CQ meets Alexis Mabille - fashion designer and Cointreau Privé Creative Director
Alexis Mabille, creative director, Cointreau Privé
Just weeks before the hottest pop-up cocktail bar in Paris closed its doors, a lovely little invite landed in my inbox; a trip to the French capital to visit the Cointreau Privé and the meet creative director and French couturier Alexis Mabille.
The first pop-up Cointreau Privé launched last year, hosted and designed by the brand's global ambassador Dita Von Teese at l'Hotel Particulier Montmartre, Paris. The concept then made its way over to London for three weeks, taking over 215 Piccadilly (read all about that and our meeting with Dita here). Earlier this year, in February, the members-only cocktail lounge could be found back in Paris, but this time in a secret location somewhere in le Triangle d'Or; Paris' super chic, super trendy part of town.
Having jumped at the chance to take a quick trip to Paris, enjoy a master class in making mind-blowing cocktails, drink said cocktails and stuff myself stupid on macaroons as big as my face, I pulled on my smartest boots and chicest coat and boarded the Eurostar.
Dita Von Teese (wearing Alexis Mabille Couture) and Alexis Mabille at the Sidaction Gala Dinner 2012
The bar had been designed by Cointreau Privé creative director Alexis Mabille; a fashion designer to keep an eye on. Speaking to him about how he had come to be involved with Cointreau, he explained that having worked at Christian Dior under John Galliano for nine years he became friends with Dita Von Teese who is now a big fan of his own designs. Dita made the introduction and when Alexis admitted to the Cointreau chiefs that he'd always dreamed of having a bar they knew they'd found the perfect match.
Pop-up cocktail bar the Cointreau Privé in Paris
Alexis was given free rein on the venue's interior design and his interpretation of 1920s style. The bar's aesthetic was chic and feminine, yet bohemian and eclectic at the same time with hand painted drapes and wallpaper, mismatched furniture and smoked mirrors adorning the walls. The bow ties Alexis Mabille has become famous for could be spotted subtly everywhere, from cocktail accessories and limited edition designed Cointreau bottles to even the dress code.
Limited edition Cointreau bottle designed by Alexis Mabille
As creative director Alexis didn't just stop at the interior design, he also curated each night's entertainment, developed a new cocktail aptly called the Cointreau Privé and obviously designed the staff uniform which as a group we decided we'd happily wear day to day outside of the bar.
When I asked Alexis how he'd found the time to create an über cool bar in between his six (yes six!) fashion shows, he simply answered: 'I don't sleep!' And I genuinely believe him. The man runs off adrenaline, creativity and support from his family and friends, some of whom I had the pleasure of also meeting that evening.
Sadly, the pop-up Cointreau Privé has now closed its doors and been dismantled, but having spoken with Cointreau's managing director, Justin Weston, he promised me it would open again soon. Where? You'll have to wait and see like the rest of us!