Le Bon Marché Turns 170 in a Burst of Orange
ORANGE YOU GLAD: Le Bon Marché is celebrating its 170th anniversary with a burst of color, unleashing its signature orange color throughout the store in playful pop-ups filled with exclusive limited-edition products.
Visitors entering the Paris department store are greeted by an orange Mini Moke electric car with black seats, although with a price tag of 29,900 euros, it can be customized in any color. Further along is a ping pong table by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek that will set you back just over 15,000 euros, though customers have been enjoying the odd game on it for free.
Indeed, it seems the bright Pop Art-style sets, designed by street artists Toqué Frères, lifted spirits the moment the temporary space opened to the public on Saturday.
“There was a great mood in the store. Customers were smiling and I think that everyone suddenly wanted to be around the color orange. That vitamin D connotation really gives everyone a lift,” Jennifer Cuvillier, style director at Le Bon Marché, said on a guided tour of the exhibition, which runs until Oct. 16.
The retailer, owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has extended the spirit of celebration throughout the store, with a banquet table featuring colorful tableware designs by brands including Caroline de Benoist, Popolo, Willemien Bardawil and Fragonard.
“The scene here after the opening on Saturday was nuts,” said Cuvillier. “We even heard a man telling his wife, ‘Honey, we’re going to have to move apartments because we need a bigger table.’”
Animations include a La Fabrique a Popcorn stand and a coffee bar run by Le Café Nuances; a second-floor games space featuring a maze and a tombola; a Kure Bazaar nail art bar, a Kevin Murphy hairstyling station, and a makeup bar featuring a rotation of brands including La Bouche Rouge, By Terry and Bobbi Brown.
But the highlight no doubt will be the weekly immersive theater performance staged across the store on Friday and Saturday nights from Sept. 2 through Dec. 30. Some 30 actors will recreate the story of founders Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut, which famously helped to inspire French author Émile Zola’s 19th century novel “Au Bonheur des Dames.”
Tickets for the two-hour performance can be booked on lebonmarche.com and partner ticketing platforms.