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Summer, Lyon. Clean aesthetics in a minimalist atmosphere

This Lyon store will surprise you with its curated selection of clothes, but there’s more to it than that. In conversation with Stéphane Sultana, Summer founder

Summer in Lyon

Summer is an independent store located in Lyon, in a small square away from the big chains and the streets with the most popular stores. The location emphasizes the identity of the store. Summer has a strong personality of its own and stands out from the crowd. It is, in fact, a niche place where you can find interesting and simple pieces at the same time.

Stéphane and his wife Sophie founded Summer in 2012, after living for seven years in Paris. They attended the same business school. Then, Stéphane worked for Vans and other skateboard brands. They are both passionate about fashion. So, it seemed a normal consequence for them to open a shop to sell what they like. A romantic reason is behind the name of the store. Stéphane and Sophie, in fact, met on the first day of summer. Further, they both love California. That is why they were looking for a name that would immediately bring to their minds good vibes and coolness. So, they opted for the word Summer, in English, to be more international.

In addition to having a successful store and traveling extensively, the two manage to take care of their three children. Summer’s philosophy is as follows: «it is a cool store where there is a curated selection of brands, books, objects… just something cool», as Stéphane mentions in the interview. The two founders see something they like and decide to sell it, it is very simple.

The store’s identity is, perhaps, what has contributed most to its success. In fact, Stephane tells us that when customers come to the store, there is always time to talk and communicate their message to them. This creates a true bond of trust between seller and consumer, which is then expanded through word of mouth. Even the process of selecting what they sell follows that philosophy. They, in fact, choose things that catch their eye to have as diverse and curated selection as possible. When they have the need to see new products the couple travels the world together.

They also have a clear idea of what they like. Stéphane reports that one of his style icons is Chris Gibbs, the owner of a store in Los Angeles called Union. His wife Sophie, on the other hand, has a passion for the style of Comme des Garçons. Summer is not just a clothing store. Inside of it one also finds an offer of books, magazines, and accessories. These are mainly independent magazines. In a few words what they want to do is to «sell a lifestyle». As far as the clothes are concerned, inside the store there is a balance between both big brands and small realities with their own identity. The aim is to give space and trust also to younger people.

Rucksack, Abandoned, volume 7

Summer’s style and choices

The two founders, Stéphane and Sophie, love to travel to Japan. It was there that they found the inspiration for the architectural style of the physical store. The oriental style, in fact, predominates, with simple and minimalist lines. They personally took care of the design of the store, getting help from a trusted architect to make their ideas concrete.

They renovate the store every three years to give it a contemporary look. For example, last time they changed the colors of the walls from white to concrete gray. The materials chosen for the interior reflect the contemporary nature of the style. Stéphane describes his store as contemporary, with a clean aesthetic, and laid back. When customers arrive, they are not pushed to buy something. On the contrary, they are given time to look at each item and reflect.

Summer is involved in environmental sustainability. Stéphane tells us that he has also noticed a change in consumers, who, when given a choice between two different brands, tend to choose the one that is more environmentally friendly. For example, they work with the French shoe brand Veja, a pioneer of the environmental approach, who developed this mentality several years ago, when it was not a common approach.

Another important concept for Summer and for Stéphane and Sophie, is the fight against overconsumption. Stéphane tells us that customers have become more reasonable in this area. The message they also try to communicate at the store’s events is «buy less but buy cool things» that will last for years to come and that you are sure to wear in the future.

In-store events have always been a thing. These two years of pandemic, although, have stopped them. But, a few weeks ago they held a product launch event for French brand Reception, also founded in Lyon. People really enjoyed the reopening with these initiatives. For this reason, the idea now is to hold events every month and a half or so.

Although they also have an online store – which did very well during the Covid-19 pandemic – customers prefer to go to the physical store in person, to socialize and talk to the owners. Finally, social media is yet another method of sharing their message and products. Instagram has become a sort of storefront, where you can get a sense of the style of products they sell. When presented with the opportunity to partner with some of the brands they sell, they do not back down, even if it is not their main interest. Their two most notable collaborations have been with clothing brand Stüssy and shoe brand Sebago. Soon a collaboration with French brand Adieu will also take place.

Summer

1 Place Gailleton, 69002 Lyon, France
Summer is a concept store where a lifestyle is sold, and coolness is the main rule.

Silvia Anselmi

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
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check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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