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DUAL PURPOSE: Hermès threw a double-header in Berlin Thursday to celebrate the opening of the French luxury house’s 1,600-square-foot boutique in the KaDeWe department store as well as the re-opening of the enlarged 2,700-square-foot Hermès store some 12 blocks away on Kurfürstendamm.


KaDeWe went Hermès inside and out. Sarah Illenberger’s playful parade of intricately detailed paper creations filled all the main front windows, whereas Hilton McConnico’s installation, “A Tale of Silk,” took over the store’s central atrium. There was a special Berlin bear room at the start of the labyrinthine set-up, plus the store’s oversized corner window, created in cooperation with French graffiti artist Kongo, served as a new exterior extension to the exhibition.


Kongo also gave the Ku’damm store a bold graffiti outer wrap, which was pierced here and there to expose the Hermès world inside. Balloons lined the ceilings, the jungle swing band Nova Fliegt zum Mond (or Nova Flies to the Moon) crooned, and one block down, the house’s temporary store during the six-month construction period served as an Hermès disco for the night.


“It was very brave for Christiane Rosenberg (director of Hermès in Germany) to open two stores in Berlin on one day,” said a visibly relaxed Wilfried Guerrand, Hermès International’s managing director Europe. As for Rosenberg, her next project, starting Friday, is vacation.


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