Hermès reopens Paris flagship on avenue George V
Two years ago, the Hermès store on the prestigious avenue George V in Paris closed down for renovation work. It is reopening officially to the public on Wednesday, after an inauguration event with guests of the Parisian luxury label on Tuesday evening. The premises are now more extensive, as Hermès bought several floors of the building at 42, avenue George V. The store itself is now on three levels, with a retail area of 555 square metres “where French creativity, expertise and craftsmanship express themselves through exceptional collections and materials,” stated the label.
The façade and the wood-panelled shop-front have been entirely renovated by architecture studio RDAI, and the golden letters of the sign for milliner Ernest Motch, who was based there in 1870, are resplendent again. The shop windows’ mahogany frames and their plinths in red Haumont marble are glowing once more, and a sequence of brown window awnings, from the ground floor to the top floor, are the graphic leitmotif of the whole exterior.
The main entrance, previously on Henri-Dunant square, has been moved to avenue George V, and there is a separate entrance for the store’s millinery section (the former Motch millinery, bought by Hermès in 1991). It too has been renovated, with an ebony and walnut wood floor.
Hermès’s range of luxury products - silk, perfume and leather – is clustered around a central staircase, and the floors of the store’s various sections are covered in grey-blue marble and mosaic tiles, inspired by those of the Faubourg-Saint-Honoré store. The spiral staircase up to the first floor, “like a ribbon”, said Hermès, “makes circulation inside the store quicker and smoother,” thanks to its two-flight structure, each serving one wing of the building.
The first floor, “designed is the style of a boulevard Haussmann apartment,” is home to an enfilade of rooms which allow visitors to have a comprehensive overview of the range of Hermès creations, from fashion to watch-making and jewellery. Each room has a uniquely precious décor, with ornamented fireplaces, tall mirrors and herringbone parquet floors. The palette is blueish grey in the menswear area, pearly pink in womenswear, with trimmings in sensual hues created by artist Pierre Bonnefille, a long-standing collaborator of Hermès, and with peacock blue and carmine red carpets on the floors.
The main novelty in this newly renovated Hermès flagship store is the introduction of a bespoke menswear section on the second floor. The décor is original, a blend of palm-leaf motifs and baroque mouldings, with a small, hushed lounge acting as fitting room.
On Tuesday night, to celebrate the re-opening, Hermès presented to its guests a collection of extraordinary, purpose-made objects, including handbags, gloves and even skateboards, for both men and women, all of them available for purchase.
The Hermès store on avenue George V may well feature further modifications soon, as an adjoining building has also been bought by the label, and is earmarked for future extension.
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