September 8 2021  |  Retailers

Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf by DFS celebrates year 150+1

By Wendy Morley

In true French style, every weekend brings troupes of artists, who create the spirit of Samaritaine’s famous advertisements of the past with a combination of burlesque acts from performers dressed as peacocks, town-criers, balloon-girls and majorettes

DFS might be have just reopened its newest store in the historic La Samaritaine building in Paris — called Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf by DFS — but this did not stop the retailer from celebrating the building’s 150 + 1 birthday after a year-long delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Inside the store, the Prada Glow installation is an exclusive and interactive experience brought to life through light and color. The four showcases feature a three-dimensional trompe-l'oeil displaying views of the set from the Prada Fall/Winter 2021 show, enriched with neon lights. A video floor connected to a lantern inspired by the geometry of the Prada triangle rises up through the floors, its changing colors visible from all directions. A selection of exclusive items from the brand’s ready-to-wear, leather goods and women's accessories ranges also feature throughout the installation

To make up for lost time the store will feature a calendar of events, gourmet exclusives, collaborations, pop-ups and performances lasting for two full months, from September 2 to October 31. A dramatic unveiling of the department store’s windows kicked off the festivities on September 2.

On the Rivoli side, the windows feature multicolored neon displays. On the Pont Neuf side, new light installations are part of an exclusive collaboration with Prada

Artist Elsa Muse has designed a towering birthday cake modeled on an early animation device known as a zoetrope. The cake slowly turns, telling the history of the store through sugar figurines representing its emblematic yellow shopping bags, spirited sales staff and more. Topping the cake are the store’s founders Ernest and Marie-Louise Cognacq-Jaÿ, who first opened the store in 1870

Each Saturday at 4pm, customers will be offered edible versions of the birthday cake.

Digitally, the celebrations continue with art historian Margaux Brugvin, who will take over the store’s YouTube channel to highlight moments in the store’s history and discuss its artistic elements with contemporary artist Antonin Hako.

Michelin-starred chefs, pâtissiers, mixologists, baristas and bakers have all come together to celebrate with flavours. Seen here, Matthias Giroud from the Voyage restaurant-bar and Jérémy Del Val from Maison Dalloyau together will unveil an original box set of cocktails and “haute couture pastry”

Finally, the quirky Loulou Boutique will feature iconic products from jewelry to fashion to bicycles and skateboards, while a wheel of fortune will be spun each day to reward shoppers with gifts and treasures to share in the bounty of Samaritaine’s birthday.

Among a cornucopia of quirky products, Loulou boutique offers the “message in a bulb,” in this case celebrating Paris

“La Samaritaine has brought joy, excitement and discovery to Parisians for over 150 years, so it is fitting that we celebrate this wonderful store’s birthday with the same abundance that she has shared with us. We look forward to celebrating again when our customers around the world are able to visit Samaritaine in person,” said Benjamin Vuchot, DFS Group Chairman and CEO.

REGION Asia

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