This is one of the great initiatives of the end of the year: the Winter Time Paris operation orchestrated by the Faubourg Saint-Honoré Committee, which has chosen to combine festivities with solidarity. In support of the “Imagine for Margo” children’s charity, the houses of the famous Parisian street are mobilizing with fanfare around a digital raffle open to all. The latest Gucci bag? A night in a palace? The stake is at a democratic price, or 10 euros! The president of the Committee, Benjamin Cymerman, in particular called on the queen of social networks, Léna Situations to raise awareness among as many people as possible. Confidences.
By choosing Léna Situations as Godmother of the Heart, it is a bit like the “girl next door” that you are designating. Behind this choice, what messages?
I really like Lena’s ‘character’. When someone suggested her name to me to take on the role of godmother of our Winter Time Paris charity, I immediately said yes! All the beautiful houses of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré Committee were also delighted. Léna Situations embodies positivism, benevolence and authenticity, her famous book called “Always more, + = +” conveying this philosophy has moreover been a bestseller. There is also this happy side to her which corresponds to our neighborhood. It was therefore a crush, but also a willingness to leave on a different choice of the personalities traditionally solicited. We are used to seeing singers, actors in this role, who are always so appreciated and around us moreover. Nothing, however, prevented us from broadening the field and taking the opposite view.
Lena Situations : “When I was contacted to tell me about the charity project, I immediately accepted even if I had to shake up my agenda! The Christmas lights are also good for you. ”
There is also Bernard Laporte in this cast.
Bernard Laporte is the sponsor of the association “Imagine for Margo”. At the Faubourg Saint-Honoré Committee, each year we choose an organization linked to children in order to help them raise money. Often, the starting point comes from a personality who accompanies an association working in this direction: it is important for us to give a meaning to Christmas by maintaining this link with the little ones. Very precisely, the genesis of our action was born seven years ago from my meeting with the champion Teddy Riner who was returning from the Olympic Games in London. He told me at the time: “Give meaning to your illuminations”, and I found this message very powerful, very beautiful. Let us remember that at this time, we all used to throw our Christmas lights on with a bang without helping anyone. I did find it relevant to think of a way to raise money in a philanthropic spirit. Today, the Committee’s initiative is unique since we are the only ones to finance associations and collectively mobilize member houses.
Concretely, how are houses like Hermès, Cartier or Heurgon mobilizing?
B.C : It can be in different ways. First through the raffle, it is a question of offering a prize, the mobilization is therefore financial in view of the value of the products or experiences offered. There is also a commitment in terms of image since these beautiful world-renowned houses use their notoriety to raise funds. From November 18 until January 30, 2022, each participant wishing to win one of these prestigious gifts, will obtain tickets, which will be sold for 10 euros each. They will be able to choose the prizes presented on the various publications of the @wintertimeparis Instagram page, created for the occasion, and on the site dedicated to the event: www.wintertimeparis.com. This digital format will allow as many people as possible to access and participate in the raffle, thanks to the power of social networks, the support and the notoriety of the personalities and big houses supporting the Faubourg Saint-Honoré Committee.
What are the surprises?
B.C : We have almost more than 70 lots and it’s not over yet! We are waiting for about fifteen more, which will allow us to reach 85 or even 90 lots. This is the goal we have set for ourselves. Among the “surprises”, many experiences with personalities, but also glamorous gifts such as a dress belonging to Vanessa Paradis offered by the artist. Some houses offer bags, jewelry … To give you an idea of the value of these endowments, we are around € 75,000. Of course, a personal gift or an experience with a star cannot be quantified! By betting barely 10 €, as many times as you want, you increase your chances of winning an exceptional prize. It is a new format. The Imagine For Margo association is directly credited with each ticket purchased, we do not intervene at any time, in addition the charity does not spend any money for this event since it is funded by us.
Benjamin cymerman : “We set ourselves a time longer than Christmas (until January 27, 2022) to put the spotlight on the operation. The objective being to sensitize a large number of people around the association ‘Imagine For Margo’, we are planning a certain number of events on the website, with personalities who will speak. ”
There is a ‘general public’ aspect around the Winter Time Paris operation, we are far from the very elitist connotation of the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré… How to cultivate more proximity with the general public, beyond the ‘event ?
B.C : We have a great program throughout the year, ie around ten events organized in the street. Among which, the operation “The most beautiful windows in the world”: we started from a fairly universal childhood memory around Christmas windows. Apart from the end of the year celebrations, there isn’t really any magic or entertainment in this area, which is why we have decided to undertake real creative work to dress our facades. Every two months, our houses renew their scenography, striving to differentiate themselves from other stores of the same brand. For example, what you will see in the Hermès window will only be visible at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Our initiative is unique around the world! It’s a great way to invite the public to come and stroll in our street.
We have other highlights like the Chinese New Year which we celebrate with the general public: we are transforming our artery into a Chinese street with a lot of paper lanterns, for example. There is also a large parade featuring more than 70 actors who come to perform the dragon dance. We have our traditional big egg hunt during Easter with the help of starred chefs who create a special egg for the occasion. We are privatizing the Champs-Élysées garden to accommodate children. As for Fashion Week, we have worked to make it more accessible to people.
Let’s agree that Fashion Week is not that “mainstream”…
B.C : Indeed, the Parisian fashion week is not accessible to everyone. Places being very limited, there are very few elected. Nevertheless, we wanted to communicate the excitement around this planetary event despite everything. Our pavement becomes even more glamorous during this period. We also co-organized an exhibition with Galeries Lafayette and department stores, we also partnered with the Hyères festival as part of a partnership by inviting young designers to our street. Today, we are considering a collaboration with Boulevard Haussmann to make Fashion Week more visible. Objective: to allow Parisians to appropriate this highlight.
The Faubourg Committee will soon be celebrating its 120th anniversary. How to safeguard the soul of the neighborhood while remaining in step with the times?
B.C : We are committed to maintaining what characterizes us, makes us shine in the world, in other words, our tradition of craftsmanship. Our houses are full of old trades dating back two, even three centuries, there are gestures, know-how that are perpetuated in leather goods, ready-to-wear, jewelry, high-perfumery … There are also this desire to keep a Parisian foothold for our centuries-old workshops. This dimension is important to safeguard the soul of our neighborhood. That being said, it is very important to us to innovate in order to always better prepare and anticipate the future. We are therefore working on a major urban planning project for 2023 aimed at renovating our street, which we want to be more pedestrianized, more vegetated… There are some great surprises to come! I will speak to this in due course.
Do you have the support of the Paris city hall?
B.C : Absolutely, there is a convergence of views.
What was the impact of the Covid in your neighborhood?
B.C : The pandemic has unfortunately done some damage. Some houses had to close and, by ripple effect, this freed up places. There were new settlements and besides there is no vacant space left today. In addition to this aspect, we have also noted the increasing attendance of the premises which is the fruit of our work. We have created specific services for our French customers such as valet parking, for example.
In the golden triangle, what do you think makes rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré so special?
B.C : I like to recall that, and it is a reality: there is no street, apart from the rue du Rhône in Geneva – the only one that I have identified in the world – which corresponds to that of Faubourg Saint- Honored. Only our two roadways are home to a multitude of shops with differentiated offerings and know-how. Avenue Montaigne is focused on ready-to-wear and haute couture, Place Vendôme, jewelry… Such a concentration of luxury boutiques in such a condensed district is unprecedented.
For further :
Patricia Blanc, Founding President of Imagine for Margo – Children without Cancer:
“Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children in France and in Europe. It is unfair and unbearable. We must all mobilize to one day experience a world with children without cancer. “
Some houses of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré Committee :
Christofle, Fendi, La Réserve Paris, Messika, Richard Orlinski, Sotheby’s International, Vilebrequin …
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