching up with emails a Latte (or 2) in hand; prioritizing tasks and goals (I’m a strong believer of an organised life).
Then there is no day similar to another as I am splitting my time between our head office – writing briefs, discussing ideas, organising phone calls, meeting people, planning, etc… and our 3 stores in which I love to go, staying as close as possible to our beautiful products, staff and clientele. It is not rare ending up with a Skype Call with Paris.
Being so far from my family and friends is the sacrifice I am making today, but this is more about lifestyle goals. Plus I am very lucky to be able to travel a lot back to Europe thanks to COSETTE. So I try to never have regrets, believing everything happens for a reason.
I am in my dream job; working for myself, doing what I like in one of my favourite industries. And I have to admit I love being surrounded by the most beautiful handbags.
I encourage students wanting to get into the fashion industry to believe in yourself, work hard, be curious, network and always remember to have fun.
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