Just like Paris in the midst of a great transformation, the 19th century could be symbolized by the creation of the very first Parisian department store – Le Bon Marché which, by proposing multiple new innovations – set prices, reduced margins, home delivery, returns and exchanges, mail-order, sales, private concerts, a library corner – was able to turn the daily lives of women upside down, guiding them a bit further towards their own emancipation. This story begins in 1852 when Aristide Boucicaut, son of a milliner, first came to Paris.
Later, along with his wife Marguerite, he would transform a simple shop into the first Parisian department store with a large selection, where one could freely enter and wander around without being bothered. Le Bon Marché was born. Soon, this sales model invented by the revolutionary couple would spread around the world. When LVMH acquired the location in 1984, the new team decided to reposition the store. The idea: make the Bon Marché the most selective store in the French capital. Uniting tradition and modernity within a warm and convivial setting, the Bon Marché became a high-class place where cultural values of authenticity come together with the pleasure of shopping. Rive Gauche is today considered the chic side of the Seine, and the Bon Marché is no doubt to thank for that.
The Bon Marché singularly reflects the spirit of Rive Gauche: an openness to the world, a taste for culture, and ceaselessly revisited traditions. There is no overload of offerings here, nor a frenzy for consumption. Thus, the Home trends book introduced by the Bon Marché for Fall/Winter 2017 contains traces of a time gone by. This season, the trend is Victorian opulence where baroque textiles, padded fabrics, and Palazzo marbles recall past splendors that designers are today bringing back into style. This season, the Bon Marché is also exploring Second Empire-esque comforts for a reinvented classicism with dramatic volumes that recall sumptuous boudoirs. This collection will be available in the fall.