Dries Van Noten in new Paris boutique for beauty, accessories – WWD

Paris – Dries van Noten’s new retail concept features a 17th-century tapestry by Dutch architect and artist Hans Vredemann de Vries, whose work on perspective was revolutionary for its time.

The designer has pioneered new perspectives in the 650 square feet corner store, which showcases beauty from her fashion collection along with leather goods, jewelry and other accessories.

The boutique opened to the public on Saturday, further demonstrating how closely Van Noten’s perfumes and lipsticks, introduced a year ago, speak to his other designs.

Additionally, the store will have exclusive perfume bags, combs, mirrors and lip brushes. Her main fashion collection consists of handbags, small leather goods, jewellery, scarves and some other small accessories.

A 17th-century curtain adds visual verve to a display of handbags.

Jean-Pierre Gabriel

„It’s important to show that everyone shares the same vision,” Van Noten said in an interview. “We don’t look at makeup and fragrances separately from clothes. For me, it’s like a big, integrated project, and I wanted to underline that.

He noted that the store, though small, is divided into zones for each product category. „But of course, we have a lot of visual events where we show how everything is done in one spirit,” he noted.

Next to Van Noten’s men’s boutique, which opened in 2009, no. There is a new store at 9 Quai Malaguis. Her flagship Paris women’s boutique opened in 2007, on the same street as no. At 7 the lipstick has been thrown away, there is only a café and the narrow Rue Bonaparte.

„It’s very compact. And the place is very visible. Even when you drive by, you can’t miss it,” enthused the designer.

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Van Noten noted that the three retail addresses will share similar facades and some design elements, but separate entrances. „I love that you have to go outside to enter different stores. It’s like a different universe, different but still the same,” he said.

Perfumes, beauty accessories and fashion items share shelf space.

Jean-Pierre Gabriel

The building for the new beauty and accessories department, which dates back to 1625 and was known as the Hotel de Transylvania, has a unique history that fascinated Van Noten. It formerly housed an art center known as the Galerie Breheret, founded in 1887 and operating on Quai Malaguis since 1929, displaying works by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.

„It’s really a unique opportunity,” Van Noten said. „It feels like an exercise because starting next year we plan to open more stores where we mix accessories and beauty.”

He declined to say how many beauty/accessory divisions might be opened, noting that it would depend on space opportunities. The Quai Malaquais unit brings the number of freestanding Dries van Noten stores in the world to 11.

According to the designer, with its small size and luxurious materials, the boutique was conceived as a „bijoux” or jewel.

„I believe the whole atmosphere of the store will be very special,” he said, noting the alabaster, Calacatta marble, velvet and a chandelier made of different types of Venini glass.

Materials in store include Calacatta marble, alabaster and velvet.

Jean-Pierre Gabriel

He noted some of the items in Paris perfume shops from the 20s, 30s and 40s and winks at classic French moldings.

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„We’re right in the middle of all the antique dealers and art galleries, so we wanted to create an environment that would fit in with the neighborhood,” he explained.

Van Noten was a pioneer in planting her boutique down the block from the Beaux-Arts School in a district recognized more for antiques and art than fashion.

„It’s also a personal experience,” he explained via Zoom from his Antwerp headquarters. „It’s a small salon… even though it’s a small space, we want to give people a special and unique experience.”

Is he creating a new retail concept in combining fragrance and accessories? „I don’t know if we’re charting something new, but we’re doing it in our own way. Its rotating exhibition spaces, music room, tropical garden—” and re-trading division.

To wit: The designer mentioned some archival items, including pieces from her 2020 collaboration with Christian Lacroix, that are likely to make their way into the new beauty and perfume store. A black room is dedicated to these items.

Jewelry, scarves and other fashion items are displayed in dark cabinets.

Jean-Pierre Gabriel

„At that store, we sometimes plan to have an artist’s exhibition where we can invite a jewelry designer or an artist we like to showcase their work and stuff,” she explained. „Of course, the LA store is 800 square meters, this is 60. So it has to be small art.”

The designer described the strong consumer response to her introduction to beauty.

„Of course you talk to different people with perfume and beauty,” she said. “Lipstick, for example, offers a good entry price, so you see a lot of young people coming into the stores, maybe those people are going to be our future. [fashion] Customers,” he said.

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The designer further expanded the fragrance and beauty offering to come on stream in 2024. “This is a very exciting project for me,” he enthused.

Perfumes are still featured in his other Guai Malaguis stores, one called Guai Malaguis is very popular, especially among women, and many men have embraced rose-based scents. „I think that’s fantastic,” he said.

Van Noten, who founded her business in 1985, has been showing her women’s collection in Paris since 1993. He sold a majority stake to Spanish perfume and beauty group Puig in 2018, setting the stage for a pioneer in fragrance.

For the record, the designer wears his Cannabis Patchouli fragrance.

Lipstick and perfume bags are displayed side by side.

Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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