Paris Postcard: Hermès

It is Friday already and time for a weekly Paris Postcard. Or perhaps even two today, because the second one is linked to the first.... 

Lutetia was the ancient name for Paris in pre-Roman and Gallo-Roman times. (All very old knowledge if you are an Asterix fan!! Or so my brother tells me.)

Today one of the best known hotels on the left bank is Hotel Lutetia, one of the first ever Art Deco building in Paris, built in 1910.

In the world of luxury brands, there are some names that seem to transcend others; call it über-luxury, if you want. One of the ways in which a brand puts a stake in the ground as being ‘more equal than the rest’ is through its retail spaces. A glass fronted display case in every airport duty free won’t do, oh no. Think Louis Vuitton’s new artificial island in Singapore. Or, a little more understated perhaps, the following…

In the 1930’s the Hotel Lutetia’s swimming pool served as home base for one of Paris’ oldest swimming clubs. It was a place to see and be seen. And it seems nothing has changed in that regard.

In 2005 the pool was classified as a historical monument in Paris, meaning very strict guidelines if you want to renovate the building. And who better than – probably – the most luxurious of all the luxury brands, Hermès, to create a showroom for their products in a space that brings back the 1930’s glorious architecture. The original structure, with its mosaic tiling and wrought ironwork has been preserved, creating an old ambience but made modern with the use of three gigantic woven ash wood huts. The 9m high pod like structures are just a beautiful and perfect home for the new range of Hermès home furnishings.

The rest of the store also houses a beautiful flowershop, a bookstore and tearoom, and all the 
Hermès products, making this probably the chicest of all the luxury brand stores around the world.

Image credit: Nani Kornelius & Neel Potgieter

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