PARIS — Dries Van Noten, whose atmospheric Antwerp, Belgium, flagship has been his biggest retail statement to date, is about to plant his flag in Paris.

WWD has learned the Bel­gian designer plans to open a 2,800-square-foot boutique at Quai Malaquais on the Left Bank, just down the block from the Beaux-Arts in a neighborhood more recognized for antiques than fashion.

The one-level unit with a mezzanine, slated to carry Van Noten’s women’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, is expected to open in 2007 in a space currently occupied by a bookstore.

Meanwhile, Van Noten has another Parisian project brewing: He’s been tapped to do special packaging this fall for luxury pastry maker Laduree.

Although Van Noten is on a strong growth track, with sales last year vaulting 25 percent, the designer has taken a measured approach to retail, preferring to build strong relationships with wholesale clients like Barneys New York.

Besides his 3,500-square-foot Antwerp flagship, which opened in 1989, he has a 3,000-square-foot unit in Hong Kong in partnership with Joyce.

Van Noten, who founded his business in 1985, has been showing his women’s collection in Paris since 1993.

This story first appeared in the July 5, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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