Billionaire sets up shop on Paris' Rue Saint-Honoré as first step of full French offensive
Billionaire is going all in with its expansion in France. The Italian menswear brand, acquired by Germany's Philipp Plein in 2016, has opened its first ever French store, a 130-square-metre located at 362/364 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris.
Just across the road from the Hôtel Costes, the three-storey boutique was designed by architect Claudio Pironi and makes for an imposing presence with its tall rounded windows on the corner of the Cour Vendôme. From the outside, the label's iconic golden lion can be seen, poised to greet visitors on the first floor.
Marble, steel and polished dark glass take centre stage in the concept, giving the store a simultaneously sober and refined aesthetic. In this space which plays with different shades of black and grey, the brand's apparel and accessories collections are spotlit by almost theatrical lighting in display cases made of gold-coloured metal and light marble.
The luxurious atmosphere that the store seeks to create is perfectly adapted to Billionaire's target market, largely made up of businessmen, entrepreneurs and playboys who like to show off their success with a bit of Italian chic.
Founded in 2005 by Italian businessman Flavio Briatore, the label was conceived as an extension of the lifestyle universe of the former Benetton F1 racing team manager's Billionaire night club, located in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Since its acquisition by Philipp Plein's company, which purchased the brand to round out its high-end offering, the house has seen rapid expansion.
Until now the brand was only available in France at a 44-square-metre concession at Paris' Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, which opened in May 2017. With its newly inaugurated Saint-Honoré boutique, Billionaire now operates 27 stores around the world, including 21 in Europe (in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Ukraine and Russia) and has big plans for its expansion in France, with locations set to open in Saint Tropez and Courcheval in the first quarter of 2019, as well as in Monte Carlo.
But that's not all: the brand is planning to open a total of eight new stores in 2019. Along with the three boutiques already mentioned, Billionaire will be opening locations in Moscow, Johannesburg and London, and the brand will also be expanding into Asia and the US with debut stores in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
All of this should be more than enough to boost the label's international visibility, although the brand has already managed to attract a fair bit of attention through its runway shows at Milan Fashion Week, complete with dashing silver foxes, where Mr Plutus takes a bow at the end of proceedings. This mysterious masked designer is none other than an alter ego created by designer and entrepreneur Philipp Plein, in order to separate Billionaire from his eponymous label.
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