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MILAN — As far as Sir Paul Smith is concerned, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
This story first appeared in the March 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
And so, for his first women’s only Paris boutique, the London-based designer moved elements of his most recent runway collection into a pint-size location at 70 Rue de Grenelle, which hasn’t seen a paintbrush in over 30 years — and he plans to keep it that way.
Set in a Thirties “bougnat” — or former coal and wine shop — the 430-square-foot boutique boasts original Art Deco floor tiles, 80-year-old shelving units and cafe memorabilia (such as vintage wine bottles) from the Sixties, when it became a popular watering hole for Parisian intellectuals such as Jacques Prévert.
The shop, which is Paul Smith’s third in Paris and only second dedicated women’s unit outside Japan, will feature select items from Smith’s women’s catwalk collection, accessories and exclusive pieces available only at the store. The company declined to give sales projections.
The Paris shop opened simultaneously with the first freestanding Paul Smith store in San Francisco on March 9. Next fall, Smith will unveil a freestanding unit in Las Vegas that will bring his store count to 28 fully owned stores and 74 franchised shops.