Pierpaolo Piccioli

WALL ART: “We never lose the stars, we just find them again and again.”

This quote by poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, as well as lines by Greta Bellamacina and Mustafa the Poet, were printed on the gray speckled walls of the staircase winding up the new Valentino store on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, which was unveiled to the public on Thursday night.

The project was a continuation of the collaboration between the poets and Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, who had already tapped the writers to feature in his fall 2019 collection.

“Strangely, poems maintain their strength, even when you are surrounded with people,” said the designer on the evening of the opening, in the middle of an excited crowd of guests including Olivia Palermo, influencer Caro Daur and artist Robert Montgomery, who created the neon installation that stood on the ground floor of the boutique, spelling out the words “The people you love become ghosts inside of you and like this you keep them alive.”

It was hard to make out the designer’s softly spoken words over the ecstatic Eighties tunes spun by actor Lukas Ionesco. But all this proved Piccioli’s point.

“When you read poetry, you have a connection to the words that is very personal,” he continued. “Everyone reads these phrases and connects them to their own world.”

He gamely posed for pictures with Mustafa the Poet, who is known for having collaborated with The Weeknd, in front of one of his quotes inscribed on the speckled wall of the boutique: “We love like the sun / Revolve around each other / Like it’s only us.”

“The whole idea for the experiment was to get poetry, which is something belonging to the past, in a more contemporary world, touching young people on the street,” said Piccioli. “We wanted to come to people in a very direct way.”

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