The heart of many a bookworm will go aflutter at the sight of Sonia Rykiel’s upgraded Parisian flagship. More than 50,000 books fill the store’s floor-to-ceiling bookcases, among which an impressive selection of classics from the French canon. The city’s 6th arrondissement, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, was once the creative hotbed of Paris, where philosophers and writers met in the many literary cafés that dotted the area. Eventually, however, the neighbourhood fell victim to the digital era, experiencing a marked decline in niche bookshops.
Julie de Libran, Sonia Rykiel’s new artistic director, collaborated with director and publisher Thomas Lenthal and artist André Saraïva to bring literature back to Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Despite the plethora of antiquated publications, the boutique-cum-library feels fresh and feminine. Interrupting the serenity of the entrance level is the blood-red sheen of a mezzanine that gives a feisty flavour to the world of women. The carpet, designed by Saraïva and used as a catwalk for Rykiel’s A/W 2015 collection, sports a motif of lips, books, pencils and cigarettes. With only a limited amount of space to work with, De Libran conjured an intimate setting that reflects both the brainy and brazen sides of today’s elegant Parisienne.
Photography: Luc Boegly