Sonia Rykiel Shop Celebrates Paris’ Literary Past
Architecture & Interiors
Fashion designer Sonia Rykiel has opened her first shop in Paris, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s…bookish. 50,000 books, to be exact—are on hand to command the viewer’s attention (and, yes, to read) in the sprawling, two-story space, which could very well be a glamorous library for well-heeled (or well-read) Parisiennes in search of a midday respite.
A concept of the company’s artistic director, with input from the graffitii artist André Saraïva, the store pays tribute to its location—the legendary Boulevard St. Germain, on Paris’ Left Bank, epicenter of the city’s rich literary history, but where printed literature, predictably, has begun to fall victim to the digital age.
Here, books take precedence over clothes, with stacks upon stacks of paperbacks—arranged on plain wooden shelves—dominating the entry level, visually tactile counterpoints to the glossy blood-red walls of the mezzanine level on which clothes and accessories reside. ‘We need the history as much as we need the fashion,’ says the designer. ‘I’m not saying we open a library but maybe there are ways to mix these ideas together.’ A pretty smart mix, we say.