Kenzo : Accessories Autumn/Winter 2010/11 A new boutique concept blossoms…

At 3 Place des Victoires, the walls remember. Right here, thirty years ago, KENZO opened the doors of a boutique that proved to be the first stone in a fabulous bridge of style between the East and West. An abundance of flowers, a festival of colours, the mixture of past and future created an encounter beyond the borders of traditions and modernity: this address was the creative theatre of an inimitable fashion.

Thirty years later, this same 3 Place des Victoires reveals itself in a new light through the imagination of Kenzo’s Artistic Director Antonio Marras. Since 2003, this Sardinian designer has written new chapters in the KENZO style story and the revitalization of this of this history-filled space, represents a true renewal. A blossoming of surprises like the coming of spring.

Here and there, petals trace shapes on the walls of this new architectural concept for KENZO . They form large imaginary flowers, sculpted in volume by craftsmen like the moulding of Parisian interiors. Art Nouveau comes to mind, its representations Inspired by nature and plants in the early 20th century…Or perhaps the ideas come from Japanese prints, a sign of luck in the land of the rising sun… These voluptuous corollas, drawn from the imagination of Antonio Marras, symbolize the mix of cultures -encounters with the opposite ends of the globe; the world of the KENZO House in 2006. The black and white décor was deliberately designed to allow the swarms of colour of each collection to fully express themselves… Everywhere, this space finds a subtle point of balance in contrast. We are guided through, from one discovery to the next surprise. The journey begins on the ground floor, an extension of the Place des Victoires itself.

Three large windows give passers-by a glimpse of the singular atmosphere of this new space. In front of hand-painted paper screens stretches a long counter where a true welcome is offered. The hostesses wrap up the purchases before the customers’ eyes, in line with Japanese tradition. On the floor, a sublime antique mosaic that the previous layout concealed, meets ancient wooden parquet flooring set off with brass Inserts. To the left of the reception area, a stage presents designs from the season which are also projected as a backdrop on a giant screen. And on the right, the stairway in blackened wood

leads to the upper floor. Expanded by almost 100 square metres, this second level houses the entire KENZO world, bathed in daylight from the thirteen large bay windows, which remind visitors they are at the heart of Paris, the heart of life.

At the top of the steps, the visit begins In “the room of wonders” and its treasures of accessories. Piles of glass boxes placed on tables house handbags, shoes and stoles. Other accessories are presented in a large bookcase or on tray-shelves that stretch off In perspective before customers’ eyes. The sense of hospitality is further illustrated by these presentation benches, made from random layers of mattresses covered in a plethora of fabrics. It makes us want to sit down and feast our eyes on the vast space dedicated to the women’s ready-to-wear collection.

Like a bush with wild branches, the adjustable brass hanger suspensions vary the set-up of the clothing to suit the day. This hanging system Is also used for the men’s section, which features a large bench in front of a well of light. A few closets are set here and there, presenting a selection of models like a personal wardrobe, while six fitting rooms hide behind accordion doors lined with wallpaper like the folding screens of old.

Inside this historic building at the Place des Victoires, the new KENZO boutique stretches over 550 square metres. The layout of this new concept dreamed up by Antonio Marras was created by the Italian design and architecture office, Stefania Beltrame – Sandra Gelmetti, Architetti Associetti. Craftsmen and restoration experts also worked their magic to make this boutique a welcoming space with a unique feel. Visitors are plunged into a singular atmosphere. This is not a shop, but a home in which shopping is a new experience, a source of pleasure at the heart of the KENZO world.

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