Isabel Marant chooses Paris for first menswear boutique
Isabel Marant is nurturing its menswear. In mid-September, the Parisian designer opened her first store dedicated to men’s fashion, a boutique/gallery located at 111 rue de Turenne in the Marais district of Paris, as FashionNetwork.com reported last April.
Marant and her staff opted for a prime location in the Haut Marais, on the corner between rue de Turenne and rue Debelleyme, a stone’s throw from rue de Bretagne and Isabel Marant’s long-established rue de Saintonge store. The new boutique/gallery extends over 50 m2 and has a façade of black panels. Its clean, minimalistic interiors were devised by Marant and her design team, and are inspired by a 1970s mood: “[by the period’s] irreverence, retro-pop aesthetics and the celebrated, subversive musicians of the era.”
The definition ‘boutique/gallery’ fits a store showcasing artworks and objects created by designers and craftsmen. Isabel Marant customers, aficionados of object design and the simply curious will first be greeted in the shop window by ‘Wellness and Wonder’, a sculpture by Dutch artist Marteen Baas which transforms a see-saw on springs, like those found in children’s parks, into a black metal “penis.”
At the store's entrance is a raw-metal pyramid designed by Wendy Abreu and Bram Vanderbeke, showcasing some of the signature items of Isabel Marant's collections: knitwear, shirts and sneakers. In a shelving unit made of foam, designed by Dewi Van de Klomp, the individual shelves distort as they buckle under the weight of the items displayed on them.
In a nod to the label’s passion for popular music, the store features butterfly-shaped loudspeakers by high-end US audio equipment brand Oswalds Mill Audio, while the fitting room’s upholstery is reminiscent of the cover for Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Comic Strip’ album.
Isabel Marant was founded in 1994, and launched its first menswear collection in 2017, under the aegis of creative director Barnabé Hardy. In the last few years, Isabel Marant has expanded its retail presence, especially outside France. It currently operates 41 monobrand stores, and in the next six months it is planning to open new stores in Florence, Moscow and Shenzhen.
This acceleration in the retail expansion of the label led by CEO Anouck Duranteau-Loeper is connected to French investment fund Montefiore becoming a shareholder. In 2016, Montefiore acquired a 51% stake in Isabel Marant, the rest of the capital being shared by the eponymous designer and her long-time associates Sophie Duruflé and Nathalie Chemouny.
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