PARIS — Belgian concept store RA is opening a permanent Paris outpost. Catering to both women and men, the 1,500-square-foot space in the Marais district, scheduled to bow in January, will provide a showcase for up-and-coming designers like Helena Lumelsky, Creatures of the Wind, Charlie Le Mindu, Iris Van Herpen, Yuima Nakazato and Jean-Paul Lespagnard.
Located at 14 Rue de la Corderie, the store will also host events like performance art, readings and intimate fashion shows, in the spirit of a literary salon or boudoir. Inspired by the avant-garde theater of the Twenties, the space will feature a monumental front door with bronze carvings and layered curtains.
Founded by Russian Anna Kushnerova and Frenchman Romain Brau in 2009, the original RA store in Antwerp includes a fashion store, art gallery, restaurant and bookstore spread over 8,600 square feet.
Since 2010, the duo has been organizing exhibitions at a temporary space in Paris during the women’s and men’s ready-to-wear fashion weeks, presenting young designers and artists from Antwerp and around the world.
Brau said they planned to scout far-flung fashion weeks to find more talents to showcase in the permanent Paris store, which will also sell one-off creations.
“Over the last year and a half, we noticed there was something missing in Paris,” he explained. “Paris is very good at defending the big luxury brands, and it overlooks the young designers who also produce very beautiful things. Whether it was us or someone else, something had to be done with regard to contemporary fashion.”
Eventually, the pair would like to expand further afield.
“We would love to have a store in Moscow and in Los Angeles, and we would love to open fashion schools in countries where there are none. We have loads of projects,” said Brau.