Imagine receiving an invite to a cool Parisian friend’s new two-story apartment on the Right Bank to sip bergamot tea and try on her cashmere clothes. That’s the concept behind Maison Sarah Lavoine, the latest outpost from one of France’s most stylish contemporary designers.
Situated between two classically regal squares, Place des Victoires and Place des Petits Pères in the Second Arrondissement, the storefront beckons passersby with a bright aquamarine facade and an oversize window cast in honey-colored light. The mot juste is chaleureuse. In French, it means warm and welcoming—which aptly describes Sarah Lavoine herself. Launched in 2009, her homeware brand is now taking off in the French capital, with new boutiques soon to open in the Le Printemps department store and in the Sixteenth Arrondissement.
At Place des Victoires, the vibe is casual, despite the aristocratic air of the neighborhood. Come in, take a seat in the kitchen, order a Brazilian coffee and freshly baked viennoiserie, and peruse Lavoine’s eclectic collection of Moroccan pottery and Italian flatware, set out on hand-woven tablecloths from Burkina Faso. In the library, settle into a vintage Roman sofa and flip through her selection of stationery and art books, collected on her world travels.
A stone staircase leads upstairs to a bedroom and dressing room, where she’s beginning to test the waters in fashion—incorporating select Michel Klein jackets, Marcel canvas bags, and ankle boots by Sésane into her collection, which is pristinely placed in a spacious dream closet filled with natural light streaming in from a window that looks onto the 18th-century edifice of the Notre-Dame des Victoires church. The clothing is a mix of high and low fashion, and comes with a midrange price tag.
“I work with artisans, mostly from France, Italy, and Portugal, who can create affordable materials of good quality,” Lavoine says. “It’s also a question of style. For example, today I’m wearing jeans and a pair of sneakers with a silk shirt. Mix Chanel with jeans, and it works, you know?”
Ultimately, she just wanted to create a space where people could take time to feel good. “I thought it would would be nice to think of the space as a real home,” says Lavoine, who lives close by in the First Arrondissement. “It’s rassurant [reassuring.] Here, you have a coffee and take a good lunch. Then buy a nice cashmere sweater or something for your home. I think it’s important now to create an experience, not just a shop.” At Maison Sarah Lavoine, there’s little doubt she has imagined more than a store. It’s a place to share her mindset.
Maison Sarah Lavoine, 6 place des Victoires, Paris