It was 1970 when Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé moved into a garden-view duplex at 55 Rue de Babylone. Inspired by the décor of the Noailles villa, designed by Mallet-Stevens, Saint Laurent and Bergé chose Rue de Babylone to showcase their extraordinary personal collection of masterpieces. They succeeded in blending different styles and periods, juxtaposing works by Francisco Goya with those of Andy Warhol, Edward Burne-Jones near Piet Mondrian, Théodore Géricault alongside Henri Matisse, and Roman marbles with Art Deco codes. The dynamic manner in which they displayed their collections fostered a unique and broader dialogue between artists and different aesthetic codes, which now finds expression in a new cultural destination in the pulsating heart of Paris: the bookstore BABYLONE. Located fittingly at 9 Rue de Grenelle, in the 7th arrondissement, Babylone pays homage to the historical ties of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé with the Sèvres-Babylone neighborhood. The bookstore, previously dedicated to Saint Laurent leather accessories, opened earlier this month and was conceived and realized by Anthony Vaccarello, the brand’s creative director since 2016. This incarnation of Saint Laurent Rive Droite offers an international collection of books, zines, catalogs, art, and music, emerging as a new cultural oasis. Primarily designed as a meeting place in the heart of Paris for artists and innovators, it offers an unparalleled selection of volumes and collectibles, along with a calendar of cultural events open to professionals and enthusiasts, ranging from DJ sets to author meetings.
Anthony Vaccarello’s extensive and diversified cultural experience has enabled him to envision and embrace new ways to extend the Saint Laurent DNA: the bookstore, a sacred oasis in the heart of the French city, also encompasses a wide range of new titles under the Saint Laurent Rive Droite Editions label, established in 2019 when the French fashion house introduced a new retail concept on Rue Saint-Honoré, in the historic home of Colette. In addition to new books created in collaboration with artists such as Jeanloup Sieff, Cai Guo-Qiang, Bruno Roels, and Daidō Moriyama, the store also offers volumes previously published in partnership with Betty Catroux, Gray Sorrenti, Renato D’Agostin, Nick Turner, Sebastien Zanella, Henrik Purienne, P. Staff, and Chronorama Redux. Every element within Babylone, from rare findings to SLRD editions, from subversive publications to original productions, constitutes an intellectual universe. Among the vinyl records are Sade’s Promise, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, and the debut studio album by Kraftwerk.
Hidden among the books are Leica cameras, brass skull sculptures, and carefully selected YSL merchandise, including pens, lighters, and mugs that provide a visual backdrop to the black-and-white photos by Rose Finn-Kelcey, dating back to 1977, alongside those by Juergen Teller.