Agnès b. to open new Paris store, art foundation and launch radio station
Agnès b., real name Agnès Troublé, has never been so busy. The 76-year-old French designer has been in charge of her eponymous brand for more than four decades, and is once again active on several fronts, between fashion and the arts. In the autumn, she will open a new monobrand store in Paris, where the label is already present with seven shops and with retail corners at the Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps department stores.
The new store is located at 1 rue Chaillot, a stone’s throw from the Palais Galliera, home to the Paris Museum of Fashion. “It will be a large, 210 m2 store with a very tall ceiling, on the ground floor of an old post office branch inside a 1930s building,” said the eclectic designer - who recently showed her latest menswear collection at the Paris Fashion Week - talking to FashionNetwork.com.
Agnès b. is working on another great project which is very dear to her: the creation of the Agnès b. Foundation. She has always been passionate about art and, over the years, as a gallerist and hands-on patron, she amassed a collection of some 5,000 works of contemporary art, from photographs to paintings, street art and sculptures. These artworks always fostered her creativity and influenced her collections, like her famous artists’ t-shirts or the dresses printed with her own photos, from when “I take pictures by night,” she said smiling.
“I met the majority of the artists on the streets. I’ve exhibited the work of graffiti artists for a long time. I’m very close to those scenes, to hip hop culture. My gallery will be democratic, with affordable artworks. Quite unlike the foundations of other luxury labels!” added Agnès b., who in the past was acquainted with both Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Her current art gallery, the Galerie du Jour in rue Quincampoix, was too small and has now been closed down, and will relocate to the new foundation. The latter is “a 1,300 m2 venue,” home to the designer's art collection, a bookshop and an art gallery, which will exhibit themed selections of works from the collection three to four times a year. By a twist of fate, the foundation is located at 1 place Jean-Michel Basquiat in Paris.
In addition, there will the launch of Agnès b. radio, a station broadcasting on the web. “The idea behind this radio is to strike up a conversation with artists, and to stimulate meetings with painters, musicians and other artists in different cities and countries,” said the designer.
The Agnès b. label is appreciated worldwide, notably in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, its main markets besides France, though sales slumped slightly in the last few years. In 2017, Agnès b. generated a revenue of €262 million, down 4% compared to 2016. It is now available at 286 fashion retailers worldwide, including retail corners in department stores.
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