Footwear brand Birkenstock has tried its hand at creating a showroom inside a grandiose Paris apartment, where shoes are displayed in living-room-style spaces.
Named Birkenstock 1774 — after the year it was founded in Germany — the showroom nestles amongst the expensive boutiques that line Rue Saint Honoré in Paris.
It seems showcasing expensive apartments in major cities just isn’t enough to gain interest at the moment, with a self-proclaimed dwelling dubbed the ‘healthiest building in New York City’ up for sale. But, in true European style, this one seems to have an element of class to it — and the results are eye-catching.
London-based studio Vinson & Co may have something to do with that. They were charged with developing the showroom’s interiors — but allowed these features to serve as a backdrop to the brand’s shoes, simply adding a few furnishings to complete the space.
"Birkenstock's brief was to keep the showroom simple, full of light, neutral and with handmade finishes – they wanted a space that gives them flexibility," Nick Vinson, founder of the studio, said.
“I deliberately left the patina of age visible – to me these qualities are very consistent with a Birkenstock sandal, which age well.”
This combination seems to have worked. Shoes are dotted about the oak and wheat-coloured interior to good effect and do not hinder the apartment’s stunning contemporary look.
A couple of pairs have been placed intermittently on the dividers of a timber bookshelf by Italian designer Achille Castiglioni, while the illusion of extra space is created by huge floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
The adjacent room has been designed in much the same way, using vintage oak tables and leather chairs to display the merchandise.
The elegant study is mostly provided by a series of textile artworks by embroiderer Geraldine Larkin. Each of these features reveals abstract shapes made from jute and felt — a reference to the materials Birkenstock uses for its footwear.
Each room looks as refined as the next, but it’s not hard to replicate these ideas at home, at a fraction of the price!
Take the living room for example. The oak table can be fulfilled by this 8-seater oak wood Scandinavian design by Icon By Design.
Add to it with this natural and pumice kalahari armadillo floor rug from curious grace, which goes well on both light and dark wooden floors.
Finally, look no further for those sleek office chairs. Kogan sell this for, what we’re sure is a bargain compared to the original.
Or, of course, you can purchase a pair of Birkenstocks on their website — but maybe avoid buying their whole range and dotting them about your house.
(Photography by: DePasquale + Maffini)