September 6, 2017
French luxury goods conglomerate Kering Group is opening the doors to 40 rue de Sèvres in celebration of European heritage.
On Sept. 16-17, Kering will welcome the public to its headquarters, as well as that of Balenciaga, for the 34th annual edition of European Heritage Days. Luxury brands often leverage their long histories through in-person displays that help justify cost of their goods and provide understanding of craftsmanship.
An open invitation
Kering will welcome visitors to its headquarters during the 2017 Heritage Days.
While visiting, consumers can view a selection of contemporary artwork from the Pinault Collection, discover haute couture creations from Balenciaga’s archives and use virtual reality to explore the history of the 40 rue de Sèvres campus.
From 1634 to 2000, Kering’s headquarters was the Laennec Hospital. The location includes a chapel built during Louis XIII’s reign and other 17th and 18th century buildings, many of which are classified and listed as historic spaces by the French government (see story).
Last year’s European Heritage Days was the first time Kering participated in the cultural effort. The 2016 edition attracted more than 11,000 visitors to 40 rue de Sèvres.
Illustration of Kering and Balenciaga's headquarters at 40 rue de Sèvres in Paris. Image credit: Kering
“After the success of the opening of 40 rue de Sèvres for Heritage Days in 2016, I wanted to offer a new way of discovering the unique beauty of this place,” said Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, in a statement.
“The two new temporary exhibitions combine heritage and creation, two fundamental values that embody the luxury group we are: the first, with a selection of works signed by renowned artists from the contemporary arts scene, both multicultural and universal,” he said. “The second, through the creations of Cristóbal Balenciaga, one of the most avant-garde creators of his time.”
Kering’s contemporary art exhibition will display works that incorporate everyday found-objects to reflect the reality of the world. The Pinault Collection will be on view in the Laennec chapel.
For Balenciaga’s exhibition, 23 pieces signed by the designer will be presented in various areas within its maison headquarters.