Rei Kawakubo creates Parisian beauty store Dover Street Parfums Market

High-end fashion department store Dover Street Market has opened a beauty-focused branch at the heart of Paris, where products are displayed inside towering textured columns.

Located just a few minutes walk from Paris’ Musée Picasso, Dover Street Parfums Market is solely dedicated to selling perfumes, make-up and grooming products.

Dover Street Parfums Market, Paris, designed by Rei Kawakubo

This marks a change from the existing Dover Street Market stores, which only sell fashion collections and accessories.

The interior of the Paris location, like the other branches, was developed by fashion designer Rei Kawakubo – founder of Dover Street Market and clothing label Comme des Garçons (CDG).

Dover Street Parfums Market, Paris, designed by Rei Kawakubo

“We wanted to expand our CDG perfume shop, then we found this space in the Marais,” explained Adrian Joffe, president of Dover Street Market and Kawakubo’s husband.

“We thought it was too big for just CDG perfume…and then we hit upon the idea of Dover Street Parfum Market,” he continued.

“A lot of what we do at CDG and Dover Street Market is the result of accidents and fortuitousness, right place and right timing ideas.”

Dover Street Parfums Market, Paris, designed by Rei Kawakubo

Omitting any decorative backdrops or distracting colours, Kawakubo has left the white-painted surfaces throughout the store completely plain.

Interest is provided by a series of columns that interrupt the space, rising from the floor to just beneath the ceiling. Some of the chunkier columns are clad in clean white tiles or feature protruding bumps, while others have a glittery silver coating or are covered with patches of woven material.

Dover Street Parfums Market, Paris, designed by Rei Kawakubo

Egg-shaped or rectangular niches have been punctuated into each pillar, where products are displayed on rows of shelves.

Extra shelving cupboards with flecked, stone-like blue doors have also been integrated into the walls.

Dover Street Parfums Market, Paris, designed by Rei Kawakubo

A couple of walls at the rear of the store have been pasted with images of different people’s tattoos. This area will be used to present the body art kit that Kawakubo has recently created in collaboration with make-up brand MAC.

Seemingly random items like mannequin heads with brightly-dyed hair and tasselled chairs have also been dotted throughout.

Dover Street Parfums Market, Paris, designed by Rei Kawakubo

Kawakubo and Joffe opened the first Dover Street Market in London back in 2004. Since then the pair have gone on to open an additional five branches across the globe, including one in Singapore which is set inside former army barracks and another in LA where garments are displayed amongst art installations.

Dezeen interviewed Kawakubo in July of this year. The designer talked through how she set up Comme des Garçons and revealed that her creative process relies largely on “words and imagination” rather than sketching.

Photography is by David Foessel.

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