PARIS — Phoebe Philo has finally bid adieu to Céline’s “temporary” store on Rue François 1er in Paris — after more than four years in the raw, no-frills space — and decamped to a light-filled boutique at 53 Avenue Montaigne.
Roughly double the size of those temporary digs, the new 6,500-square-foot location sprawls over two floors, connected by a coiling staircase in cement and pale oak, and gives ample showcase to Philo’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, footwear, eyewear and costume jewelry collections.
The unit opened to the public Monday, and was unveiled via newspaper ads, outdoor advertising and a mass e-mail.
Residential in feel, the store boasts views of a leafy courtyard, and is appointed here and there with cream sofas, armchairs, area rugs and potted tropical plants.
The main floor, paved in large squares of gray Vicenza stone, is dedicated mainly to leather goods, including three travertine shelves exalting versions of the label’s most popular handbag styles in colorful precious skins.
Leather totes and cross-body bags hang from a sculptural steel rack by the Danish artist known as Fos, who also designed bloblike terra-cotta flower pots, brass light fixtures, some shelving units, brass trays and even a water decanter and matching glasses.
Upstairs, shoppers alight on a large area dedicated to footwear, a low bench ringing a hefty pillar. Next to it is a spacious rtw salon, its living-room vibe heightened by the sofas and pale parquet: broad planks of Danish oak arranged in a point de Hongrie pattern.
Chunky marble and onyx cubes are dotted throughout the boutique, and large slabs of colorful stone are embedded in the floor under clothing rails, or wrapped around pillars.
Céline declined to provide first-year sales projections, though it has said in the past that the François 1er location was its highest-grossing unit worldwide.
The high-profile Paris location — in a Haussmann-era building next to new-look boutiques by Saint Laurent, Fendi and Chanel — is one of 15 new Céline stores slated to open this year. The French firm is part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which reported sales in its fashion and leather goods division vaulted 11 percent in the first quarter to 2.6 billion euros, or $3.6 billion.
Among scheduled openings are a 7,000-square-foot unit with 90 feet of frontage on Omotesando in Tokyo, slated to open May 31. A 5,900-square-foot location at IFS in Chengdu, one of the richest and fastest-growing cities in China, opened earlier this month.
A 4,300-square-foot store in Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas is slated to open May 14 and another on Wooster Street in New York’s SoHo district is budgeted for late August.
LVMH, which owns the handsome, prow-shaped building on François 1er that had housed Céline’s temporary store, has yet to indicate which of its luxury brands might take over the retail space.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast