By  on May 23, 2007

PARIS — Sonia Rykiel is hinting at things to come with the new store it just opened on the Avenue Georges V here.

The 2,000-square-foot unit, across the street from Louis Vuitton';s flagship and adjoining the recently opened Fouquet';s Barrière hotel, is the first of the family-owned house';s new-look shops.

A fuller exploration of the Seventies-tinged decor developed by architectural practice Rapp & Nogent will be unveiled next January when Rykiel';s main Boulevard Saint-Germain store here is revamped with a similar interior scheme.

The decor will also be deployed in a shop to open in the southern French port town of Marseille on Saturday and a store in Antwerp, Belgium, set to bow this summer.

Nathalie Rykiel, the founder';s daughter and the firm';s managing and artistic director, said the shops come at a time of celebration for the house. "We mark our 40th anniversary next year," she said, adding a raft of events would be planned.

Meanwhile, she explained the house was navigating a period of managerial transition. Rykiel divorced in January from Simon Burstein, who had helmed Rykiel';s business. Burstein has since given up his responsibilities, which have been assumed by his ex-wife. (Burstein runs a gift and stationery shop called Le Jour et L';Heure in Paris; also, his family runs the Browns fashion stores in London.)

Rykiel said a managerial reshuffle was planned for this fall and that a search was on for talent to bolster the house';s administrative muscle. "It';s an exciting time for us right now," she said.

The Avenue Georges V store, close to the high-traffic Champs-Elysées, sits on a street that is slowly becoming a new luxury hub. Jean Paul Gaultier operates a store a couple of doors down and crowds line up daily for admission to Vuitton';s nearby megastore. Armani and Brioni also have stores close by.

Rykiel';s shop is tucked into a corner of the facade of the neighboring Barrière hotel. Black carpeting with a circular neo-Seventies motif gives it a groovy feel, which is completed by an inset mirrored ceiling and textured black walls.Shoppers enter to see a wall of accessories displayed on light wood sleeves, while ready-to-wear is hung in the adjacent spaces. A "book shelf" unit is filled with Rykiel';s trademark knits, and a corner is devoted to Rykiel';s Karma line of glamorous workout gear.

Rykiel operates 35 stores around the world.

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