If Cruella de Vil were to open a Parisian nail polish boutique, this would be it—and she would most likely be sporting red-soled Christian Louboutin stilettos to match. In a premiere location in the city's 1ère arrondissement, Christian Louboutin has colonized one of Paris's 19th-century covered passages, Galerie Véro-Dodat. Built in 1826 as a shortcut between Palais-Royale and Les Halles, Galerie Vero-Dodat was once home to purveyors of antique dolls and high-quality art books. Today it is a magnet for Christian Louboutin aficionados, with a busy women's shoe salon, the brand's first men's boutique (opened in 2011), an elite cobbler, and a nail polish boutique inaugurated in January.

In his international launch of the new beauty line, Louboutin created a model of an imaginary city where the faceted glass nail polish bottle, with its 8-inch stiletto cap, is featured prominently. The architecture of Loubiville, an all-white, bizarre take on the Land of Oz, also attests to Louboutin's admiration of Oscar Niemeyer. For a fetishistic version of the city and the $50 polish, see David Lynch's 45-second film, which has garnered over 200,000 views on YouTube.

Given the meticulous attention to detail so evident in Louboutin's shoes, the Galerie Véro-Dodat nail boutique is something of a disappointment—a cacophony of styles and materials in the tiny 540-square-foot space. The work of French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch, the boutique is conceived as “a temple to beauty,” according to project architect Marc Leschelier. The shop is divided into three distinct spaces: an entrance gallery, a sales area, and an upstairs boudoir for VIP clients. In lieu of a conventional shop window, Yovanovitch opted for an all white gallery-like space fronting Galerie Véro-Dodat, so it's not obvious from outside whether this is a store at all. Potential shoppers hover outside the window, peering in as they wonder whether to enter.

Intended as a reference to the design of the bottle, the front gallery space has a mirror-clad shaft in the ceiling that required a special permit from the Architectes des bâtiments de France because of the building's historic status. The hexagonal opening provides a glimpse of the second-floor ceiling and is illuminated with a video projection of passing clouds. The 31 colors of nail polish are displayed in bottles inside individual arched niches—a Louboutin signature also prevalent in the adjacent shoe salon—that contribute to the gallery feel. Walls lined with semitranslucent white Methacrylate, a high-quality plexiglass with a “frozen” finish, and a white composite-marble floor complete the space. Leschelier describes the unusually prominent—and seemingly arbitrary—joint pattern in the floor as a “geste” (gesture).

The inner sanctum of the shop employs a contrasting palette of materials, including Belgian blue stone (a type of limestone) flooring, a burnished-copper stair banister that again incorporates Louboutin's signature niches, and a reception desk and shelving in rough-hewn solid oak that look out of place in this luxurious setting. A disproportionately wide 3½-foot stair—required by building regulations —leads to an upstairs “boudoir” where beauty treatments will take place. Here, in a departure from the angular ground floor, voluptuous curves prevail. Rounded cornices of sculpted gypsum plaster in beigey-pink tones are complemented by plush sofas.

For Christian Louboutin's first nail boutique, Pierre Yovanovich has created three disparate spaces that fail to cohere as a unified whole. The design has neither the whimsy nor the daring of Louboutin's red soles, the Cruella de Vil nail polish bottle, or Loubiville. Nevertheless, given the brand's 1.7 million-strong Twitter following, Louboutin's nail polish is likely to fly off the shelves.

Filmmaker David Lynch created a surreal, 45-second video that fetishizes the stiletto-like Christian Louboutin nail polish bottles.
In his international launch of the new beauty line, Louboutin created a model of an imaginary city, shown in this video, where the faceted glass nail polish bottle, with its 8-inch stiletto cap, is featured prominently. The architecture of Loubiville, an all-white, bizarre take on the Land of Oz, also attests to Louboutin's admiration of Oscar Niemeyer.


Christian Louboutin

19 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau
75001 PARIS
Tel. +33(0)1 42 36 05 31
Fax +33(0) 45 08 19 83

Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d'Int'rieur
16, rue de l'arcade
75008 PARIS
Tel. +33(0)1 42 66 33 98
Fax +33(0)1 42 66 18 51

Interior designer:
Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d'Int'rieur

Julien Oppenheim
T'l. +33(0)6 70 17 58 15


540 square feet



Completion Date:

December 2014



Security and decorative devices:
Railway is flamed copper finish. Design by Pierre Yovanovitch referring to arches both in the boutique and in Galerie V'ro-Dodat.

Interior finishes
Paints and stains:
All paint by Atelier M'riguet-Carr're team in Paris

1. On ground level
- walls and plinths: plaster textured finish according to specifications by Pierre Yovanovitch as well as paint
- colors: white with a touch of pink / Wedgewood red
→ All work by M'riguet.

2. 1st level:
- walls: paint by M'riguet, naturel 'flesh' color (in French color 'chair')

1. On ground level in 1st room
High quality plexiglas called 'metacrylate'. The finish is called 'frozen' and is partly transparent
4mm glued on MDF
Thickness of display shelves from niches is 25mm

Plastic laminate:

Special surfacing:
Floor and wall tile:
1. On ground level in 1st room:
- white composite marble assembled according to a geometrical 'diamond-shaped' pattern

2. On ground level in 2nd room:
- Belgium stone 'Pierre du Hainaut' 900mm x 900mm tilings

3. On 1st floor:
in all rooms, 'Pierre du Hainaut' 900mm x 900mm tilings

In the 'hole' which opens to a double height in the 1st room, the surfaces are covered in metal sheets with a mirror shiny finish.

The video (birds flying in a sky with clouds) is an exclusive creation by Christian Louboutin team.

Special interior finishes unique to this project:
Pierre Yovanovitch uses what we call in French 'staff'. This is a mixture of plaster, glue and fiber. It is a very white and milky material that allows to create curved shapes. Closeby translation is 'gypsum' or stucco even if the technique is not quite identical. Staff has been used for all ceilings in the boutique except ceiling of the first room (which is metacrylate), the curved volumes of the large display niches in the second room refered to as 'cul de four' (= vault in the form of quarter sphere). This is a reference to French classical architecture such as in the Louvre.
All walls, corniches and ceilings on 1st level are in staff. This material allowed a lot of freedom to make shapes.

Reception furniture:
Cashier desk in second room is solid oak wood designed by Pierre Yovanovitch for the boutique. The finishing and color were developed for the project. Textured surfaces are the results of rough chainsaw cuts. Color is due to a special treatment but not to dying or painting.

Small display shelves in room 2 on ground level are also in solid oak wood in the same finish.

On 1st level: window blind on galerie V'ro-Dodat window in Polyabaca fabric (pineapple fiber + metal threads).

Other furniture:
→ 1st level: tailor-made sofa. Same wood and finish as cashier desk.
Black upholstery fabric in cotton.

Interior ambient lighting:
1. On ground level in 1st room:
Light in niches by Feerick (www.feerick.fr). LED technology with a large spectrum of changing colors.