Shoe designer Christian Louboutin decided to extend his 20-year obsession with scarlet soles and therewith his empire into the world of beauty, starting with nail polishes. So it does not come as a surprise that he is finally opening his very first Beauty Boutique. In Paris, of course. Designed by Pierre Yovanovitch.
The red sole Maestro wanted his first beauty boutique to link back to those early days of his impeccable career, both in location and in look. That meant staying in the Galerie Véro-Dodat, the slightly shabby, yet ornate 19th-century covered passage in Paris, where he opened his original store in the early 1990s, as well as recreating that shop’s intimate, jewel-box ambiance.
Until he finally found the perfect space. A tiny shop that had served as the headquarters for a gemstone hunter. Christian Louboutin had long admired the work of the Paris-based interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch (who has previously worked with Hermès and the Hôtel Marignan Paris). “In Pierre’s work, there are very few details — it’s clean,” he says. “I’m used to baroque spaces with lots of objects. When I look at one of his spaces, I wonder, like a child, ‘Why do I find a space so beautiful with so little?’ Pierre is a master of that.”
Louboutin showed Yovanovitch the nail-polish bottle shape he had designed, with a bottom of thick glass cut like a multifaceted jewel and a soaring black spear top inspired by calligraphy brushes. Yovanovitch ran with it: When you enter the new boutique, it is as if you have stepped into the flacon. Imagine a minimalist version of the “I Dream of Jeannie” bottle. The front room is curved, lined with Louboutin’s signature arched niches, each containing a bottle of polish, and lit with a rotating rainbow of light, emphasizing the polish hues, including a sole-matching Rouge Louboutin. The ceiling is open, like a skylight, revealing on the second floor’s white plaster plafond a video projection of the Paris sky — “like a James Turrell work,” Pierre Yovanovitch explains.
[All images were shot by and are courtesy of Benoît Peverelli. The original version of this article appeared in print on 02/15/2015, on page M2182 of the T Magazine // NewYork edition, with the headline: “Louboutin Nails It”.]