Nina Ricci designer Olivier Theyskens keeps it clean.

Olivier Theyskens doesn’t like clutter. So is it any wonder the Nina Ricci designer would strip his Paris office to the bare essentials?

“It’s empty,” says Theyskens of the white-walled studio he just finished redoing. “During the collections—trust me—it fills up so fast with stuff. I’m always throwing everything away.”

Known for his dramatic dresses, Theyskens reconfigured the space—including moving the walls to “adjust the proportions”—when he arrived at Ricci last year. A big white worktable, surrounded by Charles and Ray Eames office chairs, was custom built and mirrors were installed on two perpendicular walls. “I like to see my models from two angles—from the front and from the side—when I work,” explains Theyskens.

Though there is little decoration to cloud the designer’s creative spirit, a single painting—an abstract composition by Kim Rebholz—hangs on a wall. “He’s a friend,” says Theyskens of the artist. “It was inspired by the idea of L’Air du Temps. It represents a universe of air, very pale, with a luminous spot.”

Though Theyskens’ scheme for the room was more about removal than decoration, there is one element that abounds: light. With windows offering sweeping views of the Avenue Montaigne below, the designer says he feels right at home presiding high above Paris’ street of chic.

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