14.03.2024 #art

Sarah Andelman

Meeting the founder of Just An Idea

Sarah Andelman, an endless source of inspiration, has teamed up with graphic artist Jean Jullien to create a unique space at Le Bon Marché. The highlight: books and their creative power.

“I take my work seriously, but I refuse to take myself too seriously”

You’re at the helm of Just An Idea. What is this project about?

Sarah Andelman :

I’d say it is a consulting agency, though I don’t quite like the formality of the term. It is rather a structure that I founded after closing Colette, which allows me to support brands in a broader sense. It can be fashion, art galleries, perfumers, boutiques, publishing… Just An Idea knows no boundaries. The only thing guiding my choices is being able to bring in innovation, depth, and, if possible, without taking ourselves too seriously.



What project did Le Bon Marché entrust you with?

Sarah Andelman :

Le Bon Marché regularly organises exhibitions in collaboration with artists. I have known Jean Jullien for 15 years or so now. His delicate figures have always resonated with me, they may look childlike yet they’re filled with meaning. We have already collaborated with him several times at Colette. His characters have a lyrical and real feel, something that Le Bon Marché really liked. The team and the artistic directors of the magazine did a remarkable job, they enabled Jean Jullien’s creative universe to harmoniously cohabit with the work of other artists featured in the exhibition.


Books, letters and writing are celebrated like never before in this space. What message do you want to convey?

Sarah Andelman :

Just like everyone else, I find myself constantly hooked on my phone, but I try to make time for reading. I won’t delve into the myriad benefits of reading, paper and books in general that we all know about. With Jean Jullien, we wanted to make books the spotlight of the exhibition, regardless of their theme. Whether it is a novel, poetry, a comic strip, photography, an essay or an art book, the exhibition gathers everything we love.

Beyond books themselves, we stumble across a multitude of objects, reminiscent of Colette’s eclecticism…

Sarah Andelman :

I have always loved collaborations. It was one of our core pillars at Colette. Nowadays, this driving principle is omnipresent, there’s no denying that, so I just asked brands that I like and artists whose work moves me to send me their proposals around the theme of writing, reading, books, and paper. Chocolatier La Mère de Famille, for instance, created the il était un œuf” book and a literature-inspired chocolate collection, featuring funny word games. To top it all off, and have some fun, we came up with the idea of an egg hunt. I like those ideas, so I took them on board. It had to be something fun, beautiful, and unexpected.

So there’s a principle of misappropriation or diversion at heart?

Sarah Andelman :

I’d rather say interpretation than misappropriation. Every contributor has found their way of seizing this literary epic while adapting it to their fields. For example, with “Just an idea and friends”, located on the first floor, you can discover Charles Bebert’s photographic work in a book. He was one of the first photographers working also as a journalist and reporter. There’s also Aline Asmar d’Amman’s furniture, Inès Melia’s creation, and Yorgo Tloupas’ typographic work. On the ground floor, some of my favourite bookshops from all over the world have entrusted me with their finest publications. These include Ofr in Paris, Cow Books in Tokyo, and The Stand in New York. But you’ll also find jewellery such as the alphabet by Charlotte Chesnais, Diptyque’s ‘Papier’ candle and a dish in the shape of an open book by Astier de Villatte. As for fashion, APC, Kitsuné, Figaret, AMI and Thom Browne, all came up with prints inspired by the theme…

What are your upcoming projects?

Sarah Andelman :

It’s mid-March and some brands are approaching in relation with the Olympic Games, which are just three months away. I’m interested in these projects, but time constraints mean that I’ll have to think fast and work hard! Gotta go!



Interview by Nicolas Salomon

Photos: Jean Picon



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