For its 130-year history, Molli is still a young brand. After all, it was only last year that new owner Charlotte de Fayet – a young entrepreneurial mother who was a fan before revived this sleeping beauty – added a women’s collection to the beloved knitwear house, crafted with the same loving attention to detail as its perennially popular new born collection.
Founded in 1886 as a “manufacturer of fine knitted underwear” by Wilhelm Rüegger, it moved from adult woollen underpinnings to baby knits in the 1950s. Before long, Molli had become a by-word for luxurious beginnings, on par with the proverbial silver spoon. The wonderfully soft knitwear has ensconced itself so firmly in French imagination that Molli’s Swiss origins have almost been forgotten and one cannot claim to being a true Frenchie without having spewed baby formula on one of their knit onesies. Moving forward, de Fayet has every intention of capitalising on this know-how: garter stitches, an infinity of ribbing, the inimitable softness of perfectly mastered wools.
The most evident symbol of this not-quite-baby step is the pop-up which opened earlier in the winter. Behind a stately facade on Avenue George V, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées and only a casual well-heeled strolled from Avenue Montaigne, Molli has set up shop for three months in a nesting doll of a house.
Behind the doors, the bare bones of the building reveal a destination, a small gilded chalet, a set-up imagined by DAS studio. To step on the wooden pontoon over a sea of snowy white hydrangeas is to leisurely trek across a metaphor of softness towards a golden hued sanctuary. Within, walls panelled in cushy soft white fleece embody the softness of Molli’s choice material as well as its best customer: the teddy bear totting tot. All that raw softness, a departure from the milquetoast imagery of childhood.
It isn’t hard to imagine a golden egg hatching slowly to reveal its swan. Considering that Molli is graduating from baby knits to grown-up luxury, that’s one image worth holding on to.
Molli pop-up store, until February 2017
39 avenue George V