Fragonard, the beauty and lifestyle brand that channels the charm of southern France, has ventured into a new territory.
This month it opened a guest house, called Maison Fragonard, at 7/9 Rue du Palais in Arles with six bedrooms in three apartments — each spanning one floor.
It was designed by Be-poles studio and sprung to life by architect Renzo Wieder.
About three years ago, Agnès Webster, who serves as chief executive officer of Fragonard, and her sister purchased a collection of traditional Arlésien costumes from a friend of their mother’s. They’d decided to create a museum to display them in an old mansion there, and then thought to open a 1,290-square-foot boutique in a house of numerous floors, also in Arles.
They had an idea for the floors above the shop: to make guest rooms that would serve the sisters when they were in town but otherwise be guest rooms decorated to show the brand’s art de vivre and interior decor, according to Webster.
“There’s a mix of things purchased and things found in our collections,” she said.
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Here, one can find three different styles of interior decoration, including Neoclassical, with paintings and drawings from the 19th century.
“There is another around 18th-century France, because we had the chance to have a sculpture of Louis IV,” continued Webster.
On that floor are also found works in pastel. Then up one flight there’s a Neapolitan theme and terrace.
Webster said the decor reflects her and her sister’s taste: “That’s to say, a mix that’s a bit eclectic, with old and contemporary things.”
Room prices vary depending on the season, but will range from 150 euros to 300 euros a night.
The boutique carries Fragonard’s wide range of products, but special items for the Arles location, as well, including hand-painted plates and clothing. Two fragrances — Belle d’Arles and Rêve d’Arles — were created to mark the opening of the location, and will be sold elsewhere.
“If it works, we’ll do more,” said Webster, of the guest house. “It is something that we will try to develop.”
Fragonard was launched in 1997 by Webster and her sister, Françoise Costa. They come from a family based in Grasse, France, that has been sourcing essential oils for four generations.
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