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PARIS — Five years after launching his brand, Damir Doma has opened his first flagship situated on an intimate courtyard off of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Framed by Burberry, Brunello Cucinelli and Comme des Garçons boutiques, the three-story site, which is accessible by a set of stone steps, measures about 2,000 square feet.
“The idea was to give the feel of a Parisian building that has been gutted,” said architect Rodney Eggleston, who juxtaposed “typically Parisian” details such as sections of aged parquet flooring, with industrial elements — exposed concrete walls, suspended brass clothing rails and black, burnished plaster walls.
Striking features include a ceiling of aged mirrored squares, each with silver partially eroded away at the back to allow light to pass through, as well as a stacked travertine marble platform running along one wall, which serves as a table for bags, shoes, jewelry and knitwear. The ground floor has a roomy changing room behind a long leather curtain, and a small seating area, both near the cash wrap.
A monumental staircase made from artfully stacked slabs of travertine marble connects the levels.
“The idea was to try to translate some of the main elements of my work into the store’s design, working with oppositions; working with precious things, but at the same time being very raw and pure,” Doma said during an interview at the store in the run-up to the opening.
The project came around a little faster than expected, he said. “We were planning to open a store in the near future, but didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. The location came up and we had to jump on it. It’s great for us to be next to Comme des Garçons, I think we share a lot of clients and a similar philosophy,” he said.
Men’s and women’s clothing is presented together on the store’s first and second floors, along with pieces from the brand’s diffusion line, Silent by Damir Doma.
Doma said the top floor would be used as a private space for clients, and also to showcase special collaborations exclusive to the store. An eyewear line with Mykita is planned for September, for instance. The designer will also create special garments for the boutique and is working on a scent project with Givaudan’s Antoine Maisondieu.
Doma said he wants the store to serve as a template for potential retail partners. He hopes to open two stores in Asia next year.
The Damir Doma brand is jointly owned by Doma and Paper Rain SA, a Paris-based company that bills itself as an incubator and management company specializing in luxury fashion and design.
In June 2011, Paper Rain appointed former longtime LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton executive James Greenfield as managing director of its Paris-based luxury and accessories division, in charge of the Damir Doma as well as the company’s Silent and Côte & Ciel brands. Paper Rain also appointed Carlo Zollo as commercial director for Doma’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections.
“It was a big boost for us,” said Doma. “We are growing from a design company into a real brand, and it’s not easy for me to manage all this. Designing is one thing, but designing a company is another. I am learning so much about management from James.”
Doma, 31, was born in Croatia and grew up in Germany. His mother, Zdenka Doma, owns a textile factory near Lake Chiemsee in southern Germany and develops most of the brand’s woven samples. The collection is produced in Italy. Doma’s sister, Dorotea, designs the brand’s jewelry.
Declining to disclose sales figures, Doma said men’s, with which he started out, is still slightly stronger, though women’s, introduced for fall 2010, is quickly catching up.