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July 22 2014

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In Paris, Hermès Puts Its Best Foot Forward

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Not only did the sun finally make an appearance, Paris got a shot of orange yesterday morning—Hermès orange, to be precise. On Monday, the French house unveiled its summer pop-up store (8 rue des Sèvres, Paris), where the story is all about women’s shoes. The full range of summer footwear by Pierre Hardy, including Oran sandals in hot pink, navy, and orange neoprene (all exclusive to this location, €390), flank one side of the space, and a preview of the Fall shoes and boots (déjà!) lines the opposite.

“The concept is really simple, but it seemed obvious to me to play on the Hermès box,” says interior decorator Stéphane Parmentier. “It’s radical and graphic, but also warm.” A pair of “monochromes in movement,” portals of slowly rotating dry pigments by artist Manuel Merida, echo the ones now featured at the Right Bank flagship, and Walking Distance, a video by Rosario Romagnosi, brings movement to the space, which sits on the angle of the rue de Sèvres and the rue des Saints-Pères like the prow of a ship.

For Hermès, this is but a first act—the shop will close on July 19 to make way for a space dedicated to its Chinese contemporary lifestyle brand Shang Xia, which is slated to open at the end of the year. And for Parmentier, the project marks a first return to fashion since shuttering his signature label over a decade ago. “I wanted to really bring people into an Hermès experience, so it has this feeling of being backstage, or in a stockroom,” he admits. A hint of things to come? Parmentier earned his stripes with Lanvin, Givenchy, and Karl Lagerfeld—it’s a fair bet he hasn’t said his last
word.

Photos: Courtesy of Hermès

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