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Ilan Chétrite brings Sandro to the UAE

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What makes Parisians so darn stylish? Maybe it’s the lack of manmade fibres, neon logo tees and sweatpants. More probably it’s having a strong sense of identity. The uniformly chic rebel, elusive and understated: both scruffy and immaculate and suspicious of any cookie-cutter trends the no-so-cool folk obediently follow.

Parisian fashion brand Sandro have been capturing this spirit since 1984 with signature clean lines, muted colour palette with a hint of androgyny. Menswear, in the form of Sandro Homme, didn’t arrive until 2008, but creative director Ilan Chétrite (son of the brand’s founders) believes true style stems from “mixing styles”, between men’s and women’s looks.

In Paris, it’s normal for women to experiment with men’s clothes,” he says. “They mix and match, choosing items they feel good in. A chic bag designed for a man can look just as good on a woman, that’s why it’s so important we include masculine pieces alongside much softer pieces.”

Sandro is now open for the first time in the UAE, offering both men and women the opportunity to inject a new level of Parisian style into their wardrobes. Their inspiration, though, isn’t limited to one city.

“The spirit of Paris is in the DNA of the brand,” he says. “But we source ideas from all over the world – the UK, Japan. Fashion is global and we are a global brand, and our customers think that way too. I’m very proud of our new collection.”

They haven’t, he says, adapted the collection for the UAE’s warmer climes. “There are expats from all over the world living in the UAE, we want to represent Sandro’s true spirit, keep that close – so we haven’t changed a thing.”

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The sleek fitted cut suits, double or single breasted, in shades like navy to charcoal grey are examples of the collection’s more structured territory, as are the rigid-looking leather work blazers, while the washed-out blue jeans and chunky knit sweaters are most likely to be acquired by wives and girlfriends alike.

“Our menswear line is the alter ego of the women’s collection. They are not separate,” Ilan says. “For me style is about avoiding the obvious, it’s about the people in the background you don’t notice, the classic characters that are so effortlessly chic they don’t stand out.”

Sandro stores are now open in The Dubai Mall, Yas Mall, Dubai Festival City and Dubai Marina Mall. 

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