Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE MARAPL 2015 Contents Life.Styled
Inspired by the individuality of colour, shape and form,
Napoleon Perdis’ celebration of beauty from ‘must have’ to
‘lust have’ transcends the beauty counter and enters every
aspect of our lifestyle. We gained an exclusive insight into
this eye-opening entrepreneurial journey through beauty and
beyond, writes Cameron Pine.
ositioned on Melbourne’s infamous Chapel street in
South Yarra is Napoleon’s latest lifestyle store, a multi-
level retail concept and education space designed
specifically for culturally savvy shoppers looking for
the superlative of the season.
The vision for the Lifestyle store delves deep into the
individuality of beauty and the celebration of a unique identity.
Napoleon wants women to feel comfortable to walk into the store
in a robe but to walk out with something that empowers them and
transcends the ordinary – whether it be make up or not.
“You have to take people through that journey where there’s
that moment in time where you can absorb and take in my
journey and culture. It’s about transparency not about a product,”
Napoleon Perdis said.
“As a brand we’ve drilled a hole and you can see through a whole
culture reference that is no longer just celebrity, no longer models,
no longer music artists, it really is about culture and collaborating
with other fashion designers and talent that is artisanal,” he said.
For Napoleon it’s about having an entire movement around
make up and a whole feeling that comes to you where you (the
consumer) is in the drivers seat, from a naked nude to a really
dressed up muse, for him the consu mer has always been the star,
not a celebrity. Designed by Matthew Bird from Studio Bird, the
space hits every nuance of emotion possible, from an eclectic
and dramatic entrance through more subtle stages of retail - it’s
democratic depending on what you’re looking for. While it was
the first retail/lifestyle collaboration for Matthew and Napoleon,
judging by the result there will be many more. Studio Bird projects
have been described as ‘speculations about the nature of space,
of the elaborated surface, about the potency of symbols and the
contradiction of scavenged luxur y.’ It’s this symbolism that
succinctly stirs every emotion at the Chapel street store.
“At Napoleon Perdis we are simply there to translate for ou r
empress unlike many brands who treat their customers like a
queen and they get given a thrown – big deal, for us the empress is
in control and she tells us what she wants and what she wants to
be in control of,” Napoleon said.
This individualism is mirrored through a sensorial adventu re in
every zone while still reflecting the precinct’s mix of distinctive
1800s architecture and artistic modernity. Among the latest
Napoleon Perdis innovations lie some of the most sought after
vintage items, ready to wear, jewellery, fragrance, accessories and
home décor – a lot of which is personally sourced by Napoleon
himself throughout his travels.
Napoleon admits the nature of retail has changed dramatically
and for a brand like Napoleon it has been important to inspire the
consu mer rather than just dictate to them.
“At the end of the season we look at ratio’s and see how our
consumer has customized to us. If a line is not selling well we re-
invent something that meets the demands,” Napoleon said.
“My retail vision is having a hole in the wall that goes outside
the normal stereotypical ways a brand gets cultural referencing.
The movement last year was art with Felicia Aroni a unique artist
out of Perth then onto photography with Slim Aarons –we always
invoke our consu mer with creative stimulation,” Napoleon said.
Napoleon passionately believes that women want more and
it’s not just about a brand signing a face. For him women are
empowered and it’s really about her, ‘the empress,’ having pauses
along the way, “from the make up journey she can see how the
journey evolves into being so much more,” Napoleon said.
The aesthetic connection between home, work and their social
being is something that for many is an important lifestyle choice,
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