Evisu, the denim brand with cult status in Japan, is making a sweeping style statement with its new Paris boutique.

Decorated by London’s Hassan Abdullah, the 2,500-square-foot, three-level shop is a Baroque wonderland with kooky lamps from the Fifties and Sixties, handcrafted kitsch mirrors and pony-skin-covered walls.

It’s the firm’s first shop outside of its native Japan, where it operates 40 boutiques, and it signals the beginning of a retail rollout elsewhere in Europe and the world. Evisu said its retail sales last year totaled $60 million.

In an interview, Hidehiko Yamane, who founded the brand 13 years ago, said a London outpost was planned for 2004. Locations in Hong Kong, Milan and New York are priorities after that.

But Yamane said he wanted to get the ball rolling with Paris.

“Paris is the capital of fashion,” he said. “This shop is special. We wanted to start very strong.”

The company estimates first-year retail sales will be $720,000, or 600,000 euros.

The shop is the latest of Paris’ hidden destination shops. Although it sits on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, the tony, high-traffic thoroughfare that is home to Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and Lanvin, Evisu is sequestered in a courtyard also occupied by Comme des Garçons. Martin Grant and Vincent Dupontreué have also recently opened courtyard shops, while the L’Eclaireur fashion emporium has no indicating sign outside.

For Yamane, being hidden is a merit.

“We can do business in a relaxing way,” he said. “People can come in and stay. They can relax.”

The shop is organized to facilitate chilling out. Abdullah, known for the funky London eateries Loungelover and Les Trois Garçons, outfitted makeshift sitting rooms with wingback chairs on each level.

Other unusual decorative flourishes include a wall of Tretchikoff paintings of exotic women, oversize tassels on the fitting room’s velvet curtains and gigantic jewel-encrusted mirrors.

Women’s wear is on the first floor, where there is an overriding red color scheme. Each fitting room has a different style lamp, including a silver piece in the shape of a ship’s hull.Meanwhile, accessories, including shoes and bags, are in the basement, which with its domed, stone walls, resembles a luxurious cave. Men’s wear is found on the second floor.

“I wanted each floor to be a distinct universe,” said Abdullah. “For instance, the men’s floor is very masculine, while the women’s is much more sensual and soft.”

For the men’s level, jeans are merchandised in an old bookcase, while a table fashioned from a tortoise shell lends a clubby atmosphere, accentuated by framed insects and other relics from nature.

Yamane said each of his shops have its own personality.

“We are a luxury brand,” he said. “We don’t look like a big chain. Luxury is about personality. I was really attracted to Abdullah’s style because it’s so fresh. I like the way he mixes and matches styles.”

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus