HITTING THE BIG TIME

PARIS — If the old Miu Miu store on Rue Cherche-Midi here was a shoebox, the new flagship on Rue de Grenelle is practically an airport hangar.
The massive shop, with 4,500 square feet of selling space over two floors, opened quietly last Saturday, just in time for the arrival of the roving international fashion pack, in town for the Paris collections that end tonight. A party to celebrate the opening was scheduled for late last night at the Communist Party headquarters here.
Coincidentally, the color red is a dominant feature of this vast emporium, with bright red walls slicing through the all-white space and low, red-lined silver fixtures, resembling Donald Judd sculptures, lined up precisely on the polished concrete floors.
The store, designed by Roberto Baciocchi, is a modern, minimalist monolith on a street dotted with quaint, intimate shoe and lingerie boutiques, cheese shops and florists, but in the heart of the upscale Saint-Sulipice shopping area on the Left Bank. Prada Group, parent of Miu Miu, bought the four-story building several years ago and plans to use the upper floors for storage and offices.
The street level of the store features the Miu Miu women’s collection and accessories. Although there are areas devoted to footwear and handbags, such items are scattered throughout the store. Shoppers can take a high-tech glass-and-silver elevator up to the second floor or walk up a blindingly white stairwell to find more women’s wear and accessories and the men’s collection.
The massive flagship replaces the Miu Miu location on Rue Cherche-Midi, which spanned an estimated 600 square feet. The new store employs approximately 36 people, including 25 sales associates.
Store officials said sales have been outstanding in the first week. Best-selling styles include shift dresses with scarf necklines for $292, swirl print blouses for $205 and ribbon-trimmed tweed skirts for $192.

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