Delvaux unveils museum-meets-store Brussels flagship
Leather goods sit alongside works of art at Delvaux’s new flagship store, Le 27, on Brussels’ Boulevard de Waterloo. Housed inside a grand townhouse, the store functions not only as a showcase for the Belgian leather brand’s collections, but also furniture and artworks from the 20th century to present day.
The museum-meets-store concept was conceived by Italian studio Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, who have worked on the Belgian leather brand’s stores since 2012, completing boutiques in Paris, London, Shanghai, Tokyo and Dubai.
‘Delvaux is the oldest luxury leather goods house in the world, founded nearly in the same period as when this building was built,’ explained the architects, who took care to preserve the Le 27 house’s original features. ‘They share the same elegance and attitude. The historical allure of the building has played an essential role to give us the opportunity to explore new languages between classic and modern.’
The space provided a spectacular canvas with its four-metre-high ceilings, grand staircase, elaborate mouldings, frescoes and art deco skylight.
On top of this, Vudafieri-Saverino Partners used fixtures and fittings to bring a contemporary edge. The grid-like wall displays, they explain, are conceived as abstract paintings whose design is a tribute to Mondrian’s De Stijl artistic movement.
Furniture by 20th-century masters such as Jules Wabbes, Pieter de Bruyne, Renaat Braem, Emiel Veranneman pepper the space while an entire room is dedicated to pieces by contemporary Belgian designers such as Nathalie Dewez, Alain Berteau and Ben Storms.
Displayed between the ground and the first floor are a series of archival pigment prints by the Argentine artist Romina Ressia, and a collection of 20th-century Belgian pottery is displayed across walls and surfaces.
‘Designing a retail concept for a fashion brand is all about capturing its identity and values, and transferring it into a space concept, into colours, materials, volumes,’ reflect the designers.
‘Delvaux asked us to forge their first visual retail identity and then to evolve it according to the cultural reference of each space, town or country in which they opened a new boutique. Therefore we have to be even more careful and focused on those inner, core values, maintaining them while we change our visual language to incorporate a whole series of cultural references from different sources, aiming to make each shop a unique experience, new and memorable at same time.’ §