Italian menswear brand Brioni has just unveiled its newest flagship store in no other than Rue Saint-Honore in Paris.
Conceived by David Chipperfield Architects, this store was designed to merge the past world of Brioni’s Roman roots and the future world of the brand according to the progressive vision of the new creative director, Justin O’Shea.
This juxtaposition and meeting point of the past and present happens architecturally through the use of materials. Grey travertine which is the typical classic material echoing ancient Rome, has been used for the floors and walls. Juxtaposed to this noble stone, experimental materials, such as transparent metal mesh, take place in small touches here and there. This solid but transparent mesh allows customers to see through the partition and to have a sense of perspective.
The store spreads across 590 square meters on two different floors, in which three zones are happening: the main store space, the VIP area and the changing rooms.
The two floors are linked by a giant staircase that allows a smooth transition between the openness and natural lighting of the ground floor level and the enclosure and isolation of the basement floor level.
However, both floors enjoy a very neutral greyish backdrop that gives a very elegant, refined, and neat aspect to the space. This backdrop is activated by gunmetal floor to ceiling bars that are thin but strong elements allowing the space to modify itself and adapt to the products, as if the products use the architecture as a humble framework for exhibition. Also, the lighting style is very consistent with sleek metallic suspension lights punctuating rhythmically both ceilings.
When it comes to the furniture, you can find simple vintage dark wood tables next to dark blue velvet chairs and dark green velvet couches.
I think it is pretty surprising when a very established luxury brand like Brioni rebrands itself in terms of architecture. Its collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects seems to revolve very heavily on creating a new conceptual design language and they started with the flagship in Paris. Their architectural aesthetic combines ideas of luxury, simplicity, tradition and vision of the future, and I think it comes across very clearly through the classic and modern feel of the space as well as through the contrasting opacity and textures of the materials.