MADE TO MEASURE: The Golden Triangle of Paris has a new multibrand concept store.
After construction delays held up work at the store, originally set for a June opening, Italian retailer Modes opened the doors of its new Paris outpost on Sept. 29 to coincide with Paris Fashion Week, despite it not yet being complete.
“The world is in transition,” shrugged Modes general manager Aldo Gotti on a tour of the new space on Rue François Premier, just off Avenue Montaigne. “I wanted to show the evolution.”
While the drywall was still visible on the walls and ceiling in places, and wooden batons were the only cladding on a concrete pillar, the concept, designed by Berlin-based architecture firm Gonzalez Haase AAS, was already visually striking.
A cyan blue staircase leads to the main second floor space with thick gray silk carpet cladding floor and walls, and a paneled ceiling adorned with a metallic paint that looks just like sheet metal, setting off the clothing and accessories on display.
“Light is one of the main elements that manages the space in terms of unity,” said Judith Haase, one half of the design duo, which already worked on the retailer’s outpost in high-end Sardinian resort Porto Cervo, explaining that the carpet absorbs the light, meaning the products on display have no shadows, anchoring them on the thick glass shelves with blue edging and metal racks.
Downstairs at street level features a sort of mirror image of the upper floor, with steel on the ground. The ceiling will soon be covered in the same gray carpet.
The mirror-image concept was intended to evoke how gender has become less relevant in fashion, and the collections on sale are not intended to be divided into men’s and women’s, but mixed within the space, although the concept overall is designed to be more feminine than the retailer’s other stores, to echo its Parisian surroundings. Three generous changing rooms, meanwhile, feature infinity mirror walls and ceiling.
Modes is no believer in a cookie-cutter approach to retail, and the store was designed to fit in with its neighborhood, featuring a curated selection that will change regularly. “We wanted to add things that reflected the woman walking down Avenue Montaigne,” said Gotti, “and to mix masculine and feminine collections, to find a way of mixing things that was very personal.”
For the launch, this included vintage designs from Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent selected by Didier Ludot, as well as secondhand Hermès bags, alongside items from labels like Rick Owens, Jacquemus, Acne Studios and Nike.