Located at number 3, rue Édouard VII, a pedestrian street tucked away in the heart of the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the new design brand La Manufacture will be launching its first retail location in November 2019. Neither a concept store nor a showroom, but an actual shop at a time dominated by big brands scattered throughout the Opéra district.
The project for the shop is intricately linked with the brand itself. The design of the space, covering about 250 sqm (2,700 sq ft), was immediately entrusted to Luca Nichetto, La Manufacture’s Art Director, and his studio. His vision was to make it into a natural habitat for his collections, a bespoke haven, where design and fashion can find their place and experiment within the frame of the brand’s identity — a world encompassing everything from product to graphics, from architecture to customer experience.
Just looking at the shop’s windows from outside, the brand’s identity is clearly visible in the extruded aluminium profiles showing a section in the shape of a sharp, recognisable ‘M’. Heavy drapery frame the view inside, revealing platforms where the designs will be be presented every season. La Manufacture is assertively present in the decor: the logo carved into the plaster, or embroidered on sleeves; the M monogram stamped in matching tones on bespoke tapestries, written in neon lighting or taking the form of an orange chrome-coated ceramic totem. Unostentatious and warm, the seemingly simple architecture masks an elegant sophistication.
The decor was designed to feel welcoming, like a bubble where people happily gather together, where everyone is free to look at things, pick them up and take their time. A unique meeting place for customers, where they can live a singular experience. Visitors are welcome to delve into this world and to transcribe part of that experience into their own home with a coat rack, a lamp, a suit or a pair of shoes. Objects and little attentions, sometimes handpicked for them from friends and partners of La Manufacture. Like the coffee and piece of cake they will be happy to enjoy standing at the long counter just off the entrance and visible from the street. Stretching majestically over 8 metres (26 feet), it serves as a casual bar area, with a marble countertop and a built-in champagne-coloured sink, in addition to a product display and a checkout counter clad in ceramic tiles.
The shop consists of a U-shaped space, functional and easily reconfigurable. The perception of each area and its use is intentionally intuitive, so visitors will feel comfortable right away. The layout and bespoke wood trimming — mainly walnut — creating warm and welcoming areas where the products on display can interact with one another. The shop includes zones where visitors can feel at home, try on clothes, meet people, talk and see an exhibition. A casual and friendly atmosphere where people can just be and enjoy the moment freely.
The entire space is embellished by the use of fine natural materials, like wood and marble, which lend a smooth and warm feel to the decor. Underfoot, polished concrete mixed with quartz crystals but no chemicals, making it very resistant and giving it warmth and a sensuous appeal. On the walls, the palette features a range of soft, cream and greige tones. Rhythm is provided by the play on materials, from Matteo Brioni’s artisanal and texturised clay paint to the use of glass fiber wallpaper. White and teal blue tiles from Spain provide accents and help differentiate areas.
Designed as a lively and friendly place, conducive to bringing people together and hosting events, the shop blurs the line between our professional and residential lives, between retail and hospitality.