L'Elaireur - the shop as designed as its merchandise / by Ginevra Held

L'Elaireur entered my zeitgeist surreptitiously this summer.  First, I was looking for a place to buy Fornasetti in Paris.  As you may have gleaned I am officially obsessed and enamored by all things Fornasetti. So I looked up where to buy it in Paris.  The Fornassetti website lists four stores in different parts of Paris where you can buy Fornasetti, all four were named L'Eclaireur.  Okay.  Random.  I thought it a little odd, that there is essentially a boutique chain and this is the only place in Paris, the city that has everything, that sells Fornasetti.  I forgot about it for a bit until my Mom nonchalalently asked me if I had heard of a store called L'Eclaireur.  Um, yea, why? Turns out the random book that I had randomly been given and then randomly handed off to my dear Mum because I had no intention of reading it, mentioned this store. (incidently it was called A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable, its now on my list to read - thanks Mom.)  This is how you learn things people.  You look things up, don't understand them, forget about them, then your Mom mentions them, and you have to figure it out.  So when we went to Paris L'Eclaireur was officially on the schedule.  I chose the one that described itself as devoted to the "monde" of Fornasetti, near Rue St Honore where all the upmarket super bouge stores are.  Meanwhile, we went to the Musee Carnavalet, and there on the same street was another L'Eclaireur. This one seemed like a little storefront until we were very kindly invited to take a look at the rest of the store.  My word did that place open up! It was an enormous awesomely designed interior.  We engaged one of the sales ladies who told us it was designed by the Belgian artist Arne Quinze, a Belgian artist who is known for work at Burning Man among other things.  The walls are all reclaimed materials, wood, cardboard, metal etc glued together and painted in grey car paint.  Niches were carved out for the designer bags and shoes, as well as video screens. Where the clothes were hanging got even more interesting because the woman showed us that each sort of cubby for different designer clothes was mechanised to to rotate back and be hidden by this Arne Quinze awesomeness.  The conceit was that when you walk into the store everything is hidden, then as you begin to interact with the salesperson who perhaps thinks you need a Balmain jacket to go with your Maison Margiela skirt, she will open up the designer niches revealing to you these gorgeous clothes hidden behing reclaimed recycled shiny grey walls.

Bottom line: L’Elaireur is a high end designer men’s and women’s shop featuring top well known designer brands as well as lesser known ones all housed in gorgeously designed stores. www.lecaireur.com

The two I visited were: Marais - Sevigne (Arne Quinze) and Boissy d'Anglas (monde of Fornasetti)  --There are 7 total in Paris, the sales lady recommended two others one of which is like a secret garden.