brazil's luxury market isn't as promising as it used to be, but the house of hermès has effortlessly retained its appeal to a specific demographic, and still sees room for growth. it has very timely opened a second brazilian boutique in rio de janeiro, slightly ahead of the 2016 summer olympics and a huge influx of visitors. the french luxury house first entered the brazilian market seven years ago with a boutique at cidade jardim, an upscale mall in são paulo, but this new endeavour will be the brand's first standalone store. it's situated in ipanema, an iconic part of town and one of its most affluent, where it occupies a two-storey building from the 1940s.
the store's façade has been entirely restored, and the large windows are discreetly shaded by woven blinds. the retail space measures a respectable 147 sqm. [1,582 sq.ft.], and boasts a design by paris-based architecture practice and longtime collaborator rdai. large show windows provide a glimpse into the house’s collections, and two special window displays have been created by amsterdam-based set designer noa verhofstad, presenting a composition of scenes using miniature décors. in the year of the upcoming summer olympics, and in which hermès became official saddler for the brazilian show jumping team, these scenes represent the competition ring for the games and the equestrian theatre of the versailles academy of equesttrian arts.
the store interior features a number of alluring settings, each showcasing a different segment of the vast hermès product range. the ground floor is decorated in the brand's signature faubourg mosaic with yellow and white tesserae and golden bronze glass cabochons, and the attention to detail extends to every facet of the design. furnishings, decorative walls and flooring have been made of precious brazilian woods, while natural materials and light colours have been used throughout the store. it's here where hermès' collections of women's silk shawls and scarves, men's silk ties are presented, in addition to fragrances, and in a specially demarcated section, the luxury brand's tableware, jewellery and watches.
one floor up, amidst an equally lavish setting with custom-made furnishings – the specially designed gold upholstered seating is said to be a highlight – the extensive collections of men’s and women’s apparel, trophy bags, shoes and small leather goods are presented. although still not on a par with the abundance of luxury offerings in são paulo, the arrival of hermès in rio de janeiro has given the local high-end shopping scene a major boost. location: rua garcia d'ávila 160 [ipanema].