With its spacious rooms appointed with fine artworks and books, the Liagre furniture showroom in Paris resembles a luxury apartment more than a store.
And its occupant seems to favor womanly, modernized classics in the most sumptuous fabrics: The walk-in closet now showcases the fall collection of Frauke Gembalies, a Berlin-based designer who sells via invitation-only trunk shows.
“They wanted a brand with the same level of quality,” Gembalies said Tuesday night in Paris when Liaigre opened its doors to collectors in town for the FIAC International Contemporary Art Fair. “And they gave us carte blanche. It gave us the possibility to show the collection in a new context.”
The designer and her business partner Ekatharina Iliadis distilled the essence of the six-year-old brand down to about a dozen styles, highlighting slouchy cashmere sweaters, a cozy mohair coat, slim skirts in leather or checkered wool, and a slip dress fronted with a delicate panel of lace. The installation will remain for about a month.
Gembalies had used Liagre’s Munich showroom for her biannual trunk shows for the past two years, and struck a rapport with the interior firm’s creative director, Frauke Meyer, who ultimately became a customer, and proposed the Paris project.
Come January, when Gembalies takes orders on its spring 2020 collection, the designer will add a Paris salon at Liaigre. She also hosts special selling events in London, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Zurich, Geneva, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.
The designer produces her sample collection in a range of sizes so women can try on before they buy. Selections are delivered in about 10 to 12 weeks, with half due upfront and the other half on delivery.
“They like this kind of exclusivity,” the designer said. “You have to wait for the clothes.”
Gembalies designed for Akris and Rena Lange before launching her signature collection, manufactured at top factories in France and Italy.