Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 December 2019

Why Saint Laurent's Rive Droite is the coolest spot in Paris

The concept store is brimming with limited edition objects and oddities

Saint Laurent Rive Droite T-shirt. Courtesy Saint Laurent
Saint Laurent Rive Droite T-shirt. Courtesy Saint Laurent

In the 1960s, when Yves Saint Laurent decided to “democratise” his eponymous couture house, he launched Rive Gauche, a more affordable line housed in a boutique on the left bank of Paris’ River Seine. He was the first couturier to open a ready-to-wear boutique under his own name. “I had had enough of making dresses for jaded billionaires,” he famously declared.

In the same vein, this summer, Saint Laurent launched Rive Droite, a new retail destination and creative hub that is being described as an expansion of the Saint Laurent “DNA and universe” – a way to reach those who might not otherwise be familiar with the brand, in an inviting, intriguing, ever-evolving way.

I had had enough of making dresses for jaded billionaires

Yves Saint Laurent

The store is located at 213, Rue Saint Honoré 75001, Paris – in the same building that housed Colette, the cult concept store that for 20-plus years was the coolest spot in town. A favourite with everyone from Karl Lagerfeld to Madonna and Beyonce, Colette closed its doors in December 2017, leaving a void that Rive Droite is no doubt intending to fill. So far, so good. Rive Droite is brimming with limited edition objects and oddities. In addition to women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, it is home to a mini library, coffee counter, and music, art and photography collections.

Vintage YSL outfits sit alongside retro arcade machines by Neo Legend, wooden zebra-print cars, crystal-embellished dominoes and star-shaped lollipops. You’ll find everything from vintage boom boxes and silver straws, to skateboards covered in gold leaf and T-shirts signed by Kate Moss and long-time Saint Laurent muse, Anja Rubik (pictured above).

Rive Droite was entirely conceptualised by the brand’s current creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, who introduced a monochromatic colour palette that is entirely in keeping with the brand’s moody, edgy aesthetic. Marble floors and walls are interspersed with light wood accents and mid-century furniture, while provocative prints line the walls. There are plans to host exhibitions, concerts and artistic exchanges at the Paris venue, while a sister store has also opened in Los Angeles, at 469 Rodeo Drive.

Updated: September 12, 2019 05:37 PM

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