First Dover Street Market opens in Paris

To open her first Dover Street Market concept store in Paris – and eighth worldwide – Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and her husband Adrian Joffe have chosen the prestigious Hôtel de Coulanges in the Marais district. The soul of the Marquise de Sévigné, who once owned the hotel, is expected to hover over this place where fashion and art collide…

 

It will be the first Dover Street Market in Paris and the eighth worldwide.

 

The latest unit in this concept store – a happy mix of fashion and art – will open on May 24 in an exceptional mansion: the Hôtel de Coulanges. Located in the historic Marais district, at 35-37, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, this 17th-century building’s illustrious owner included the Marquise de Sévigné, queen of the epistolary style.

 

Launched twenty years ago in London, on the eponymous street, the Dover Street Market concept store has since spread to many fashion-conscious megalopolises (New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore…).

 

First steps in Paris

 

Its founders, Rei Kawakubo, the Japanese designer of the Comme des Garçons label, and her husband Adrian Joffe, had already conducted several experiments in the French capital, including the opening in 2019 of a boutique dedicated to Beauty (perfumes, skincare and make-up….).

 

 

Three years ago, the couple had also set up 3537, a cultural and creative center and the Rose Bakery café, at the Hôtel de Coulanges. The space has undergone a complete makeover. Dover Street Market now occupies 1100 m2 on the first floor, the second floor and one of the building’s three basements. The other two basements will host the “artistic, literary, musical and community events” dear to the concept.

 

In the future, the company also plans to “invite artists to invade the store itself with exhibitions and their points of view, all in the creative spirit of the now-defunct Association 3537, which has occupied the building for the past three years”.

 

Disruption and intense effervescence

 

Finally, the DSMP Brand Development division, which develops and distributes some fifteen young brands, will be in full swing on the upper floors (second to fourth) of the mansion…

 

From the outset, Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe have never locked themselves into a model, cultivating a DNA of disruption and intense effervescence. And while it perpetuates the Dover Street Market brand, the new Parisian unit breaks with the principle of concessions previously granted to brands.

 

In what Adrian Joffe describes as “beautiful chaos”, a succession of rooms framed by sinuous white walls, forming a virtual labyrinth, will feature some fifty brands, “continually changing”. This curation brings together both established luxury brands and emerging designers.

 

Established houses and emerging designers

 

For the inauguration, lovers of fashion and art experiences will be able to discover, on futuristic displays, names such as luxury labels Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Prada, designers Jacquemus, Simone Rocha, Rick Owens, Walter Van Beirendonck… In addition to Comme des Garçons, Japanese Maisons (Junya Watanabe, Noir Kei Ninomiya, Undercover, Sacai…) will also be present.

 

In terms of new labels, Alain Paul, Pauline Dujancourt, Graig Green, Elena Dawson, Hed Mayner, Hodakova, Paul Harnden, Chopova Lowena, Duran Lantink, Indépendantes de Coeur, Johanna Parv, Ponte, etc. are announced, with a number of exclusives for the French market. Finally, collections have been created for DSMP by designers such as Matty Bovan and Charles Jeffrey.

 

To accompany the silhouettes, a wide range of popular and cutting-edge sneaker brands (Adidas, Nike, Asics, Hoka, Salomon, Converse, New Balance, Reebok, Phileo, Vans…) will be on offer.

 

Invisible from the outside

 

But to enjoy this immersive experience, you won’t have to rely on the appearance of the Hôtel de Coulanges itself and go beyond its door. From the street, no garments will be visible.

 

However, the installations designed by photographer Paolo Roversi, a long-standing collaborator of Comme des Garçons, will show us, as we cross the courtyard, that the place has not been transformed into a museum designed to perpetuate the memory of the famous author…but into a living place to encounter the latest trends in the fashion and arty spheres!

 



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Featured Photo: © DSMP Brand Development

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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