Pret-a-Reporter

Inside Paris Retailer L'Eclaireur's First L.A. Store

Courtesy of L’Eclaireur

Housed within a chateau-inspired building on Robertson Boulevard that was once home to high-powered florist-to-the-stars David Jones, the boutique focuses on furniture and interior design accessories.

Much-loved French fashion retailer L'Eclaireur — known for early adoption of designers such as Dries Van Noten, Maison Martin Margiela and Comme des Garcons — is staking a claim in the U.S. with its first retail venture in West Hollywood.

Founded over three decades ago with its maiden shop on Paris’ Champs-Elysees, the brand now has six locations, all in France, which are regular haunts for fashion insiders who appreciate their mix of edgy and established brands, art installations and the like.

The move stateside, however, also includes a pivot in approach: L'Eclaireur in Los Angeles focuses on what the company is calling a “residential retail experience.” The term isn’t much of an exaggeration: Housed within a chateau-inspired building on Robertson Boulevard that was once home to high-powered florist-to-the-stars David Jones, L'Eclaireur has staged a complete design intervention of the once traditional space. Stripped of many interior walls and ornate details, the three-story building now sets a minimalist stage for its selection of idiosyncratic furniture and functional art.

Mostly contemporary pieces from both American and international artists populate the first two floors of the building. Included are large-scale sculptures, whimsical lighting, seating, storage, serving ware and accessories.

Hard-to-find pieces by boutique Italian design company Fornasetti — rugs, cabinets, secretaries — are found throughout space, including a small, ground floor room entirely dedicated to its coveted collection of plates, serving ware and candles. (Similarly, the L'Eclaireur boutique on the Boissy D'Anglas in Paris's 8th Arrondissement has a sizable section devoted to Fornasetti.)

The third floor was Jones’ private residence for decades, a convenient location above his floral boutique. Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and the Reagans were devoted clients, while others, such as Betsy Bloomingdale, would frequent his private apartment. Jones’ classically cluttered style is a far cry from its current owners' taste for minimalist drama. Today, a brushed bronze kitchen and spare yet sculptural furniture makes a case for studied decorating restraint. Yet the open-plan room with a large balcony will be flexible enough to host a variety of private events, says owner Meryl Hadida Shabani, daughter of L'Eclaireur founders Martine and Armand. 

One thing that has been left entirely untouched? Jones’ private elevator that connected all three floors of the building to the back parking area: It’s still floor-to-ceiling upholstered in the floral designer’s beloved animal print fabric.

450 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, Calif.; leclaireur.com

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