PLACE DES VICTOIRES
With our KENZO locations in Paris, we're lucky enough to have a presence in many historic places around the city.
Our office is on rue Vivienne in the second arrondissement, right around the corner from Galerie Vivienne, the 17th century shopping mall which was the home of our first KENZO store back in the '70s. Galerie Vivienne is right around the corner from Place des Victoires, where one of our first stores has been for nearly forty years. Place des Victoires, dedicated to Louis XIV's victories, is the quintessential 17th century Parisian Place, complete with patriotic statue, large former private mansions with beautiful shutters and balconies, and a six-street intersecting rotary.
In the middle of the place is French sculptor François Joseph Bosio's 12-meter high sculpture of King Louis XIV, which has, since it was put up in the early 1800s century, kept a watchful eye on the square, and (more recently), on our store. Bosio reimagined Louis XIV as an equestrian Roman emperor, and the grand statue earned him an induction to the French Legion of Honor. You can see Bosio's other sculptures, which are similarly grand at the Louvre and on top of the Arc de Triomphe.
We opened our store there at 3, Place des Victoires in July 1976, under the original name of JUNGLE JAP, and our offices and showroom moved upstairs to the first floor. The shop's windows in this period had some of our most notorious displays, including a giant cowboy, a giant Eiffel Tower (well truthfully it was miniature, but still hard to get through the door), a life-size elephant and life-size tigers.
In 1980 we put up the new KENZO name, and held our Spring Summer 1981 runway show in a tent in the middle of the Place. Our store was followed by a wave of other brands that moved into the plaza over the next few decades, transforming the area straddling the first and second arrondissements from finance center to fashion center becoming the popular shopping area it is today.