By  on March 13, 2007

PARIS — With a spotlight on accessories and fresh-from-the-runway styles, MaxMara's new flagship here opened over the weekend, targeting an international, fashion-forward clientele.

The 6,000-square-foot unit occupies a prime corner of Rue Saint Honoré at Rue du Chevalier de Saint-Georges — in a location previously occupied by the historic toy store Au Nain Bleu. The new store replaces a smaller franchise unit up the street.

The airy space occupies three levels, linked by a central, glass-encased stairwell, with rich, neutral materials, such as lacquer, marble and aged oak providing a minimalist foil for the collections. Large, platinum-toned glass tiles are a shimmering backdrop for shoes and bags, which are found on each floor.

The decor reflects the most up-to-date elements for the Italian brand, including bronze vertical louvers in the window that evoke bar codes.

MaxMara dubs the store a "work in progress" insofar as it plans to ship in new styles every three weeks and refresh displays frequently. Selections of bridalwear are expected next month.

The company's MaxMara, Sportmax, 'S MaxMara and Weekend by MaxMara lines are all represented, with fashion-forward selections on the upper level and sportier styles found in the basement. Eyewear, hosiery and perfume round out the offering.

MaxMara operates 27 stores in France, including four in Paris. Owned by Italy's Maramotti family, the firm operates some 2,082 boutiques in 90 countries.

The company said the unit is expected to generate first-year sales of 6 million euros, or $7.9 million at current exchange.

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