ANTWERP, Belgium — Véronique Branquinho, long a favorite of fashion editors and directional retailers such as Colette in Paris, never had any doubt where she would open her first boutique.

Years ago, the 30-year-old Belgian designer set her mind on a five-story building on the central Nationalstraat shopping street here. But there was one problem: it was occupied.

“Even before I had the money to open a shop, I knew that it should be in this building,” said Branquinho over tea. “I’ve been in love with it for years. I loved the style. It’s something timeless and really very me. Luckily, when I was finally ready to open a store, it became available.”

Branquinho began negotiating the purchase of the building, where she also has transferred her design studio, two years ago. It belonged to a jeweler who had used it as his atelier-cum-shop since it was built in 1969.

Opened quietly last month, the 1,300-square-foot space spread over two levels showcases her full men’s, women’s and accessories collections. Branquinho estimated first-year sales for the store at $500,000 (440,00 euros) at current exchange rates.

The store’s white carpets, dark oak fixtures and rattan chairs exude a strong early Seventies vibe. But the shop is also chic and pared down with an elegant aesthetic.

There are two display windows. With typical understatement, Branquinho chose not to show her clothes in the large window on the busy street. Instead, a brooding and romantic black-and-white photograph of a forest is exhibited.

“All of the shops have big display windows with a bunch of bright lights,” said Branquinho. “I think they all look the same. I wanted something more soothing and discreet.”

Clothes do figure in the smaller window on the side street. They are displayed on the dark brown mannequins Branquinho had made specially. A coat from the winter collection costs around $1,465 (1,300 euros), a blazer $845 (750 euros), pants around $790 (700 euros), and a shirtdress around $330 (300 euros).

Branquinho said she has no immediate plans to open other stores.On the ground level, built-in oak armoires line a wall. Another wall is of whitewashed brick. A wood display case cuts along the wall like a large L. ?

The shop’s most eye-catching architectural feature is an open square swath in the ceiling between the first and second floors. Four lamps hang there by 30-foot black cords. A large rattan chair à la “Emmanuelle,” painted black, decorates the fitting room, which has a white vinyl sliding door.

Branquinho said the shop, designed in tandem with Belgian architects B-Architecten, had been altered minimally from its previous look.

“That’s exactly what I liked about it,” she said. “It had style. You can’t re-create that so easily. Most everything was already as it exists today. Of course, we changed the carpet and transformed the armoires from shelving units into hanging displays. We had to build the brick wall for the fitting room. But that’s almost all it took.”

Upstairs, accessed by an elevator or a thin, winding, cut-stone staircase, is the men’s wear and men’s and women’s shoes. It is luminous, with a large window and a wall of opaque glass cubes. The ceiling is paneled in wood.

“This architecture suits me perfectly,” said Branquinho. “It’s clean cut with natural materials like wood and stone. It’s something sensual and very sophisticated.”

Branquinho said she hopes the shop will provide a more intimate window into how customers react to her clothes.

“Business has been good so far,” said Branquinho. “I started my line six years ago. I really wanted to show my own vision of my own world. When you go to stores around the world, customers only see bits and pieces of what I do. Here, I show it in its totality.”

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