Sunday, March 3, 2024

Rare Kate Bush, Sade LPs Available As Saint Laurent Expands Its Cultural Footprint with Paris Bookstore and Record Shop

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Saint Laurent has unveiled a new bookstore and record shop in Paris, located on the city’s Left Bank. It boasts a collection of rare, vintage, and out-of-print offerings.

Situated at 9 Rue de Grenelle, previously home to the brand’s fashion and leather goods, the new Saint Laurent bookstore brings literary and musical elements into its luxury portfolio. The Paris store, which opened its doors quietly earlier this month, is named Saint Laurent Babylone, a nod to the street where Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé resided, known for their extensive art collection.

Saint Laurent Babylone offers a curated selection of rare books, out-of-print record albums, magazines, and exclusive merchandise, all handpicked by the house’s creative director, Anthony Vaccarello. This selection includes new titles under the Saint Laurent Rive Droite Editions imprint, a venture that began in 2019 with the opening of a retail concept on Rue Saint-Honoré. The offerings at the bookstore are a testament to the brand’s deep engagement with the arts, featuring collaborations with artists such as Jeanloup Sieff, Cai Guo-Qiang, Bruno Roels, and Daidō Moriyama, among others.

Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love' album cover.
Kate Bush’s 1985 “Hounds of Love” is available at the new Saint Laurent Babylone | Courtesy EMI

The interior of the store mirrors the aesthetic of Saint Laurent’s largest flagship on 123 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, boasting minimalist, raw architecture complemented by marble shelves, metal seating designed by Donald Judd, and a vintage Pierre Jeanneret desk. The setup, which resembles a blend between a contemporary art gallery and a private office, requires white gloves for handling the delicate pages of its rare book collection.

The record selection at Saint Laurent Babylone includes iconic albums like Sade’s “Promise,” Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love,” and Kraftwerk’s debut studio album, offering something for music enthusiasts of various tastes. Additionally, the store has introduced unique items such as Leica cameras, brass skull sculptures, and Saint Laurent-branded merchandise, including pens, cigarette lighters, and a drinking cup.

Saint Laurent sells rare books at Babylone.
Saint Laurent sells rare books and LPs at Babylone. | Courtesy

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the store has collaborated with pastry chef François Daubinet to offer chocolates, including a minimalist hazelnut bar described as black and glossy as tar. Furthermore, the store will feature black-and-white photographs for sale by British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey from 1977, alongside works by Juergen Teller, who is expected to participate in an in-store book-signing event as part of a series of cultural events planned by the store, including readings and DJ sets.

Under Vaccarello’s leadership, Saint Laurent continues to explore new cultural dimensions, evidenced by last year’s launch of a film production company and a presence at the Cannes Film Festival. The opening of Saint Laurent Babylone underscores the brand’s commitment to fostering connections with the worlds of art, photography, and design, further enriching its cultural footprint.

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