by John Russel Jones

A few weeks ago, while on the Madison Avenue Style Tour, I had the pleasure of spending some time in the Isabel Marant store on Madison and 61st Street. I have to be honest, although I was certainly aware of the designer’s name, I was not super familiar with her oeuvre, and kind of had the brand shoved under the “knitwear” column, without giving it much more thought. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised! The menswear collection’s oversized sillhouettes, luxurious fabrications, and streetwear vibe was refreshing, young, and modern. (The store’s team — like everyone on the tour — also couldn’t have been more fun and hospitable).

That’s why I was excited to see that the designer is opening a menswear-focused store in Paris at 1 rue Jacob in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés. The 60 square meters (around 645 square feet) two floor space is inspired by the 1970s, with a retro pop aesthetic. The space echoes the recording studios of the ’70s with pyramid-shaped reliefs on the walls, reminiscent of a recording booth’s insulation, rendered here in textured concrete. Fitting rooms and metal shelves are dressed in natural fabrics to contrast with the industrial atmosphere. The shop is just across the street from the new Isabel Marant women’s store on rue de Seine.

In 2017, the designer decided it was only natural to bring out a menswear line: “I’ve been borrowing clothes from your wardrobe for so long, that it’s a fair return to give back to you what is yours,” says Marant. The designer, who opened her first boutique in Paris in the late nineties, now has 67 stores worldwide. This new Paris store will exclusively stock the Isabel Marant Menswear collection.

ALL IMAGES: Manon Riff Sbrugnera