To mark the opening of the Parisian flagship, our friend Gérard Blaise had created a silk crepe square. His design depicting the arcades and the wrought iron railings, captured the magnificent sunlight of the Palais Royal; available in many colors, it was a glamorous snapshot of our storefront. He will remain in our hearts forever.
Gerard Blaise, designer
A serene haven,
Epice opened its Parisian flagship store in the prestigious Palais Royal Garden, a trendy location to enjoy leisurely strolls away from the noise of the city. Under the historic arcades, the Valois and Montpensier galleries house some of Paris’ most exclusive shops, breathing life to a quiet area well-known for an ultimate shopping experience or a casual coffee break.
Inaugurated on October 2, 2010, the Epice flagship conveys a lifestyle reflective of our brand. The light-filled and open-plan layout is sustainably furnished with exquisite custom built wood furniture. In this crisp, clean, retail space designed to bring a sense of comfort, the attention to detail is mesmerizing. The stylish shawls and bags create whimsical, colorful spots contrasting with a monochromatic background consisting of gray, white and wood.
The neat store display arranged by colors and patterns is changed several times a week to fit the current season or the local daily forecast, explains Zora, who has carte blanche to showcase the collections.
A workshop atmosphere in the Palais Royal Garden
The store was designed by architect Philippe Duprat, with a minimalist approach inspired by Shaker style. Every corner of space is cleverly used while all the furniture and accessories are purposeful. Left behind by the former owner, is the door handle customized with an Egyptian scarab with its own purpose: it is a clue for the treasure hunts organized around the Palais Royal.
Behind two large draper's tables custom-made by Parisian cabinetmaker Patrick Maurel, the stoles are stored in sixty gray cardboard boxes. Those are lined-up on a large, elegant, and practical furniture designed by the architect of the project, Philippe Duprat. He had envisioned a sturdy yet airy wooden structure, reminiscent of an aviary, to bring depth and transparency to the framework. The boxes were custom-made by a Danish craftsman. They do not fill their compartment entirely and were specifically designed to let the light pass around them and let the furniture breathe. The patinated wooden structure was designed by the architect and custom-built by Mr. Maurel.
With a friendly atmosphere and plenty of natural daylight, the store is a glimpse of Scandinavian charm. The architect sought to deliver a functional and authentic space, conceived as a workplace prioritizing the essential. It was meant to be serene, not intimidating, naturally blending with the peaceful Palais-Royal Garden.
Long wooden peg rails optimize the space and allows a smooth flow of traffic in a decluttered room. Shawls and small removable ladders holding long unfolded stoles hung on the peg racks. The straight wooden staircase leads to a storage room and the space beneath the staircase provides a storage solution where our grey boxes can blend gracefully into the background.
A style and popular expression
The term “Scandinavian Design” became widely popular during the Design in Scandinavia exhibition that traveled the USA and Canada from 1954 to 1957. Proposed by the American magazine House Beautiful, this touring exhibition invited people to enjoy a new way of life. The design show promoted elegant, simple, and functional designs by presenting 700 objects from the 4 Nordic countries, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.
This minimalist and pragmatic approach to interior design was based on creating a perfect balance between function, shape, and aestheticism of everyday items, all finely handcrafted by master craftsmen.
In Copenhagen, the first exhibition of the Cabinetmakers in 1927 promoted the works of this old-fashioned guild. Ready to revamp their trade with a new style of furniture, a few master cabinetmakers decided to cooperate with the students of Kaare Klint, architect and pioneer of modern Danish design.
They set up a contest as an addition to their annual exhibit, exhorting architects, and designers to develop new designs for custom cabinetry.
They laid the groundwork for the symbiosis between craftsmanship and design, a strong bond that paved the way to the Golden Age of Danish design.
Designers who were formerly trained as cabinetmakers developed longstanding partnerships with cabinetmakers’ workshops to produce their masterpieces: Kaare Klint and Rudolph Rasmussen (Safari Chair) Hans Wegner and Johannes Hansen (Round Chair) Finn Juhl and Niels Vodder (Chieftain Chair)