The famous Parisian luxury goods brand Longchamp has just begun renovations of its historic store on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, the brand’s hometown. For Longchamp, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring art into the heart of Paris, with an exceptional storefront decorated with a spectacular work of art,
« Mindscapes », by American artist Ryan McGinness! Located on the corner of two very busy streets just a few dozen meters from the Place de la Concorde, this decoration will be in place from March.
Jean Cassegrain, Longchamp CEO and the founder’s grandson, clarifies: “Renovations of this magnitude in such a conspicuous location need something spectacular that go beyond a simple tarp. Our brand is all about the unexpected, and this completely unconventional and innovative project is a perfect example. I met Ryan ten years ago in New York and I’ve been following his work ever since. When we decided to do a unique building tarp, we immediately thought of Ryan. His work has an energy to it that is in harmony with this prestigious corner location.”
Cassegrain explains: “This decoration in the heart of Paris is a very important step for us. Ryan is from New York and we’re from Paris, two cities overflowing with energy and creativity! As symbolized by the horse and rider galloping in our logo, our brand is in perpetual movement. These words can also be used to describe Ryan’s work and the piece he has created for this site.”
Ryan McGinness adds: “In autumn 2015, I received an invitation from Jean Cassegrain, whom I have known for years, to ‘wrap’ the brand’s Paris flagship store on Rue Saint-Honoré while extensive renovations take place. The artwork will cover two faces of the corner building and extend from pavement level up to the roof. I began by developing preliminary sketches and thumbnails, which allow me to then consider options for the solution to the artistic challenge. We decided to go with ‘fragmenting the façade’ into ‘windows’ of brightly colored paintings with strong black borders. I selected striking and colorful images that I want to feel personal to passers-by. I have used details from a variety of my paintings, many of which refer to dreamlike images. I use fluorescents, pearlescents, varying textures and finishes in order to intensify their impact.”
The Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA) wrote about Ryan’s work in 2007: “Plant life, logos and symbols, fairy tales and everyday scenes, family crests and coats of arms are a few of the disparate subjects that McGinness fragments, alters and layers to build his dense networks of brightly colored fantastical imagery.”
“This emblematic store is the true heart of Longchamp,” continues Cassegrain. “Rue Saint-Honoré is where it all started, where our brand began developing worldwide while affirming its Parisian roots. Our retail area will be significantly expanded thanks to these renovations, marking a new phase in our development. This partnership, which brings together a contemporary artist and a building classified as a historical monument, clearly highlight how much Longchamp values creativity and artistry. Under the tarp designed by Ryan, the compagnons – French artisans with centuries-old traditions – will restore the building’s eighteenth-century facades. This ability to combine innovation and know-how perfectly captures the spirit of our fashion house.”
Founded in Paris in 1948 by Jean Cassegrain, the Longchamp fashion house remains a family-owned and run business. Longchamp handbags, luggage and accessories are known worldwide for their artisanship and know-how. The brand’s collections have expanded to include shoes and ready-to-wear. Longchamp is an international brand whose drive and energy have never waned throughout the decades. The brand embodies French style and inspires creativity. Innovative advertising campaigns and exciting collaborations with a range of artists underpin the modern and playful spirit of the Longchamp brand, today represented throughout the world in over 300 exclusive stores.
Ryan McGinness is an American artist, living and working in New York, New York. He grew up in the surf and skate culture of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and then studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an Andrew Carnegie Scholar. During college, he interned at the Andy Warhol Museum as a curatorial assistant. Known for his extensive vocabulary of original graphic drawings that use the visual language of public signage, corporate logos, and contemporary symbology, McGinness is credited with elevating the status of the icon to fine art through the creation of his paintings, sculptures, installations, and books.
He assumes the power of this visual language in order to share personal expressions. The New York Times noted, “In the past decade, McGinness has become an art star, thanks to his Warholian mix of pop iconography and silk-screening.” Vogue declared, “Ryan McGinness is a leading pioneer of the new semiotics.” Swathed in ornate, curvaceous lines, McGinness’s compositions are a postmodern twist on the eighteenth-century Rococo style, characterized by playful opulence and intricate, coiling forms.