At 390 Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris visitors go up inside a residential building to discover the special projects and new collection of Birkenstock 1774. This is where the pioneering company in world of orthopedic footwear, now an iconic fashion brand, has chosen to open its new showroom. In a fascinating apartment of 170 m2 in the Haussmann style, Nick Vinson of Vinson& Co has honed all the details of an elegant interior design, searching Europe for furnishings, decorations, vintage and new items, in a palette of warm colors and materials that go well with the wall paneling, the stone fireplaces and the continuous wood floors.
The easy feel of the company’s insoles is replicated in an immediately comfortable space that leaves visitors free to discover the latest models, as if they were moving around in their own home. The products might be found on the Lungangolo bookcase by Achille Castiglioni, on a folding trolley in oak and glass from the 1940s, the Tri-Angle stools by Aldo Bakker or the Cleft Oak benches by Simon Hasan. Or amidst the Roly-Poly chairs by Toogood in colored raw fiberglass, next to chairs by Pierre Jeanneret from 1954 made by hand in Chandigarh, India. Perfectly arranged in the space, there are also functional and flexible oak tables by Philipp Mainzer, matched with Cab chairs designed by Mario Bellini in 1978, with a lived-in look conveyed by the tanned leather, together with the Medea chairs of the 1950s in plywood by Vittorio Nobili and other chairs by Charles & Ray Eames with soft, worn upholstery, in the executive offices.
For the accessories, Vinson has chosen mats in straw fiber cultivated and woven in the United Kingdom; pottery designed in the 1940s and 1950s by the Swiss ceramist Margit Linck; boiled leather vases by Simon Hasan and lights by Carl Auböck and J.T Kalmar from the 1950s. Finally, to underscore the liaison with the mother company, a series of artistic panels in jute and felt, commissioned for the occasion from the London-based embroiderer Geraldine Larkin, suggest the insoles and uppers of Birkenstock footwear. Works of art that are joined by important lithographs by Hans Hartung and Edoardo Chillida. Ceramics by Anaphi, trays by Michaël Verheyden and objects for the table by John Pawson, Wrap vases by Simon Hasan and Pride cutlery by David Mellor complete the range of accessories.