Mar 1, 2023
The Haussmann branch of Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette has given carte blanche to Simon Porte Jacquemus. From March 1 to April 2, the popular French designer, who has taken the fashion world by storm with his outdoor runway shows and mini handbags, is bringing his own Mediterranean vibe and his visual obsessions to the floors, shop windows and forecourt of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
As visitors walk through the store’s menswear and womenswear sections, they come across a variety of immersive installations. Starting from outside, with the white cube hosting the Café Fleurs on Boulevard Haussmann, where hot drinks and pristine bouquets are on sale.
Along the boulevard, the store’s shop windows showcase some of the cult objects of the Provence-born designer, from sunshades to a washing line with a romantic twist, a grenadine with water, a launderette, a biscuit dunked in coffee and raffia. All of them rendered with a bright, pared-down aesthetic, to the sound of cicadas and the murmur of water. It feels almost real, if one could forget the boulevard’s heavy traffic.
On the ground floor of the store’s men’s section, Jacquemus has installed a pop-up space for its menswear range, in the form of a fantasy launderette, with white walls and a vertiginous pile of stacked terry towels. The washing machine’s oversize porthole invites visitors to take selfies inside the installation.
The launderette is a focus of attention for the label’s smartphone-wielding aficionados, as is the giant handbag installed at the entrance of the store’s women’s section. A cheeky reference, given that one of Jacquemus’ signature leather goods items is a micro handbag. The installation is an XXL, all-white replica of the label’s best-selling Bambino model, which opens up to reveal an array of small handbags, all of them real and available for sale.
To mark this collaboration, Jacquemus has also developed a selection of models exclusive to Galeries Lafayette. For example, a mini-Bambino handbag in denim, and a Chiquito handbag in smooth beige leather.
Finally, in another part of the store, a giant toaster ejects Jacquemus-branded slices of bread, arousing the curiosity of some of the store’s habitual visitors, as they discover the buzz around the label. “I love the idea that any customer going to Galeries Lafayette can have an immersive experience and find out about the history of Jacquemus in all its facets,” said the 33-year-old designer, who moved to Paris in 2009.
Arthur Lemoine, the department store’s head of product purchasing, believes that “Jacquemus is a brand for everyone, regardless of age or country, and it is accessible” thanks, in particular, to “its strong roots in the French cultural imagination.”
The collaboration is also an opportunity for Galeries Lafayette to attract younger consumers, keen followers of the label’s Instagram stories (Jacquemus has 5.3 million followers), in which the designer opens a window on himself.
Jacquemus has dropped out of the Paris Fashion Week calendar, and showed at Le Bourget last December, putting raffia centre-stage. The label, which recently dropped a collaboration with Nike, reportedly generates an annual revenue of €200 million, and is said to be keen to reach the €500 million mark by 2025.
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