Maison Margiela on Monday opened a 2,900-square-foot flagship in San Francisco. The store, at 134 Maiden Lane, is the house’s fourth in the U.S.
“San Francisco, especially Maiden Lane, is the perfect location for a Maison Margiela boutique,” said Monica Voltolina, chief executive officer of Staff USA. “The unconventional and forward-looking energy of San Francisco goes hand in hand with the DNA of Maison Margiela. This location will provide the ability to showcase the philosophy of the Maison in the environment it was designed to be in.”
The new Margiela flagship occupies two levels of a town house next to Xanadu, a gallery in the historic Frank Lloyd Wright building. Mystery, an element of surprise and the sense of something unfinished have been woven into the design of the new flagship. The ground floor, dedicated to men’s ready-to-wear, fine leather goods, accessories, footwear, eyewear and fragrances, is meant to evoke a work in progress.
The store looks light and airy near the entrance then becomes darker as one moves farther inside. This is achieved with dégradé effects and trompe l’oeil images. For example, repurposed French oak wood parquet flooring at the entrance has no cabochons — the dark diamonds in the pattern — but the cabochons get bigger and bigger near the dressing rooms where the wood floor transitions to a trompe l’oeil version of itself.
Leather-wrapped hand rails and backward mounted picture frames decorate the staircase, which is cloaked in black and white Persian trompe l’oeil-inspired rugs.
On the second floor, women’s rtw, handbags, accessories, eyewear and fragrance are displayed with marble-covered cast iron Parisian bistro tables and wooden bistro chairs. Shoppers in the shoe salon can sit on the bright red lips of a surrealist sofa inspired by Salvador Dalí while trying on shoes. Wallpaper made from photographs of the Paris Maison appears in various gradations from tiny pixels to film negatives.
The company declined to discuss sales projections for the new store.