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PARIS — Boucheron has moved into the light with its new boutique concept built on crystal-flecked white marble on walls and tabletops, champagne-colored silk in display cases and pale Chantilly parquet dressing floors.
This story first appeared in the May 31, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The narrow yet airy 1,500-square-foot unit on the Rue due Faubourg Saint-Honoré opens to the public on Saturday, revealing a dramatic overhaul from the previous concept rooted in moody shades like deep purple.
The retail concept is the latest plank in the brand renewal spearheaded by chief executive officer Pierre Bouissou and embedded in the jeweler’s rich history.
“The concept is based on the Parisian hôtel particulier,” Bouissou said, using the French term for town house.
Indeed, with its sweeping staircase punctuated by a railing of wrought iron, the store incorporates elements of grand Parisian homes.
Up one flight is a sleek VIP room appointed with low-slung seating and a stone fireplace, all in shades of white, powdery beige and warm grays. Books tucked into wall niches heighten the residential feel.
The store exalts Boucheron’s ideal placement on the Place Vendôme since 1893, when its founder spied the potential of the location and became the first of many jewelers to arrive on the sun-drenched square.
“In fact, Frédéric Boucheron chose the location because it was south-facing and therefore it had the best light to sublimate his precious stones,” Bouissou said. “Based on that, we wanted the new store concept to be as luminous as possible. Whereas the previous concept was that of a boudoir…we wanted to bring back light, space, luminosity and radiance.”
Free-floating, wall-mounted display cases for jewelry accentuate the open feeling. Six of them flank a central display table, with watches housed in tall glass plinths for 360-degree viewing.
Arched windows are etched into mirrors, echoing the striking architecture of its historic store at 26 Place Vendôme.
Boucheron, owned by French conglomerate Kering, also has shops-in-shop in Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
In total, it counts 60 points of sale in the world, including directly operated boutiques, shops-in-shop and a number of franchise locations. Its Hong Kong flagship, which opened last November, also carries the new design concept.
Bouissou, who arrived in May 2011, hired Claire Choisne as director of creation and ushered in a brand-focused strategy to imbue products and store environments with the house’s codes.