FENDI OPENS PARIS FLAGSHIP WITH FOCUS ON ACCESSORIES

PARIS — Fendi has brought its “Dark Shop” concept to the City of Light.
The Rome-based firm’s new 6,000-square-foot Paris flagship opened Thursday at 24 Rue Francois 1er at the intersection of the Avenue Montaigne. It stocks women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories.
“This first [Paris] store is a very significant step for Fendi,” said president Carla Fendi. “Paris is a very important place. Its creativity is very stimulating because it is home to fashion labels from all over the word with a well-informed public.”
Claudio Lazzarini, who along with Carl Pickering designed the store, said he and his partner wanted “the store to be very architectural and powerful and to create instant brand recognition.”
“In developing this concept, we wanted to bring in understated elements of luxury that would create a very warm shopping environment,” Lazzarini said.
The concept, which has already been used to remodel Fendi’s Rome flagship, will be rolled out for future stores, he added, including the London unit on Sloane Street, which is slated to open March 25.
The Paris store spans three levels linked by a dramatic iron-and-glass staircase. The square display cases are made of glass and steel or wenge wood, while the floor is dark steel. As for furniture, the architects selected reproductions of a wire chair designed by Warren Plattner in the early Sixties.
The first floor features accessories and select rtw items; the second floor highlights shoes, handbags, luggage and men’s wear, while the third floor will be dedicated to more women’s rtw and fur. More than 50 percent of the store will be dedicated to accessories, according to Silvia Venturini, Fendi art director.
“I believe accessories have a fundamental role in fashion,” she said.
Fendi declined to provide sales projections for the store, but a spokeswoman emphasized that Paris is an important step for the firm, which is majority owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Prada Group. In fact, the spokeswoman added that Fendi is aiming to open a second unit in Paris within the next two years.
Estimated wholesale sales at Fendi in 2000 were about $253.5 million. This year, the firm expects sales to exceed $324 million.
Fendi is planning to celebrate the opening with an invitation-only cocktail party on March 16.