On October 2, one of the fashion industry’s most elusive designers could be found standing outside the new Comme des Garçons store in Paris. Rei Kawakubo, the 80-year-old founder of CDG and Dover Street Market, waited calmly and quietly as guests walked up and down the steps of 56 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, exploring all the new wares the futuristic space has on offer.
The 7,500-square-foot, four-level store is one of Comme des Garçons’s biggest—and is replacing the brand’s former shop next door, which was hidden away in a Parisian courtyard and stood as an insider’s haven for over two decades. Designed in the typical Comme des Garçons aesthetic with white walls and graphic, architectural shapes, Kawakubo conceived of and designed the entire space herself. The color palette is cold white, steely silver, and an incredibly pigmented shade of red, seen on the walls and throughout fixtures in the store.
Rather than hanging on traditional racks or sitting on the unusual shelves, the clothing is set back into little cocoon-like holes, or displayed neatly on abstract, organically shaped structures. The floors are concrete, and in some cases, the walls separating the racks of clothing are raw plywood. It’s one of the most impressive shopping destinations in the city of Paris, and a must-visit for any fan of Comme des Garçons globally.
The first floor displays all of the brand’s signature perfumes, as well as the Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus and Comme Des Garçons Girl lines. Other subbrands like “Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons” are sprinkled throughout the space. But hidden away on the top floor is the extreme dresser’s paradise. The splendor of Junya Watanabe collections and Noir Kei Ninomiya (the designer himself made a rare public appearance at the opening) pieces are in full view: for Junya, a sea of richly decorated black leather jackets with zippers, gold hardware, and detachable folds. Hard-to-find runway pieces are staged throughout the store on mannequins, like a Noir Kei Ninomiya harness dress from the fall 2023 collection, covered in massive pink, red, and purple balls of fabric, surrounded by mesh—a surreal floral arrangement.
Most importantly, the store carries exclusive items. (Take, for example, pieces that were previously only available at Comme des Garçons’s Aoyama boutique in Tokyo, or cashmere editions of the popular Play line.) But if you really want to find the most exclusive items, look for the furniture, which is scattered throughout the space in the form of backless, industrial-looking chairs. The brand new Paris boutique is reportedly the only place in the world where you can buy these pieces. If you’re interested, they reportedly retail from 3,000 euros to 3,800 euros.
In case the experience becomes all too overwhelming for the most avid of Comme des Garçons fans, there is a large terrace on the second floor that opens up above the quiet courtyard. According to the brand, it’ll likely be turned into a cafe area in the future. But for now, it’s a place where one can breathe in deeply before making some adventurous fashion purchases. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a Dover Street Market location coming to Paris in March 2024.