it isn't very surprising debauchery is a word that was coined in france. its history features royal rulers who really knew how to throw a party, flaunting a hedonist disposition that seems to have been passed on to the country's present party generation. as one the leading clubs in paris this past decade, le baron has not only set a standard in nightlife on home turf, but also abroad. its two savvy figureheads, hospitality entrepreneur lionel bensimoun and graffiti artist andré saraiva, aren't just well-connected, they know how to create and market a cult that has truly gone global.
after opening sister establishments in tokyo and london, and a string of pop-ups at fashionable events across the the planet, the duo have set up a permanent venue in boomtown shanghai. la clique, the duo's hospitality company which also runs a chain of hipster venues across the city of light, enlisted amsterdam-based agency storeage to come up with a setting that would even sweep the most jaded of shanghai's movers and shakers off their feet. perched on the seventh floor of a building which clusters quite a number of other hospitality venues, the club oozes the intentional brothel-like atmosphere of the paris mothership, but with a few original elements blended in.
spread over 360 sqm. [3,875 sq.ft.], the design is lavish and over the top in a tongue-in-cheek way, featuring a number custom-made designs. infinity mirrors with built-in lighting are prominently displayed across the premises, matching very well with saraiva's graffiti design, captured in carpeting and wallpaper. various seating areas line the walls, surrounding a dance floor with chic fishbone parquet flooring. at the far end sits a well-stocked bar, classically designed and adorned with a black + white marble top and fancy mirrors. and that prerequisite glittering disco ball? check. monsieur saraiva flew into town, inaugurating le baron shanghai by way of a graffiti drawing in front of a frantically snapping crowd. location: 20 donghu lu, 7th floor [changshu lu].