PARIS — Le Bon Marché has unveiled its revamped and expanded jewelry space after a yearlong renovation.
Located on the ground floor and catty-corner to major luxury brands, the 3,200-square-foot space is now home to some 17 brands, ranging from French staples such as Gas Bijoux to new signatures like Spanish brand Simuero.
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Simuero will be the first brand to inaugurate the new jewelry department’s central pop-up space, which is set under a circular gazebo that nods to Eiffel Tower-style metallic structures. There the brand will present its recycled-silver jewels handcrafted in the Mediterranean port city of Valencia.
“This space will serve as a platform to capitalize on the already-emotional facet of jewelry,” said Le Bon Marché’s fashion jewelry buyer Joanne El Choueiri, with personalization taking pride of place among the offerings in the space.
These will range from a charms bar with Aurélie Bidermann, to permanent jewelry by Atelier VM and Vanrycke, which will also offer engraving services. French label Medaï will be on hand to personalize gold-plated and silver medals, also available in gemstones or lab-grown diamond options.
According to El Choueiri, this larger space, up from its previous 2,150-square-foot incarnation, stemmed from a desire to create a large jewelry section that would become a point of attraction but also offer a tighter curation that would reflect consumers’ taste and habits, including digital native brands that will find there their first and sometimes sole physical retail outpost.
“We leaned toward less brands but make them partners with whom we develop exclusive designs and services,” she said. Keeping the selection affordable — in sync with the current 200-euro average basket, with prices that hover under 100 euros on average, peaking around 2,000 euros for fine jewelry — was equally important.
“And we are aiming not to gender the space, although there is a strong female-oriented component at present, we will be giving space for brands that resonate more and more with a male audience.”
To match the conversation-starter angle of these designs, the fashion jewelry department was redesigned “to give a more direct rapport with the jewels, with the materials, and creating a face-to-face with the client,” said the department store’s new projects development manager Thierry Doré.
Surrounding the center podium will be curving low chests of drawers, also continued along the walls set with glass cabinets. A table designed by French modernist designer Jacques Adnet, previously in the men’s department, was dressed with a new leather desk pad, while a midcentury cabinet was brought in and revamped to fit its new destination.
That embodies another key idea Le Bon Marché is already sold on: being more sustainable in the way it conceives its spaces and furnishes them, which had already guided the renovation of the sneaker department in 2021 and the bag section in 2022.
First, more than 50 percent of existing materials have been reused in the new space, including some 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring and 60 percent of the lighting. Then new materials include wood from sustainably managed forests and a reconstituted stone that can be broken apart and remade into fresh material, explained in-house interior designer Clara Blanchouin, who worked on the jewelry department with colleague Kevin Reynaud.
But that also means imagining how to take everything apart once the 10-year average duration for a set-up has passed, added Doré. To that end, mechanically assembled parts that avoid the use of glues, modular elements that can be customized and natural pigments were used.
“The day this space is old, elements are easier to dissociate, reused in parts but also discarded in cleaner ways if necessary,” he said.
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