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Rabih Kayrouz, who has challenged the perception of Lebanese designers with his minimal motifs, has opened his first store in Paris — in a space that also happens to be his workshop and showroom in a quiet courtyard off Boulevard Raspail. We caught up with Kayrouz to chat about flinging open the doors.

WWD: Why did you open a store in your workshop?

This story first appeared in the June 10, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Rabih Kayrouz: What drew me to this place was the light, the calm, being in the center of Paris but in my own little cocoon. It really sums up my spirit and my way of life. To me, coming here is more like an experience — discovering the set- ting, seeing the workshop — because you can really see how things are made. That doesn’t mean we won’t have a more traditional store in the future. But I don’t think the fact that we don’t have a storefront is an inconvenience.

WWD: How do you split time between Paris and Beirut?

R.K.:It’s about half-and-half. I adore [Lebanon], it’s my home. We are not scared to show our feelings. If we have to cry, we cry, if we have to laugh, we laugh — we don’t hold back in that way. And there is the whole relationship with sensuality, with the body, which inspires me enormously — even in the way people hide their bodies, sometimes.