The Fondazione Sozzani in Paris

GALLERY HOPPING: You’ll have to step away from the Champs-Élysées and immediate surroundings, where the main events during Paris art fair FIAC are held, to find the Fondazione Sozzani, the art gallery created by Carla Sozzani.

“It was love at first sight,” the retailer said of the huge 19th-century industrial building on the Rue Marx Dormoy in the 18th arrondissement, its cathedral-like ceiling covered with black wrought iron beams.

“Paris is a city that is very dear to me, and as I spend half of my time here it made sense to open a gallery here,” said Sozzani, who is also president of the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation.

On Monday night, guests including fashion historian Olivier Saillard, Isabel Marant Homme creative director Barnabé Hardy, photographer Sarah Moon, who is preparing for her show at the Musée d’Art Moderne next spring, and Christoph von Weyhe, Alaïa’s partner, trekked out  to discover the 10,750-square-foot art space.

Carla Sozzani and Kris Ruhs  Courtesy

“Creation Language,” an installation by Kris Ruhs running until Oct. 20, is the Fondazione Sozzani’s first exhibition in Paris. The American artist was also chosen by Sozzani as the opening act for the inauguration of the Galleria Carla Sozzani in Milan in 1990.

Contrary to the Milan space, which also houses concept store Corso Como, the Fondazione Carla Sozzani in Paris will focus solely on showing art, with an emphasis on younger generations of artists.

“My aim with the Paris foundation is to organize exhibitions every four months or so to give more visibility to young artists,” Sozzani said. “They don’t always have the opportunity to show their work as no one listens to them. They have Instagram, but that’s not enough.”

Her passion for young creative talent was honed during the years she spent at Vogue Italia, and was pursued with the Milan gallery. “I always make the time to review portfolios of young fashion designers, artists or photographers and give them feedback,” she said. “That’s the sort of thing I want to do here today.”

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