The Galeries Lafayette – one of the oldest department stores in France and remarkable for its Art Nouveau architecture – opened a new fashion store on the Champs-Élysées in spring 2019 in addition to the flagship store at the Opéra de Paris and is absolutely on the cutting edge of fashion thanks to the use of a new hybrid retail model: The designers’ idea is to connect the galleries with the surrounding city and, in times of dying retail trade, to turn potential customers back into strolling passers-by with creative and exciting approaches.
To this end, BIG, the Danish creative collective of architects, designers, researchers and inventors, has developed a concept that both pays tribute to the texture of the historic building and allows for smart reinterpretations of antique materials. Refined architectural elements invite visitors to enter the building, while the atrium on the ground floor is at its best thanks to the monumental glass dome. This is where fashion shows are presented, special events are staged and people are connected to the various brand worlds in an offensive way.
Furniture also takes on a new meaning and becomes artifacts, for example by converting interwoven carpets into changing rooms. An imposing staircase leads shoppers to the first floor, which is a real Mecca for lovers of experimental and up-and-coming brands. A golden ring of perforated metal encloses the columns and creates niches and indentations facing the atrium, which are used as product presentation areas. All in all, BIG has thus manifested a new urban space for Paris, revitalizing the world-famous avenue.