When Meryl Hadida Shabani moved to Los Angeles from Paris four years ago, she wondered how to import a unique extension of L’Eclaireur, the celebrated Paris retail brand her parents founded in 1980. “You can’t just copy and paste a concept to L.A.,” she said.
L’Eclaireur’s six avant-garde boutiques in France are mostly focused on fashion,“but always with elements of design.” This hybrid, interdisciplinary approach has been a cornerstone of her parents’ — Martine and Armand Hadida — creative philosophy. In West Hollywood, “we call it a ‘residence,’ in that there are no limits to this space,” Hadida Shabani said of the business’ first U.S. presence, which formally opened to the public Friday.
She began the two-year-long process of transforming the building on Robertson Boulevard, recognizable by its pared-down Beaux-Arts-style touches. It was formerly the ornate flagship of celebrity florist David Jones. “All our locations in Paris are very unique, and they have a history behind them, so we wanted something that has a soul.”
In this boom time for all things made locally, Hadida Shabani is instead harnessing her expertise to import limited-edition and vintage European crafts and arts, with some American creations mixed in. Work by New York and Connecticut-based sculptor John-Paul Philippe, famed ceramicist Aldo Londi (director of Bitossi Ceramiche in Florence, Italy), Belgian designers Pia Manu and Ado Chale and French sculptor Philippe Hiquily are displayed throughout the building’s first two stories. The Hadida family’s close relationship with iconic Italian maker Fornasetti is also evident from the extensive selection of ceramics, rugs and rare furniture pieces (including a cleverly discreet walk-in closet containing Fornasetti small goods).
The 2,000-square-foot top level, formerly Jones’ apartment, is offered as a “home away from home” for private gatherings, complete with a custom kitchen built by No Name Kitchen Manufacture, a Paris firm.
Since L’Eclaireur West Hollywood is not a conventional art gallery, antiques dealership or interior design shop, “we’ll see where it evolves,” Hadida Shabani said. “We give ourselves the freedom to present any interesting objects that we find.” L’Eclaireur is at 450 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood. leclaireur.com
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