PARIS — Upping the luxury ante on Avenue Montaigne, Giorgio Armani has unveiled a new women’s-only retail concept in the midst of couture week.
Lustrous stone floors in a range of smoky colors — green Persian onyx for the bag salon, Ethiopian “butterfly” marble in undulating, tawny stripes setting off daywear — set the 4,850-square-foot unit’s warm personality.
“I’ve had enough of all those metallic things. I really wanted to bring it back to something more natural, more human, and to create a boutique where the product is the real star,” Armani said. “This is the new luxury — discreet.”
Located in a space previously occupied by Emanuel Ungaro, with whom Armani worked briefly in 1974, the unit boasts the Italian designer’s first retail showcase for couture accessories, set off by a dark, Alpine marble floor that glints with iridescent blue.
Armani is to parade his spring Armani Privé collection today and host a cocktail party in the store a few hours later. He has cited couture accessories as a growth vector for the company.
During a walk-through with WWD on Sunday, the Italian designer demonstrated his hands-on approach to the business, stopping midsentence to move a pump from a high shelf to eye level, or removing a handbag displayed in duplicate.
He’s also tinkering with the retail rule book. He noted that the boutique is mannequin free, with clothes hung sparsely on racks, only one size of each style displayed.
He pawed through a section to illustrate a more animated and engaging approach to shopping than looking at static displays.
Working within the site’s thick, load-bearing walls, Armani arranged the store into a series of interconnected rooms, like a Parisian apartment, appointing each with a distinct color palette: petrol blue for ready-to-wear, a silvery gray for more evening styles. Fixtures, with only touches of chrome, match the silky walls.
Accessories are sprinkled throughout, but are also showcased front and center at the two entrances: handbags for one; shoes for the other.
Armani said he went for understated luxury “because I didn’t want to contrast too much with the period buildings one finds on the street.”
The designer now has two Giorgio Armani boutiques on Montaigne. The 4,500-square-foot location at 18 Avenue Montaigne, which opened in 2007, will now be dedicated to the men’s collection.
Armani’s new store kicks off a year of transformation for broad, tree-lined Montaigne, with new or refurbished boutiques under construction for a host of luxury brands, including Saint Laurent, Fendi, Loewe, Versace and Chanel fine jewelry.
Armani now has seven boutiques in the French capital, having added an Emporio Armani unit on Rue Saint-Honoré last year.
He noted he is in the midst of sprucing up the Collezioni boutique on nearby Avenue George V, and expressed ambitions to add a shop for Armani Jeans in Paris, plus another store for the Giorgio Armani brand, ideally on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
“In each city, you need to be on different fashion streets,” he said.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye