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08/25/2013

Lagerfeld's New Retail Concept

The man, the myth and the product come to life in Karl Lagerfeld’s new Paris “concept” store, designed by Plajer & Franz Studio.

By Elianne Halbersberg
Photography by Michel Figuet

 
  • Karl Lagerfeld's New Retail Concept

    Display Area

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    Reflective and multidimensional glass elements are used to create visual effects throughout Karl Lagerfeld Paris. View larger

    Display Area
  • Lagerfeld Display Cases

    Display Cases

    /Portals/3/images/online/0813/I_0813_Lagerfeld2.jpg

    Black reflective surfaces contrast with matte materials like white GetaCore on the walls, leather seating and steel in the lighting channels. View larger

    Display Cases
  • Lagerfeld oak flooring

    Modern Meets Classic

    /Portals/3/images/online/0813/I_0813_Lagerfeld3.jpg

    Designers also found inspiration in features like the original staircase, oak flooring and wood paneling on the first floor, all of which were retained and restored. View larger

    Modern Meets Classic
  • Mirror Wall

    Mirror Wall

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    Spaces are intended to create what Franz calls “the juxtapositions”—matte versus glossy and soft versus hard. View larger

    Mirror Wall
  • Wood paneling

    Wood paneling

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    Wood panelling on the first level, characterized by neoclassical lines of french architecture, has been retained and restored. It also offers a change from the monochromatic palette of the rest of the building. View larger

    Wood paneling
  • Display close-up

    Display close-up

    /Portals/3/images/online/0813/I_0813_Lagerfeld5.jpg

    The wide-scale use of glass and light creates a variety of interesting visual illusions. View larger

    Display close-up
  • Display close-up side

    Visual illusions

    /Portals/3/images/online/0813/I_0813_Lagerfeld6.jpg

    The wide-scale use of glass and light creates a variety of interesting visual illusions. View larger

    Visual illusions
  • Column in area

    Creative design

    /Portals/3/images/online/0813/I_0813_Lagerfeld7.jpg

    The building's columns and dividing walls had to be creatively integrated into the space to avoid interrupting the shopping experience. View larger

    Creative design
  • Fuzzy chairs

    Fuzzy Chairs

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    Plush and furry seating adds some whimsical warmth to the store's monochromatic palette. View larger

    Fuzzy Chairs
  • staircase

    Staircase Retained

    /Portals/3/images/online/0813/I_0813_Lagerfeld10.jpg

    Designers injected a dash of French flair by juxtaposing a variety of modern and classic elements, such as glass displays and the wood staircase. View larger

    Staircase Retained
  • Karl Lagerfeld Storefront

    Storefront

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    Karl Lagerfeld Paris is located on the Left Bank’s prestigious and historic Boulevard Saint-Germain. View larger

    Storefront
  • Ground floor, Karl Lagerfeld Paris.

    Ground Floor Diagram

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    Ground floor, Karl Lagerfeld Paris. View larger

    Ground Floor Diagram
  • First floor, Karl Lagerfeld Paris.

    First Floor Diagram

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    First floor, Karl Lagerfeld Paris. View larger

    First Floor Diagram

People familiar with Karl Lagerfeld’s stark sense of style will have no trouble recognizing the inspiration for the fashion icon’s new Paris shop, located on the Left Bank’s prestigious and historic Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Designed by Berlin-based Plajer & Franz Studio in collaboration with NYC-based creative agency Laird+Partners, and Olaf Becker, Lagerfeld’s retail director, the two-level, 2,250-square-foot “concept” store is filled with a monochromatic palette, sleek surfaces and high-tech touches, referencing the minimal and modern aesthetic of both the clothing brand and the designer himself.

It's such a cohesive brand statement, in fact, that it’s hard to believe that the final format was not predetermined—but that too fits into the Lagerfeld narrative of inspired design. (“I design like I breathe. You don’t ask to breathe, it just happens,” reads a portion of his website, dubbed “Karlisms”.)

“We did not have an overall concept that we worked toward or a ‘defined’ result in our minds,” says Werner Franz, founder and CEO of Plajer & Franz Studio. “It was more of a searching for the ‘right’ thing, in which we would know when it was right.”

The final program was heavily driven by the building’s angular structure; its columns and dividing walls had to be creatively integrated into the space to avoid interrupting the shopping experience. But designers also found inspiration in classic features like the original staircase and wood paneling on the first floor, both of which were retained and restored.

“By deciding to restore them and add some modern elements, the dialogue between modern and classic has been reinforced,” Franz says. “Moreover, this interplay brought some French flair into the store via references to French architecture, neoclassicism and deliberate maintenance of the [existing elements].”

In order to fully represent the brand and the store’s inventory, special attention was given to the display areas. The spaces are intended to create what Franz calls “the juxtapositions”—matte versus glossy and soft versus hard—and reinforce the Lagerfeld’s modern attitude. Clear and black reflective surfaces contrast with matte materials like white GetaCore on the walls (a solid surface product out of Germany), leather seating and steel in the lighting channels. LED-illuminated strips are used throughout the store to create visual illusions and highlight products.

Tablets also make their requisite appearance at Karl Lagerfeld Paris, although the scale of implementation is notable. iPads mounted on the end of each clothing rack allow shoppers to electronically peruse look books, visit the Lagerfeld website and communicate with the designer via a digital guestbook; touchscreens in the fitting rooms allow customers to take pictures and upload them to their personal social media pages.

These touches create a place that’s about more than just shopping—they allow customers to connect more deeply with the brand and the legend himself. For Franz, that’s the ultimate goal. “It offers customers a real shopping experience—one that involves active interaction, one that allows for engagement with the brand and its values, and most importantly, one that remains unforgotten.”


CLIENT
Karl Lagerfeld Paris
194 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007
Paris, France
+33 1 42 22 74 99
www.karllagerfeld.com

STORE & CONCEPT DESIGN 
Plajer & Franz Studio
Erkelenzdamm 59-61, 10999
Berlin, Germany
+49 (0) 30 616 558 0
www.plajer-franz.de

Karl Lagerfeld Retail
www.karlagerfeld.com
Olaf Becker, retail director

Laird+Partners
475 Tenth Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10018
www.lairdandpartners.com

Shop Fitter
Vizona West
www.vizona.com

Lighting Consultant

Ansorg
www.ansorg.com

 

 

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