On Paris’s Rue Saint-Honoré, a stone’s throw from the fashionable Place Vendôme shopping square (where Coco Chanel and Frédéric Chopin once lived), Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have set up their first Parisian flagship. To stand out among such flashy neighbours as Cartier, Goyard and Dior, the Amsterdam fashion duo brought in French firm Architecture & Associés to create the interior.
“We wanted a store that’s invisible or hardly there because often we find store designs very intrusive and just too much,” explains Horsting. So Architecture & Associés – which has conceptualized luxurious spaces for dozens of avant-garde couturiers worldwide such as Comme des Garçons and Costume National – chose a monochromatic grey palette to make the merchandise pop. Covering the 650-square-metre, two-storey shop in felt has various advantages: it lends the space a surreal effect, increases its feeling of intimacy and acts as an acoustical barrier.
Architecturally, Architecture & Asssociés combined the palatial grandeur of Renaissance Italy with the classicism of the French tradition for an edgy aesthetic defined by staircases, a rotunda and an abundance of arches – the latter of which Viktor & Rolf plays up in its runway shows. Furniture is covered in wool flannel and cashmere, while felt-clad MDF shelves are nested in the niches, some of which are back-lit by white fluorescents and LEDs, as are the ceiling panels.
The result is stunning yet understated and cozy. Says a satisfied Horsting, “You’re really by yourself even though it’s a big space, and though the architecture is rigorous and graphic, it’s not imposing or overly grand. It’s really an intimate place; it’s quite beautiful.”
Viktor & Rolf is located at 370, rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.