EXCLUSIVE: Bottega Veneta Built a Walnut, Spaceship-like Boutique in Paris

“Between an Italian modernist, domestic interior and the futuristic essence of a spaceship” is how Matthieu Blazy describes the Bottega Veneta boutique at 12 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, where walnut walls and fixtures meet industrial glass-block floors and ceilings reminiscent of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The revamped and expanded unit is the first envisioned by Blazy since he succeeded Daniel Lee as creative director of the Kering-owned brand late in 2021.

Already open to the public, the boutique carries all product categories, with the men’s universe showcased on a new upper floor that expanded the location to more than 8,000 square feet versus 5,000 square feet previously.

It’s a tactile boutique with multiple moods. Customers alight on a wide, shallow room devoted largely to leather goods, and can either follow a coiling, wooden staircase on the right up to the men’s department, or traverse a narrow, winding hallway that yields to a series of grand salons.

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A coiling staircase leads up to the men’s department.

Courtesy of François Halard/Bottega Veneta

That corridor, dotted with jutting display cases for jewelry and exceptional handbags with handblown glass sardine handles, feels very much like a gangway blending features of a luxury cruise liner with the Starship Enterprise.

“There are different experiences of space within the store: a sense of expanse and discovery on the shop floor alongside the hushed, secluded areas of the fitting rooms and jewelry gallery,” Blazy explained. “I wanted to express both the possibilities and the intimacy of getting dressed.”

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A passageway displays jewelry and exceptional bags, leading to the ready-to-wear salons.

Courtesy of François Halard/Bottega Veneta

The designer said he sought to convey “the sensory quality of our collections” by concentrating on vivid materials — mainly wood, glass and leather — and elements done in collaboration with Venetian glass artist Ritsue Mishima. These include the one-of-a-kind glass door handles at the entrance way.

Blazy also conscripted Italian furniture designer Mario Bellini to design low-slung sofas, all upholstered in Bottega Veneta leather, and Milanese ceramic studio Saffi for large-scale vessels housing striking floral arrangements.

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Low-slung furniture in Bottega Veneta leather is dotted throughout the store.

Courtesy of François Halard/Bottega Veneta

The layout centers on a luminous, open-plan retail space, interspersed with seating areas, and discreet and intimate VIP and dressing rooms.

Walnut fixtures, pieced together like puzzles, recall the brand’s signature signature Intrecciato woven leather technique, while modular shelving units mounted with Meccano-like parts add a playful touch. Brass hooks and handles throughout the store echo the shape of Blazy’s popular Drop earrings.

The store is fully stocked with Blazy’s fall 2023 collection, with an emphasis on runway looks. It also offers an in-store personalization service for select leather goods.

Bottega has occupied the space at No. 12 since 2006 and commenced renovation and expansion works last January.

The Italian luxury brand also has a freestanding boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, plus shops-in-shop at Le Bon Marché, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

Foreshadowing the new concept, Bottega opened a boutique in Saint-Tropez last April with some “introductory elements of the new concept.”

The next one with the full Blazy interior concept is slated for completion in the first half of 2024 in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

The brand counts 279 directly operated stores in the world. Bottega Veneta recorded revenues of 833 million euros in the first half of 2023, up 2 percent at constant exchange rates.

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Bottega Veneta has been located at 12 Avenue Montaigne since 2006.

Courtesy of François Halard/Bottega Veneta

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