Alain Delon is acknowledged the world over as one of the stars of France’s nouvelle vague cinema and one of the sexiest actors of all time. Yet I wouldn’t have expected him to come to my aid during a clothing crisis – but he did.
That’s because he is now a retail outlet too.
This week he saved me from sartorial disaster – by providing a pair of cuff links for the shirt I planned to wear to my Michelin-starred birthday dinner. I’d left mine back in England.
To my surprise – and relief – I found the Alain Delon store (pictured) in Prague’s smart Palladium shopping centre, just metres from my hotel. I have since learned that he extended his personal brand beyond the cinema first into perfume, then watches, sunglasses, stationery and cigarettes.
To date, his fashion empire appears to be restricted to the Czech Republic, neighbouring Slovakia and the far east.
The leap is a logical one, I guess. To this day, men’s magazines revere him as the embodiment of laid-back male cool, a style icon of the 1960s.
He starred in some terrific films of the period – from 1960’s Plein Soleil to 1967’s Le Samouraï. Sadly, he appeared in some duds too, such as 1968’s The Girl on a Motorcycle, opposite Marianne Faithfull. The least said about that one, the better.
He gave up acting in the 1990s, following a string of commercial failures. Now, it seems, he is happy to draw an income from his various sidelines.
I am pleased to report that I was able to contribute to his continued success. Monsieur Delon, I thank you.