Viktor & Rolf's first flagship boutique
is covered with grey felt


The interior of Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf's first flagship store in Paris has been covered in grey felt by French studio Architecture & Associés.

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

Architecture & Associés was asked to create an unobtrusive design for the duo's recently opened store on Rue Saint-Honoré, close to Paris' famous shopping square Place Vendôme.

"We said we would like a store that's invisible or a store that's hardly there because often we find store designs very intrusive and just too much," Viktor & Rolf co-founder Viktor Horsting told Dezeen.

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

Grey was chosen to line the interior as it provided a simple environment to showcase the duo's products and is also used in the set designs of the brand's catwalk shows.

"We wanted to create an environment where the clothes would really stand out," said Horsting. "Grey is a very good colour as a backdrop because it's very neutral. It's a total surreal experience because you're in an environment that's entirely made out of fabric, but at the same time it's something architectural. We like that surrealism."

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

The store houses men and women's ready-to-wear clothing, accessories such as bags and shoes, plus the brand's line of fragrances.

Neoclassical elements such as arched niches along the walls and a colonnade of arches running over the staircase create shadows to break up the monochrome.

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

Shelves for displaying products sit in the niches, some of which are illuminated with white light from behind similar to the ceiling panels.

The felt also muffles the sounds of browsing shoppers in an attempt to make the large 650-square-metre store feel more intimate.

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

"We wanted to emphasise the personal experience of shopping," Horsting said. "I have to say that it was a little bit of a guess. Of course we thought that the felt would change certain acoustics of the space but we couldn't really imagine it, so when we were there over the weekend we were glad to hear that the effect was as we had hoped."

"You're really by yourself even though it's a big space, and even though the architecture is rigorous and graphic, it's not imposing or too grand," he continued. "It's really an intimate place. It's quite beautiful."

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

The store opened last week to coincide with Viktor & Rolf's twentieth anniversary, which was also marked by the house's return to haute couture in July. The designers will show their Spring 2014 collection in January next year.

Read on for more information from the team behind the design:

The store will be on Rue Saint-Honoré, just a stone's throw from the Place Vendôme.

The miscellanea of the Viktor & Rolf world will all be available at the boutique: men and women's ready-to-wear, shoes, the iconic "Bombette" line of bags and leather goods, glasses, accessories and of course, the line of fragrances.

Driven by a taste for the paradoxical, the designers desired an eternal environment for their ever-changing collections, in their own words: "a striking world where every and anybody's desires or fantasies can be borne upon what we do".

Viktor & Rolf flagship store in Paris by Architecture and Associes

The innovative design, conceived by Pierre Beucler and Jean-Christophe Poggioli of Architecture & Associés, combines the palatial grandeur of Renaissance Italy with the classicism of the French tradition for a startlingly avant-garde universe.

The spirit of unorthodox innovation that has always driven Viktor & Rolf, whose work has often been characterised by its subtle exploration of scale and shadow, inspired the architects towards a spectral architecture crafted entirely of grey felt. This single-material strategy makes for a phantasmagorical space of shifting apparitions where the uniform surface of the walls, floors and furniture, as a kind of all-enveloping interior skin, creates the effect of complete unity.

  • Tie

    I’m sorry but this interior screams child playroom and not a luxury brand, poorly done.

    • patient

      Define what a “luxury brand” aesthetic is.

    • K.

      I totally agree. The brand’s great set design for catwalk has zero reflection on this.

    • maarten

      You must have had a wonderful childhood.

  • Logan Hendricks

    I dislike this a lot. Feels super 80’s postmodern.

  • Adam

    The quietest store in the world?

  • BBB

    Well its’ flame retardant and must have great acoustics.

  • Muggins

    I really like this! It looks like concrete from a distance but the soft-touch up close would be really tactile and interesting.

  • S.M.

    On first reading the subject, admittedly I thought ‘yuk – felt’, but I must admit I quite like this interior. The grey felt works well alongside the geometric forms which frame the garments and project a different effect of light and shadow in the space.

    The architecture and clothing sit side by side – not overpowering each other. Classic and modern – Chic. I must say some additional branding would have been nice to see incorporated in the design.

  • Hermann Tringle

    Loving the “lazy-sketchup-model-turned-into-reality” aesthetics. With its simplistic extruded volumes and single texture/colour applied over the whole model.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Reminds me of a chipboard study model.

  • Steef

    It could have been interesting with a different light plan, and a different ceiling.

  • Marie Welch

    The headline of this piece is wrong, this is only their first flagship in Paris.

    V&R’s first ever flagship opened in Milan in 2005, Siebe Tettero’s so-called ‘upside down’ store. I know it closed in 2008 but the space was awesome and should at least be remembered by a site dedicated to design!