Born in Paris, France, Sophie Albou Mechaly was exposed to the world of fashion at a young age when her parents started a shirt-making company called Julien in the late 1970s. Inspired by the multidisciplinary artistic scene during a family trip to New York City, her mother created a second shirt label – Le Garage – that grew to become more successful than Julien. Mechaly began assisting with the family business decided to drop her pursuit of journalism.
After a stint as a sales assistant for designer Azzedine Alaia, Mechaly took classes at the Institut Français de la Mode, building the foundation that would eventually help her to launch Paul & Joe. The decision to strike out on her own was partially due to the lack of radically expressive French fashion at the time. Mechaly named her label after her children, Paul and Joe, and started with a menswear collection.
Paul & Joe Sisters FW15
The brand took off with the launch of her vintage-meets-modern women’s line in 1996. After opening several boutiques in Paris, London, and New York City, Fred Segal in Los Angeles took notice and began carrying her pieces as well. Since 1998, Paul & Joe’s main women’s line has been a regular at Paris Fashion Week. Gradually, Paul & Joe evolved into a fashion empire that comprised of beauty products, lingerie, accessories, handbags, eyewear, and more.
It was during this time of expansion that Paul & Joe Sister – a playful, vibrant line targeting young women – was born. Offering a fresh twist to Parisian vintage chic, Mechaly added a bolt of spontaneity and energy through the establishment of this little sister brand in 2006. Paul & Joe Sister features moderately priced dresses, t-shirts, skirts and accessories that often showcase eclectic yet charming animal images.
Paul & Joe Sisters FW15
Paul & Joe Sister’s Fall-Winter 2015 line up is a contemporary collection of modern winter staples rich with whimsical pieces such as merino sweaters with colorful hounds tooth patterns, varied combinations of lace, high-waisted jeans with cartoon-like badges, and more.
For the Spring-Summer 2016 season, Mechaly will be flexing her creative muscles in a new collaboration with American lingerie company Cosabella. The line – Paul & Joe x Cosabella – will show off the multiplicity of colorful hues, Parisian heritage, and whimsical notes that are the hallmarks of Mechaly’s work.