Living a Paris dream

Designer Rena Dumas' lounger (left) and artist Leandro Erlich's ceramic shirt (above) are part of the furnishings and artworks in the home of Ms Veronique Nichanian (top).
Designer Rena Dumas' lounger and artist Leandro Erlich's ceramic shirt are part of the furnishings and artworks in the home of Ms Veronique Nichanian (above). PHOTOS: NEW YORK TIMES

Fashion label Hermes' Veronique Nichanian says it was her dream since young to live in Paris' Saint-Germain-des-Pres area

Ms Veronique Nichanian, 61, artistic director of the Hermes Men's Universe, spoke recently to The New York Times about her favourite room in her Paris apartment.

The living area of her Haussmannian apartment in the Sixth Arrondissement is a white-walled, high-ceiling room with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

What do you love about this space?

The light is amazing because it is from both sides. In 20 minutes, my husband and I decided this was the place we wanted to live in and it was done.

And I have always dreamt of living in Saint-Germain-des-Pres since I'm a child.


Designer Rena Dumas' lounger (above) and artist Leandro Erlich's ceramic shirt are part of the furnishings and artworks in the home of Ms Veronique Nichanian.

Why this neighbourhood?


Designer Rena Dumas' lounger and artist Leandro Erlich's ceramic shirt (above) are part of the furnishings and artworks in the home of Ms Veronique Nichanian.

First of all, I am born in Paris. I lived in many places in Paris because I moved many times. I used to come here and shop. I know perfectly all the tiny streets.

It seemed to me the people were nicer, casual. There were many writers and people talking about art. For me, Saint-Germain-des- Pres was the place to be.

Sometimes when we fulfil a long-sought dream, we're disappointed.

I'm not. I'm still very happy.

It is said there is a Parisian way of dressing. Is there a Parisian way of living?

You should tell me. All my friends, I cannot say we have the same kind of apartment. It is different because the personalities are different.

People are more classic or more traditional. I am not a traditional person, not at all.

Well, the flowers on your coffee table seem common to French interiors.

Always. I brought these flowers from the country. It is very important. It gives a softness. Even in my bedroom, I have flowers. I like to wake up and see flowers.

I noticed your record collection. What are you currently listening to?

I'm listening to old Bob Dylan. I love his voice.

In both your menswear and your home, there is very little fussiness.

It is minimalist but with a touch of humour, I think, and emotional things. I have a large canopy armchair. I have a sofa for friends. I have a working fireplace. That is fine with me.

If I remember my first apartment when I left my parents, it was exactly the same. Smaller. Not in the same area. But exactly the same apartment.

Really, I am still the same. With my friends or the kinds of things I like. I did not change.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Living a Paris dream'. Print Edition | Subscribe