Dover Street Market Unveils Paris Flagship

Dover Street Market is officially heading to Paris. Joining its exclusive fragrance space, which has sat on rue Elzevir since 2019, Rei Kawakubo’s multi-brand concept store, which stocks all labels under the Comme des Garçons umbrella (Junya Watanabe, Noir Kei Ninomiya, etc) as well as contemporary favourites like Martine Rose and Simone Rocha, will occupy a 1100 sq m space in the 17th-century Hôtel de Coulanges. Located about 180m from Dover Street Parfum Market and constructed between 1627 and 1634, the space holds historical significance having previously been inhabited by Madame de Sevigné, a prominent historic figure in French literature.

Opening May 24, the eighth, and smallest, brick-and-mortar Dover Street Market store will be located in Paris’s Marais district around a courtyard set back from the road (rue des Francs-Bourgeois) and has been entirely designed by Kawakubo herself. Occupying the ground and first floors, as well as one of three basements that lie under the hotel, no clothes will be visible from the outside and there will be a distinct absence of dedicated brand concessions marking a stark departure from the ordonnence of existing DSM outposts. In fact, the products will be dispersed, regardless of label or category, signalling a radical approach to the store’s already unconventional retail strategy. Also home to the Rose Bakery café, the other two basements will be reserved for art and community events, while the upper floors will be occupied by Dover Street Market’s brand development team (DSMP). The first guest pop-up will be by Matty Bovan, who intends to recreate his apartment and design exclusive pieces. Intending to represent the spontaneity and “beautiful chaos” motto embodied by DSM, the space aims to foster a sense of curiosity, fluidity and creativity. 

Working with luxury retail pioneers Adrian Joffe, co-founder and president of Dover Street Market, and Carla Sozzani, a former editor and gallerist and the founder of 10 Corso Como, Kawakubo’s focus was inviting a mood of discovery to the space and manufacturing a place to explore and experiment. As such, the building has remained virtually untouched, honing in on its raw and brutalist design. Curving, labyrinthine displays that resemble space-ships, according to Joffe, cut through the rooms and clothing displays.

A particular focus for DSM Paris will be working with smaller, and most independent creative thinkers. This includes four of this year’s LVMH finalistsDuran Lantink, Hodakova, Niccolò Pasqualetti and Pauline Dujancourt – as well as emerging names like Chopova LowenaThere will also be special collections specifically curated for the new Paris store, including By Matty Bovan for DSMP, Beni by Jah Jah Studio, Charles Jeffrey by Kawakubo.

To celebrate the monumental opening, DSM Paris will host an exhibition by Paolo Roversi, who has been shooting Comme des Garçons for 40 years. Roversi’s blown-up imagery will be plastered on the courtyard’s over four metre high pillars en plein air, as well as within the historic building for perusal.

Discover Dover Street Market Paris here.

Photography courtesy of Dover Street Market. Dover Street Market Paris is located at 35-37, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 75004, and opens on Friday, May 24, 2024.

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