PARIS — Pomellato has settled for the hottest stretch of real estate in Paris with a new flagship at 350 Rue Saint-Honoré.
“We are extremely conscious that this portion of Rue Saint-Honoré is really changing….We are in an amazing neighborhood with great brands around,” said Sabina Belli, chief executive officer of the Kering-owned jewelry label, which is known for colored stones and chunky, gold links.
The street has seen a surge in activity recently, with luxury stores including the Louis Vuitton flagship on the nearby Place Vendôme drawing record numbers of tourists and locals. Chanel, Boucheron and Saint Laurent are other brands in the neighborhood putting finishing touches on high budget stores that will be opening soon. With the rise of digital commerce, brands around the world are intensifying efforts to build extraordinary spaces to showcase their wares and inspire purchases.
The new Paris boutique, which Belli describes as “nearly like an apartment,” caps a three-year refurbishment program that will next be extended to two-tier cities around the globe, the executive explained, sitting on a high-backed mauve sofa on the second floor, in front of a coffee table with a cup of tea, fruit brochettes and a brass vase of white hydrangeas.
“We had probably the most exciting months in the history of Pomellato now, because we opened L.A., London and Paris basically in the same period — I am not sure that such a coincidence will occur again in a while,” she added, noting plans to travel to California this week to celebrate the Beverly Hills opening — the other two stores also occupy choice real estate, on Rodeo Drive and New Bond Street in the British capital.
The stores share “a very common thread in terms of the color scheme and the ambience and this idea we had of making the stores feel more like a salon, a home, than a store,” she said.
The color scheme of the Paris store includes a Venetian rose marble, lacquered walls in the muted Montenapoleone red of the Milan unit, and sheets of patterns cut from brushed brass.
It stretches along four windows on the street and Belli said she observed passersby stopping at each display. Downstairs is meant for more casual browsing while the second floor is meant to be more private and intimate, she explained.
“We are really planning to use the space for meeting our clients, to see some novelties or spend time and have tea and feel at home,” she said. Founded in Milan in 1967, the label counts a large proportion of women buying for themselves, according to the executive.
“There’s a lot of self purchase at Pomellato, so we have very faithful clients that are working women who have very high-level jobs and they want to reward themselves and buy something that has a symbol or maybe has marked a specific time of their life or career,” she said.
“It gives us opportunities to interact with our clients almost like with friends; they tell us their story, they explain how and when they’ve decided to buy this piece and why, and their choices — so it’s a very intimate conversation,” she added.
The label has around 45 stores, including shops-in-shop in department stores, including in several in the U.S. Given the importance of the market, the jeweler may open more stores there.
“We have Chicago, New York, Miami, L.A. — there is obviously room for a couple of more,” said Belli, also citing more Asian stores as a possibility for expansion.