General Dispensary, 106 rue Vielle du Temple, 75003
First impressions: an understated yet thoughtful space, complete with unique raw material furniture, dense gray flannel dressing room curtains, deliberately inhabited rugs and rustic wood carvings, all evocative of a discerning vintage collector. residence.
Purely Parisian: the sturdy wooden structural beams, stair posts and pillars – probably dating from the late 16th century – would be unlikely features elsewhere. Exposed and as prominent as clothing, they speak to the layers of the city that are so often hidden. For Mahéo, “it makes sense; whatever you can save, you save,” he says, after completing the necessary construction studies before drilling into the walls.
Front and center: A wide selection of men’s and women’s apparel across the brand’s neutral spectrum is showcased on custom hammered wrought iron systems, while display tables are laid out with pieces in tonal more catchy. The Daily Classics range attracted two English-speaking couples shopping together on a recent visit.
Behind the design: Mahéo and his wife Nina Havercamp source all vintage furniture from dealers, antique markets and auctions, which means almost everything is unique and they have the perfect excuse to seek treasures. In a recent and rare case, wanting to have a Jean Prouvé table, Mahéo purchased a new one and placed it in the inventory room to develop the desired patina.
In their own words: “Maybe I’ve always wanted to be an antique dealer,” Mahéo muses. “I wouldn’t pretend to be an architect or a designer, but to realize that these stores offer a way to be all of those things.” With six Officine Générale openings planned through 22, the brand’s founder says he has no interest in following a model. “For me, that would take all the fun out of working on these concepts. These concepts need to live and evolve and there is nothing more boring than traveling from Paris to New York and Los Angeles and seeing the same shell, the same racks, the same rugs. This is how a store loses its character, its soul.