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Behind the scenes

Six little secrets hiding behind the tarp on 404 rue Saint-Honoré

Tourists and locals alike can’t help but notice the huge tarp covering the building, nor can they resist finding out what’s underneath. Six well-kept secrets revealed.

12 April 2016   | 

A facelift for the legendary store

The brand’s legacy, spirit and DNA are rolled into one location just a few steps from Place de la Concorde: the iconic Longchamp store. Situated on the glamorous rue Saint-Honoré, the sales floor at “404” has been undergoing a renovation and expansion, a clear metaphor for Longchamp’s identity and growth.

Seeking to amaze

An impressive project and an impressive redesign. True to its quest to amaze and delight, Longchamp chose a tarp several meters high designed by an unsurpassed artist that completely covers the building and conceals the works during construction.

A likely encounter 

It happened 10 years ago in New York when Longchamp CEO and the founder’s grandson Jean Cassegrain met Ryan McGinness. It was love at first sight. It was a meeting of two men and two cities: Paris for the former and New York for the latter. The common denominator was mutual enthusiasm and creativity. In the fall of 2015, Jean Cassegrain invited Ryan McGinness to hop on the bandwagon and the reply was an immediate “Yes!”

A groundbreaking artist 

Vogue Magazine describes Ryan McGinness as “a leading pioneer of the new semiotics.” The New York Times said “In the past decade, McGinness has become an art star, thanks to his Warholian mix of pop iconography and silk-screening.” After all, Ryan McGinness did work at the Andy Warhol Museum for a spell as assistant curator. Coming from such lofty influences, the artist is crafting a unique world of his own where company logos, the graphic lingo of public signs and modern symbolism give rise to a seminal and amazing body of art.

A large-scale art project

For many months now, Ryan McGinness has been working backstage, drawing, scribbling, digging, researching, studying and filling notebooks. He has been seeking the best solution to this artistic challenge by creating an overall look for the store in his own image. He settled on a masterful fractured design where black frames outline images popping with color, and fluorescent pearly materials conspire to form an almost hypnotic mosaic.

Perfect balance

Much more than time standing still, this collaboration during the transition into the new 404 era marks one of the most quintessential Longchamp traditions. Behind the magnificent tarp created by a contemporary artist, partners drawing from age-old inspirations are working to restore the facade of a historical monument. Innovation meets expert craftsmanship, a coming together of the two worlds of McGinness and Longchamp driven by the palpable vibrancy of the artist’s work, much like the galloping rider on our logo.

 

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