Prada opens its historic store in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, France, following its extension and architectural and image renewal. The store, designed by Architect Roberto Baciocchi, stems from the evolution of the design themes that Prada investigated in the recent history of retail store image, and it reviews the brand's architectural language in tune with the building's special nature: an early 19th century palace in the heart of Paris.
The store, on three levels, occupies a gross surface of 1900 square metres and it displays the men's and women's accessories, leather goods, footwear and ready-to-wear collections.The building's façade features the architectural elements that characterise the original Prada store in Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: curved windows, the materials and the window casings decorations; metal and coloured fabric awnings are added to give the whole design a modern twist. The ground floor is an impressive marble and mirrors gallery that opens onto different, collected spaces. Special rooms covered in Prada green fabric carry exclusive leather goods, while black marble and mirrors accommodate the accessories. The black and white veined marble floor of the gallery, an heritage from Prada's luxurious stores and historic image, is distorted to become almost optical.
Walls are renewed by means of an original interpretation of Prada's historic display niche: a suspended volume made of crystal with palladium metal profiles. The bright colours of saffiano, red, green and blue displays, make up the design of the new display counters. Dark green velvet covers the “Cover Leaf” sofas, designed by Verner Panton and exclusively reproduced for Prada, to make the whole setting soft and beguiling. A black marble staircase, inserted in a large display fixture, leads from the ground floor to the basement, dedicated to the women's ready-to-wear collection.
The walls are totally covered in green silk curtains that transform it into a modern atelier; where the private experience of a fitting room seems to extend to the whole space. In contrast, perspex blades display cases, transparent skylights, perspex and steel tables with unusual geometrical shapes and supple green velvet sofas make this space very seductive.
A second staircase, curved, covered in black marble with ebony walls, leads to the first floor dedicated to the men's collection. Here, the masculine, tailor's character is interpreted through the flooring in thin staves of ebony and the curtains on the walls in wood and coloured saffiano. Bright orange has been chosen for the footwear salon. The central space, that opens onto Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré and offers ready-to-wear, features cases and counters in palladium metal and crystal with coloured display insets. The second floor houses an elegant and exclusive private apartment that faces on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, entirely reserved to Prada's most special guests.