In Paris, what lies behind the big, thick doors in any given neighborhood is a mystery. And on Sunday night, Zara invited guests to celebrate their collaboration with Kaia Gerber at just one of these hidden locations.
In the innocuous and unglamorous Bastille neighborhood, steps from a laundromat, guests were welcomed into the former home of Kenzo Takada. A four-story building transformed from traditional Haussmannian architecture to a Japanese-style sanctuary, all clean lines and open spaces, including an expansive garden and koi pond.
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“This house is so beautiful, can we buy it?” joked Gerber as she marveled at the architecture.
Gerber, who designed a capsule collection with Karl Lagerfeld when she was just 16, said the Zara project was a new experience for her.
“It’s my first adult experience doing one so it feels very surreal. It’s incredible to work with someone like Zara, who I’m a customer of, I’m a fan of, you know. I look up to them so much so to be pulled into their world is just really incredible,” she said.
“I’m always kind of referencing vintage things. So I feel like I reference the ’90s a lot…very, like, simple, chic, classic,” she said of her inspirations.
One room flickered with classic movies, from old French films featuring Jean Seberg, to Miyazaki animation to “In the Mood for Love” from Wong Kar-Wai, while the entrance hall also played her Zara ad campaign, shot by fashion film director Fabien Constant.
“Shooting was something that was really wonderful. I got to go to Maine for the first time working with Fabien, who’s just a genius,” she said. The film shows Gerber walking on a rocky beach and splashing through waves while reading poetry. She was in Paris just for the party, and welcomed guests including Eve Jobs for the evening.
Zara chief executive officer Marta Ortega, who took the reins of the company earlier this year, was on hand. She’s been the driving force behind the brand’s collaborations and new design direction and explained why she brought Gerber on board.
“I always thought that Kaia has a very interesting character, so we were very excited about the idea of working with her. I think it’s very interesting the way she came back with all these ’90s style things. She has a very unique style that a lot of people can relate to and this is particularly interesting because someone of all different ages can find something in the collection and obviously, this is what we’re looking for.”
She had been chatting with former Lanvin jeweler Elie Top, who has just launched his own collaboration with Zara. “Narciso [Rodriguez] was very interesting and we are also very happy with Elie’s collaboration,” Ortega said. “We like to work with people. So from time to time we find these ideas to work together and do some special collaboration [with someone] we find that we have something in common with.”
Others at the party included model pal Karlie Kloss and stylist Karl Templer and hairstylist Guido Palau, who both worked on the campaign. Guests sat around cozy fireplaces and snacked on vegetarian mini tacos while murmurs went around the room that the house is indeed on the market.