Printemps’ 150th birthday

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Iconic Parisian department store Printemps is about to celebrate 150 years of trading, and a lavish array of events has been lanned to mark the occasion. The store is to take on a pink hue, as rose-petal artwork decorates the store front; the shop’s façade will also be illuminated. As Printemps explains, ‘More than twenty luminous flowers and stems [will] escape from the centre to cover the façade […] Flower pattern in rose monochrome will cover all the windows of the department store.’ The store, situated on oulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement, will display its commitment to rebirth and renewal with a blossoming array of floral decoration, both inside and outside the building.

A catalogue of special events will complement a range of exclusive products offered by the store, while work by specially -commissioned artists will provide the decorative backdrop to the 150-year celebration.

Image : Printemps Press
Image : Printemps Press

The grand magasin is not just a shop but also a Parisian institution, famed for offering Parisians its range of luxury fashion and beauty goods since the store’s inception during the Second Empire. Created in 1865, the name Printemps (translated in English as ‘spring’) was chosen by the store’s founder, Jules Jaluzot, to encapsulate all that is ‘new, fresh and beautiful’, and this conception of freshness and aesthetics underlines the store’s continuing commitment to providing the latest in elegance for the discerning Parisian customer.

The choice of the rose-petal theme for the store’s celebratory décor is in-keeping with the original vision which lies at the heart of Printemps: Jaluzot created the annual event named ‘La Fête du Printemps’ which celebrated the first day of spring while paying homage to the store itself. The eponymous season of new growth and freshness was marked by each customer’s receiving a spray of violets as they embarked on their shopping experience.

150 years later, the choice of flower has merged from purple to pink but the basic principle of spring freshness remains nchanged, symbolising the timelessness of this Parisian institution.

On 20th March 2015, Printemps will celebrate its 150th birthday, for this date in March is the first day of spring. With the turn of the season will come the launch of many special events, which will outlast spring and continue throughout the rest of this celebratory year.

MascotTo top off the range of festivities, a mascot named Rose has also been created to mark Printemps’ 150th birthday. The mascot was created by Japanese artist Hiroshi Yoshii, and marks the store’s commitment to creation and renewal, while celebrating the coming of a fresh season and warmer weather. The eponymous flower will sprout from Rose’s head, and she will be used both to decorate the shop front and for customers who wish for a ‘selfie’ opportunity, as versions of the mascot will be found walking around the store as customers browse the aisles.

Another way in which Printemps is to mark its special anniversary will be by offering passers-by a selection of edible treats, ‘because a birthday is always synonymous with delicious food’, as the department store explains. ‘A total of eight gourmet kiosks will be decked out in the ‘Happy 150 Printemps’ colours’, and will offer tasty, high-end snacks including sorbets, waffles and cookies.

The store’s atrium will be taken over by an event named Les Evasions Gourmandes created by La Maison du Chocolat, which will combine its mouth-watering chocolate with floral notes, in-keeping with the theme of the celebration. Tastings and workshops will be on offer inside and outside the store as part of this gourmet event. As Printemps says: ‘Imagine innovative tastings  in the form of savoury interludes and an extravaganza of limited-edition chocolate éclairs and macaroons.’

Further events include a cart weaving its way through the store and distributing flowers to customers on the first day of spring, photo opportunities on the roof, competitions, tastings, surprise treats, and balloons, all set to music in-keeping with the theme of a sumptuous birthday party. Finally, over a thousand anniversary products exclusive to Printemps have been created by four hundred different brands, including accessories, clothes, furnishings, décor, and perfumes, such as Maria Luisa’s floral clothing collection. Printemps explains that: ‘The unique pattern is conceptualized in reference to Printemps’ timeless values… The colour pink in all its nuances and elegance always!’

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