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Marché Makeover

Luxury department store Le Bon Marché has given its lingerie space a redo.

Luxury department store Le Bon Marché has given its lingerie space a redo.

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The idea for moving the space from the mezzanine to the first floor was to offer a woman a total-look wardrobe,” said Laurence Armand, lingerie buying director.

The new 1,900-square-foot space is adjacent to fashion apparel and footwear areas and showcases 58 brands, from luxury to small independents. Luxury labels include Eres, while Yasmine Eslami and couture label Carine Gilson are among the niche and artisan names. Spanish actress Rossy de Palma’s collection for Andres Sarda and Spanish label TCN as well as Italian brand Roberto Cavalli have been given prime positioning for shoppers. The new department took over space that was a buying office.

Even though the mezzanine space is larger (2,888 square feet), the expectation is that being closer to ready-to-wear will be a positive for the overall business.

“During the season, we install three different podiums that showcase our exclusive labels or present a specific designer,” said Armand. “Now women have the whole package and a comfortable shopping experience because everything has been positioned on the same store level.”

Pop-up stores are currently taking over the mezzanine while management decides what will ultimately be housed there. The pop-ups include Prada accessories, Burberry and Jimmy Choo’s Icon collection.

The lingerie revamp of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Bon Marché also focuses on new designer labels.

“We have brands like Roseanna, a small emerging lingerie label, or the Milanese designer Laura Urbinati. They don’t necessarily have a lot of visibility, but they are brands that work on the basis of seduction,” said Armand. “It punctuates our space to have these younger brands that have another personality, that work on the fabric and colors, that are really a fashion phenomenon.”

Designer Fifi Chachnil welcomed shoppers at the floor opening in December, and the department hosted a cocktail party for model Helena Christensen and her exclusive Triumph Essence line in collaboration with Triumph. The events keep a dialogue open between the client and designers, Armand said, adding, “Our customer is the woman who likes refinement, who likes luxury, who is open to fashion and who has a certain economic power.”