PARIS — Having in four seasons resuscitated dormant French fashion house Carven, designer Guillaume Henry now holds the keys to the brand’s first women’s wear store under his tenure, at 36 Rue Saint Sulpice on the Left Bank here. Its doors open today.
The boutique, once the spot of a 19th-century brothel, has had numerous lives before becoming a Carven store.
“I stumbled across this boutique by chance and thought, this is perfectly situated in the heart of Saint Germain and opposite the Saint Sulpice church,” said Henry.
Eric Chevallier — who is also responsible for visual merchandising at Paris’ concept store Colette — was called in to design the Carven space. “I wanted to use all the codes that are emblematic of Paris daily life,” he explained, while standing with Henry in the pristine, home-like 800-square-foot store.
From the ground floor, for instance, winds a Haussmannian-like staircase leading up to the salon-style space with three fitting rooms and long mirrors that swivel and were inspired by the rearview mirror of a Porsche Speedster.
Set on two floors, the shop mixes wood, tiles and a palette of black and white. Furniture was conceived by French design duo Domeau & Pérès. “We also trawled the flea markets for old furniture that we reupholstered,” said Chevallier, pointing to the school-like benches that were recovered in a leather fabric.
The ground floor houses the clothes set on specially made fiberglass Stockman busts with wooden heads. Accessories are toward the back of the store.
“This is not a luxury store, but we wanted to maintain the roots of the couture house that are in the details of the clothes. The store is a place to come for a rendezvous, like going to a cafe,” said Henry.
In the summer collection, Henry emphasizes dresses and pointed out a model called Luxor with a colonnaded print on the front. Dresses start from 300 euros, or $422 at current exchange, while the most expensive item carried is a maroon leather jacket for 1,100 euros, or $1,548.
Respecting the legacy of founder Carmen de Tommaso’s fresh democratic take on Parisian chic in the Forties, Henry has repositioned the brand as a hip go-to label for youthful Parisian elegance, offering day-through-night pieces imbued with quirky modern twists.
Under the measured stewardship of Henry, Carven’s distribution network in one year has grown from zero to around 300 sales points, with France being the label’s largest market. For now, the brand advertises only at home and in Japan.
Carven began its U.S. push this season, with Henry putting in a series of personal appearances during a recent cross-country Barneys New York tour. Carven is among key names featured in the relaunch of the retailer’s Co-op section and stores.
Henry, who closely monitors the commercial development of the brand, said the response from customers was enthusiastic. “Whereas in France, it has been seen as the relaunch of a sleeping beauty,” he said. “Over there, it’s not even the case of being a dusty brand. It’s a new brand.”
The designer has been steadily bulking up Carven’s accessories collection, offering a full bag line this season. Robert Clergerie also designed two shoe styles for the house.
Carven’s parent company Groupe SCM last September sold the firm’s fragrance license to Groupe Jacques Bogart. However, Henry continues to oversee the artistic direction of the beauty activity. Aware that such a business is “a whole machine in itself,” Henry said the house wanted to focus solely on the clothing line.
“We tend to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. It’s just a question of integrity; it’s really instinctive,” he continued.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)