French luxury house Moynat just opened its first store in New York on the Upper East Side, right on Madison Avenue, inside an old building from 1876 whose façade has been fully restored.
Spread on two floors over 215 square meters, the new store was designed by Gwenael Nicolas, the same architect (head of Curiosity, an architecture and design studio based in Tokyo) who was commissioned with other Moynat stores in Paris.
The space completely found its inspiration in the brand’s iconic domed trunks. The interior of the entire store is dominated by a cathedral-like ceiling with a dark-colored metal arched structure. This structure composed of straight lines at moments and curved lines at other moments, spreads in a very neat and clean way.
Another major design component in the Moynat store consists of the imposing glass column that starts in the basement and reaches the ceiling. This column has been blown up out of proportions in order to be wide enough to form a merchandising area showcasing vintage Moynat trunk models. Around this glass column, a spiral staircase allows visitors to access the lower floor while looking at the showcased items.
On this lower basement floor, there is the store’s private salon which offers a customization service lounge for clients. This space reminisces of the brand’s old days in Paris by exposing a large photo of the first store in the French capital, at a time where trunks were sold directly on the street. This picture reminds customers of the historic value of the brand and its strong connection to its past.
Last but not least, the architect used a strategic color palette throughout the interior of the store. The flooring of this flagship store is made of light-colored natural wooden panels, providing a chic and neutral setting. This elegant parquet is complemented and contrasted by an amber-colored wooden shelving system. This warm amber color is a nod to the lining in Moynat’s famous trunks.
I personally think that this historic brand which was initially founded in 1849, translated perfectly its historic attachment into architecture. The New-York flagship store has the look and feel of a space from a bygone era: it is sleek and it radiates luxury without screaming it from the rooftops.