A pair of jeans, a striped top, a classic white shirt, a flat shoe, barely-there make up and bed hair. That’s La Parisienne. The effortless anonymous girl running around the French capital with a cigarette in her mouth and a blank expression on her face. As cliché and overused it may be, it’s still relevant. And who do we thank for that? Coco Chanel loosened the silhouettes, Gaby Aghion of Chloé brought in the softness, and Sonia Rykiel got casual. But agnès b made it all a little more democratic. The ultimate poster girl of contemporary Paris: the hair was messy, the jumpers were striped and the attitude was seemingly careless. La Parisienne was born.

The first agnès b. store at Rue du Jour

And now, exactly 42 years after opening her first store in Rue du Jour (in what was previously a butcher shop) in Paris’ 1st quarter, Agnès Troublé is launching the English version of her retrospective book, simply named Styliste. Taking a deep look inside the first four decades of agnès b., the book equally explores the design, the lifestyle and the visuals that gave the brand its unique voice. Campaigns by Peter Lindbergh, Ellen von Unwerth and Bruce Weber, press clippings from global newspapers and the designer’s own sketches – all intertwined with a timeline of stories, told from a behind-the-scenes perspective.

agnès b. by Kazou Ohishi

But don’t mistake this book as just another fashion biography. Through reading about the history of the brand, it becomes easier to understand modern ideas of streetwear or the obsession with Paris chic. Without agnès b., brands like Être Cécile, Maje or Sandro might not exist. The tale of agnès b. is just another proof that in order to look into the future – we have to look back.

agnès b. spring/summer 2017 (jacket & trousers)

agnès b.: Styliste is available to shop from Amazon and agnesb.co.uk.

Text by Dino Bonacic