Serge Cajfinger opened a multi-brand boutique in his hometown of Lille in 1974, prior to launching Paule Ka. Selling womenswear labels du moment like Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo and Mugler, he launched his career in the fashion where he learned to adapt to the needs of the modern day woman; following this he launched his own label in Paris in 1988.
As defined by Cajfinger, the Paule Ka woman exudes elegance and confidence; her muse was the eternally sophisticated Grace Kelly. Now, to celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary, the designer pays tribute to this woman’s spirit, with a collection that merges silhouttes from decades like the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘80s with modern elements.
“It’s a hymn to love, sensuality, freedom, and the joy of living,” reflects the designer in an official press release. Eighties shapes and vivid colours dominate the lineup: oversized bows make for sultry off-the-shoulder tops or create elaborate embellishments on mini dresses and sleek tailored trousers; exaggerated puffed shoulders and frills also beathe new life into feminine dresses with floor-length trains.
Designs also take influence from the glamorous nightclub scenes of past eras: “I had a wonderful time recreating the festive spirit that reigned at Studio 54 in New York, at the Palace, or at the Bains-Douches in Paris,” says Cajfinger. “I also infused the graphic style I love from Greece, without forgetting the masculine-feminine theme.” In addition to this, a thoroughly modern twist can be seen in a nineties-inspired mini skirt and crop top set in metallic gold, embodying a liberated pre-millennium woman.
Although Cajfinger briefly stepped down as Paule Ka's artistic director in 2014, he was re-appointed as vice chairman three years later and now the label is doing better than ever: it returned to Paris Fashion Week’s official calendar in 2016, and collections are distributed globally through 320 points of sale, 90 of which are in top-tier cities like Dubai, London and New York. It seems like Paule Ka’s star continues to rise with a new generation hungry to raid the past.