After an 18-month renovation, Hermès is reopening its Beverly Hills store on Sept. 4.
Located at 434 N. Rodeo Drive, the store will be recognizable by its distinctive white marble, ice cube tray-like facade, which should fit in nicely with the neighboring retail edifices along the luxury shopping strip, including Chanel's modern-looking, Peter Marino-designed boutique inspired by a Chanel No. 5 perfume box.
Designed by Paris-based RDAI (Rena Dumas Architecture Interieure), which is responsible for all of the Hermès boutiques, the interior has several interesting-sounding design features, including a white marble spiral staircase in the atrium that leads to "a roofless roof" made possible by a "membrane air cushion, which sits invisibly over the circular opening," according to press materials.
Sounds very James Turrell.
More futuristic than classical, the spirit of the new, 12,000 square foot Beverly Hills flagship seems akin to the dazzling Hermès store that opened in 2010 in Paris' Saint-Germain-des-Pres. That store sits on the spot of a historic Art Deco swimming pool, has sculptural, nest-like wood structures throughout, and even sells fresh flowers next to crocodile Birkin bags, just to keep things interesting.
Hermès began in 1837 as a harness-making workshop in Paris, and has since grown into a global luxury brand selling leather goods, watches, jewelry, ready-to-wear clothing, China, crystal, home accessories, perfume and more.
Even before the original Rodeo Drive boutique opened in 1972, Hermès already had a Hollywood following, having outfitted movie star cowboy Tom Mix's horse, made Alfred Hitchcock's swim trunks and created a custom bag, the "Marlene," for Marlene Dietrich.
To commemorate the opening, Hermès has created a limited edition collection of special items including a luxe blue leather basketball (paging Kobe) and swimming pool-inspired silk scarves, both of which nod to the luxury brand's design theme for 2013: A Sporting Life.