Designer Ralph Lauren has opened a huge 23,000 square foot flagship on the Left Bank in Paris – the Left Bank because, Lauren says, “It is more artistic, romantic and creative here.”
This is a store to beat all stores! It occupies a fabulous 17th Century townhouse
that has had numerous incarnations. It was originally a Dutch Embassy, then became a hotel, and later housed government offices, among other things. The façade boasts classic French architecture in carved, ornamental limestone.
The new emporium follows the recent high fashion couture mode of combining several different functions into one retail space. In other words, it isn’t just a store. It has a wonderful 128 seat restaurant and four fashion floors that are replete with artwork and magnificent rococo details. This is smart marketing at its best.
As one major publication put it, a series of rooms are “reminiscent of a Nantucket sailing club one minute; a grand, colonial parlor the next. You might call it a museum in its own right.
Born in the USA
And American? A huge Stars and Stripes featuring the original 13 stars hangs on the wall of the grand staircase, just one of numerous images of real Americana. In his restaurant’s main dining room is a panoramic mural of grazing U.S. Western cattle. Called Ralph’s, the restaurant boosts simple upscale American fare. You can get a hamburger for $36.45 US, which Lauren calls the “best hamburger in Paris.”
YOU CAN ENJOY A BIT OF AMERICANA, TOO, WHEREVER YOU ARE. CHECK OUT THESE GREAT PRODUCTS:
Accessories are given prime display space in the new store, right on the first floor. One delightful display features a blue leather handle bag and a blue leather clutch, both on a cobblestone shelf next to a beautiful porcelain vase filled with fresh white tulips and two framed pictures. Other product areas include sunglasses, shoes, scarves, and more.
Of course, the store also features numerous special boutique areas for Lauren’s different fashion collections, and in each of these accessories also play a pivotal role in completing outfits. Exclusive accessories in the store include a Ricky bag in denim blue crocodile. It sells for a little over $22,000 American.
YOU CAN GET A LAUREN-RICH LOOK WITH CAREFULLY CHOSEN ACCESSORIES. CONSIDER THESE:
- Swan crystal brooch with large pear-shaped crystal
- Clear crystal chandelier earrings. Stunning!
Estimates are the store could generate annual sales of about $20.2 million. Europe presently accounts for 18 percent of Ralph Lauren’s business and is a key growth area along with Asia, which generates about 17 percent of the firm’s income.
A company executive also noted that Europeans tend to buy early and there is less off-price selling. “We do more luxury as a percentage to total in Europe,” she said, “and that’s true for men’s, women’s, accessories, and footwear.”
Lauren is one of the few American designers who have made real business inroads in France. He explains that by saying, “I stand for something that is individual. That is a good expression of an American coming to Paris.”