Thursday, January 27, 2011

Modern Is The New Classic For Hermes

The new Hermés shop on the Left Bank in Paris
Hermes has a new home on the Rive Gauche
we can all take the tour.(Photos here)
They have lightened their approach with an airy, loft-like space on three levels housed in the former Art Noveau swimming pool of the Lutetia Hotel. At the entrance is a flower shop bursting with buoyant blooms by florist Baptiste Pitou.
Then comes the most dramatic part of the shop: A sweeping staircase made of curved strips of ash wood. Walking down the grand staircase one feels like a decadent showgirl-- all that's missing is a feathered head dress and the song " A Pretty Girl...." playing.
The drama continues with the selling floor dominated by three pear-shaped tee-pees using the same strips of wood creating a lattice work effect, projecting interesting shadows. Inside the tee-pees are sumptuous room settings with furniture and home accessories, making me want to move in on the spot.

The Hermes layout is much more informal than the Right Bank store, and it looks like aconcept shop similar to Colette or Merci.

In addition to the usual must have bags, wallets, towels, ties, scarves, luggage, and accessories, there is a bookshop with the latest coffee table books.

Le Plongeoir (the diving board) cafe serves exotic tea, coffee, and pastries. Beware, the cheapest pot of tea is 14 euros & a cup of coffee is 9 euros, but it's served on Hermés china, ooh-la-la! The cafe overlooks the shopping floor, a very clever merchandising ploy, so you can stake out your purchases while sipping your tea.
Architect Denis Montel has respectfully maintained the integrity of the space, keeping the original tiled columns and floors, and the ironwork on the upper balconies but at the same time making it contemporary.
17 rue de Sevres, 6th arr. 
Metro: Sevres-Babylone
Open Monday-Saturday, 10:30AM-7PM

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