The unveiling of the first Corto Moltedo flagship store in Paris caused quite a stir last Wednesday as chic starlets, royal ambassadors and fashion professionals alike came to check out the newest addition to Paris’ chic shopping arcades in the historic city centre. As we noted recently, Palais Royal has been drawing select fashion brands (Stella McCartney, Pierre Hardy, Acne, Didier Ludot, Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens) into its limited space, making the venue an indispensable destination for fashion-savvy city shoppers.
“This is a special place for me,” says Gabrielecorto Moltedo, the son of Bottega Veneta founders Laura and Vittorio Moltedo. “As a student studying in Paris I would often walk through the Palais Royal gardens. Under the charm and elegance of this area, I vowed to open my first boutique here one day.” Making this dream come true, Gabrielecorto’s new boutique offers more than 30 different styles of handbags and small leather goods as well as a custom made to order service, used by celebrities such as Madonna and Naomi Campbell. The 65-square-meter space features a vintage Americana jukebox, custom-made poufs and wooden flight cases with Corto Moltedo’s monogram lining, visible bolts and leather handles. The walls are enclosed in untreated wood planks and painted in the brand’s signature blue and white stripes.
The boutique has an understated and unpretentious feel, while perfectly spotlighting the hand bags’ sumptuous colors, bold hardware and meticulous attention to detail, quality and savoir-faire. Two full walls are clad with clutches in an array of colors and materials: soft brown ostrich, striking orange patent leather, dusky pink snakeskin, satiny linden green, smooth statement purple, shiny and shimmering aligator, peachy buckskin. An installation by Federico Uribe is attached to the ceiling, showcasing the Colombian artist’s embrace of everyday materials through a school of blue-green shimmering fish and colorful scrapers, while a maneki neko (or, Japanese “welcoming cat”) bids passersby good fortune and beckons them to enter with its raised paw.
Founded in 2004, the brand has made a name for itself thanks to its mix of traditional and unique craftsmanship and a cool attitude toward pop glamour. Gabrielecorto has created his own factory in Florence and grown to producing four collections a year. The Paris opening marks Corto Moltedo’s fifth anniversary and perfectly illustrates the brand’s sophisticated approach in combining architecture, art and fashion in an elegant atmosphere.
Shop address: 146-148 Galerie de Valois, Jardins du Palais Royal