luxury jewellery Boucheron
On 8th September, Maison Boucheron opened its second largest store in the world, after its historical boutique at 26 Place Vendôme. “From Paris to Tokyo: a cutting-edge and creative journey”: here is the promise with this greater than 1000 square-meter large flagship, covering four floors, designed as a bridge between French and Japanese culture. This boutique is a slice of Paris in the heart of the Japanese capital.

The Maison, since 1973, has continued to reinforce its presence in Japan, with 17 stores in the country – including the new flagship store. Japanese customers have shown their eagerness for the French savoir-faire, and interest for innovation: two core values of Boucheron. The size of this store (1000m2), its strategic location (Ginza, the emblematic luxury area of Tokyo) and the unique experience it will offer are some of the many assets which will make this new store the showcase of the Maison in Asia.

BOUCHERON – CEO Hélène Poulit-Duquesne

We opened back in 1973, as Japan was historically our next market after France. Our Japanese clients’ growing interest for our jewelry and High Jewelry makes our local strategy very relevant.

When I became CEO of Boucheron in 2015, I had a 3-stage strategy for Japan, focusing firstly on establishing our bridal collections, then developing jewelry and finally, High Jewelry. Now that we have successfully reached the first two stages, we are on our way to reaching the third and last stage of this strategy with High Jewelry.

Complementary to our strong existing network of 17 boutiques, the opening of our new Ginza flagship – the largest one after our historic boutique 26 Place Vendôme – marks a major shift in our Japanese business. It will undeniably contribute to brand awareness and to the reputation of the Maison in Japan, which we have rigorously built over the past years.

From its immersive facade displaying an ever-evolving interpretation of Boucheron through the four seasons, to the unique experience offered on each of its four floors, this new boutique is an exhilarating ode to nature: a theme dear to our Maison since its creation in 1858. This strong connection to nature is what I love the most about this place, as I am really attached to nature myself. It is also what brings Japan and France together: two countries which share the same love of nature.

I am very happy to welcome our Japanese clients to finally experience this journey.

Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, CEO de la Maison

A Parisian garden at the heart of Tokyo: with this new flagship, the Maison wishes to offer a true journey, both creative and innovative, on the theme of Nature. Boucheron and traditional Japanese art share the same quest of expressing the strength and the vitality of Nature, as much as its delicateness and its transient beauty.

To express this vision, the Maison has imagined a facade reinterpreting the architectural patterns of the Jardin d’Hiver (winter garden) at the heart of the historical boutique on Place Vendôme. This facade is transparent by day, showing the four floors of the Ginza Boutique. By night, displayed on the building facade is a larger-than-life forest: ever-changing by the hour, and by the four seasons. It is a poetic interlude in an urban environment; an immersive experience at the pace of the seasons, starting at first sight in Chuo-Dori, the main street of the area.

This evolving facade is entirely digitalized. Nature images are generated using real-time computer graphics. In this way, a virtual forest was randomly created, capturing various perspectives of nature, ensuring that its appearance will always be unique on the facade. Once again, the Maison places innovation at the service of emotion.

Boucheron Ginza – VIP salon

Nature is expressed on the facade but also inside this new flagship, through screens designed as windows, which open on to the Boucheron forest. The Maison has also collaborated with composer, producer and sound artist Daniel Sonabend to conceive a soundtrack perfecting this immersive experience. In his musical proposal, the artist has reinterpreted the sounds of the four seasons: the summery song of cicadas, falling leaves in the autumn, a wintery rain and birdsong in spring.

The ground floor was designed to welcome the Boucheron icons. Nature thrives amongst the collections of “Quatre”, “Serpent Bohème”, “Jack de Boucheron”, “Nature Triomphante” and “Animaux de Collection”. Ivy, often depicted by Frederic Boucheron, crawls on the floor through a mosaic signed by French workshop Gaspard Mahieu. It is the work of infinite patience, crafted by six artisans and designed as a living depiction of Nature. “The idea was to create a monumental plant movement in the Ginza boutique. A movement of leaves, winds, lights. There is a striking contrast between the very raw and hard aspect of the marble stone and the fluidity of the curves of this mosaic”, says Gaspard Mahieu.

Customers will be able to admire the juxtaposition between the walls, adorned by nature, and the glass-tinted mirrors which magnify and widen the space. The silk wallpaper was made to measure by Maison De Gournay: it also depicts the ivy motif, which seems to be brought to life along the alcoves. The tinted mirrors covering the walls were made by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis: “I work on my studies of color by using industrial processes, which enable me to work in a very accurate manner. The way light is refracted inside a material has an effect on the perception of color. To me, light is always at the heart of a project. A subtle variation of shade can make a whole difference on how a space is perceived”.

Light is brought by chandeliers by Delisle, a French family Maison founded in 1895. These made-to-measure creations for the Ginza boutique are an echo to the majestic chandeliers of 26, Place Vendôme.

Lastly, at the back of this space, the visitor’s eye is drawn to a glass case with a halo, made by French atelier Pouenat: a work of art in golden metal, designed as a marquetry of different textures of brass, covered by gold leaf. This case displays the iconic Lierre de Paris Question Mark necklace, which extends the visitor’s stroll into the Nature of Boucheron.

The space on the ground floor showcases part of the Maison’s heritage. From the archives, four creations are displayed here, illustrating Boucheron’s love for Nature and their will to depict nature in a vivid and realistic manner. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire a multi-wear jewel from 1860, representing a vine flower. A plant rarely depicted in High Jewelry collections – proving once again the attachment of Frédéric Boucheron to Nature in all forms. The Maison has chosen to display a butterfly, as well as two precious birds as brooches. The butterfly, dating back from 1900, is a transformable comb turning into a brooch. A typical Art Nouveau piece, it reflects this time where art drew its inspiration from Nature and also Japan. It is a true testimony of Frédéric Boucheron’s savoir-faire, as he used the “plique-à-jour” enamel technique, crafted in the manner of stained glass. This piece, first bought in the early 20th century, was then acquired by Elizabeth Taylor. The actress wore it at the 1976 Oscars Ceremony. The two bird brooches date from the 1950s and depict a redstart and a flycatcher – both made in colored enamel and precious stones.

Boucheron Ginza – exterior

The Maison also pays homage to its history through the presence of display cases inspired by the ones from the Paris Universal Exhibitions (world fairs). These events played an important part in the reputation of Frederic Boucheron: he indeed won the Grand Prix at the 1889 Universal Exhibition. Among the creations which were awarded was the Question Mark Necklace, invented ten years earlier. It was the first clasp-free necklace and the supple choker composing it marked a milestone in High Jewelry: it is a token of Maison Boucheron’s savoir-faire and innovation.

As true bridges between past and present, French culture and Japanese culture, the inside of these display cases were decorated by artist Miyouki Nakajima. “My artistic practice is a mix between our two cultures” explains Nakajima. She imagined decorative sculptures like natural landscapes – made of silk, of mineral and metal powders – representing a bamboo, a lotus, a fern. Every step of creation was hand-made, according to traditional techniques blending Japanese dyes and French Haute-Couture savoir-faire.

BOUCHERON Ginza – Opening Ceremony – CEO Hélène Poulit-Duquesne & Rola

The staircase is the backbone of the building, leading the way through the immersion in Nature. It was designed as a vertical garden to be appreciated at every floor: offering a permanent view on an imaginary – yet extremely realistic – outside, it exposes visitors to the sounds and the light of the Boucheron Nature. It is also a playground for Wladimir, the iconic cat of the Maison, who has found refuge in this lush landscape.

Following the showcasing of the iconic Boucheron collections, customers will be able to see and try on most of the Maison’s creations. This floor reinterprets the intimate atmosphere of the Jardin d’Hiver of 26, Place Vendôme and was designed to welcome a cozy VIP area in a lush Nature environment. The Maison appealed to TOHO LEO, a Japanese studio specialized in landscaping arrangement, to give the illusion of a true glass-wall: a soft dim light comes through the backlighting of the walls and ceiling. This space is completed by a selection of local plants displayed in ceramic flowerpots, made according to Japanese tradition.

Boucheron Ginza – ground floor

In a bright setting of curvy lines, lovers will discover the Engagement and Bridal creations of Boucheron amongst white trees. Made by YOY Studio – a collective of Japanese artists and designers – these trees were inspired by traditional ceremonies in Japan during which people hang a wish and pledge on the branches of the trees in the temple and shrine. These tree sculptures are subtle interpretations of birch trees: made in transparency, their surface is adorned with a lace evoking bridal gowns. 

To complete this homage to ceremonies celebrating love in Japan, the Maison has developed an interactive experience called “The Wishing Tree”, in collaboration with Random Studio. In this forest dedicated to marriage, every couple will have the opportunity to write their wish: it will be translated, by technology, into an animation of sounds and light. A subtle way to seal a love commitment. Every couple will also have to opportunity to keep their wish through a QR code, crystallizing this intimate moment. With time and every love declaration, a true melody will be composed by the couples choosing their creations from Boucheron.

To end the journey, Boucheron has chosen to display their creations with the most innovative materials on the last floor of the Ginza boutique: the Innovation Lab. This space puts the spotlight on the Maison’s work on innovation, placing emotion at the heart of her creations. An artistic approach which won’t stop questioning the meaning of precious, defying the limits of the traditional High Jewelry industry.

BOUCHERON – Creative Director Claire Choisne

At Boucheron, we have encouraged the freedom to create for many years, by doing our best to make things differently – by questioning the meaning of precious for example. All of this follows on from the spirit of the Maison: Frederic Boucheron was a trailblazer himself, in terms of innovation and techniques since the founding of the Maison in 1858. We carry on this tradition today by maintaining this freedom to create. My approach is to be as free as possible in terms of creativity, of the themes we chose, in terms of dreaming. I always start from a dream: what fascinates me afterwards is to find the most accurate way to convey and fulfill this dream. This means we always give ourselves the freedom to test and to play with new materials or unexpected techniques, never used before in High Jewelry, as long as they allow us to express this creative dream and to make it come true. I am lucky to work with Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, our CEO, who loves innovation as much as I do and gives me this freedom to create – even when some ideas may seem a little crazy. I am very grateful for being able to create at her side.

Claire Choisne, Creative Director

In the Innovation Lab, visitors will discover the most innovative creations from Maison Boucheron: the Eternal Flowers, the Jack Ultime brooch made with ©Cofalit, the Aerogel bracelet and the Bois Diamant brooch from the Ailleurs collection. For each of these creations, visitors will have the exclusive opportunity to discover the creative process which led to their making, as well as samples of the innovative materials composing them.

For the opening of the boutique, this convertible space welcomes the latest Carte Blanche High Jewelry collection, called More is More. Creative Director Claire Choisne has created exceptional pieces, far from conventions, choosing simple shapes, bright colors, and excessive scales. This collection conveys Boucheron’s vision of High Jewelry: it is precious, and never boring. The Maison is delighted to unveil three pieces from the More is More collection as an exclusive for the opening of the Ginza flagship: a capsule collection of three precious patches, depicting the Hokusai Wave, Wladimir the Cat and a Hydrangea. These exclusive pieces tell the love of Boucheron for Japan.

Boucheron has chosen to launch their new flagship store, in the heart of Tokyo, within a modern 2014 building construction. The Maison wished to commit this project to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, in alignment with the ambitions set by their “Precious for the Future” sustainability strategy. This certification aims at measuring and reducing the environmental impact of buildings throughout their cycle of existence. It is based on six main points: layout of the site, water management, energy performance, utilization and management of materials and resources and finally, quality of the indoor environment and innovation. The certification requires that specific goals are set for each theme, and that they are fulfilled in order to obtain a minimum score. At this moment the results are pending, and Boucheron are waiting for the final certificate.

Boucheron Ginza – ground floor

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