Cartier Fifth Avenue Boutique located 653 Fifth Avenue was closed for renovation for two-and-a-half-year. So, no wonder why re-opening of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue mansion three days ago arked huge interest a large number of famous faces, such as Katie Holmes, Martha Stewart, Olivia Palermo, Rooney Mara, Sienna Miller, Uma Thurman, Patti Smith, Jourdan Dunn, Sofia Coppola, Iris Apfel, Edward Norton and Lewis Hamilton, to name just a few.
French-born architect Thierry Despont, was responsible for the refurbishments of the Robert W. Gibson–designed, Neo-Renaissance mansion (dating to 1904). The now five-story, 44,000-square-foot space (originally it was only 20,000 square feet spread across two floors) feels more residential than commercial from the moment you walk through the 52nd Street or Fifth Avenue entrance. A new lacquered panel depicting three gold-leaf panthers drinking from a river draws guests into the elaborate foyer, and the mansion’s original oak-paneled walls warm the liner, airy space.
A classical grand staircase, also in light oak, leads upstairs with each room displaying its own distinct style. The first floor features smaller rooms that showcase products across different categories. On the second floor which houses fine jewelry, famous Cartier clients are the inspiration behind the names of some of the rooms and you’ll find rooms christened with names like Princess Grace Salon (for Grace Kelly). Timepieces have taken over the third floor where three salons will showcase Cartier’s beautiful timepieces. These salons have been named after personalities like Andy Warhol and Santos Dumont, an aviator who inspired Louis Cartier to create the world’s first wristwatch in 1904.
Leather goods, handbags, eyewear, scarves and perfumes all have on a home on the fourth floor. The fifth floor has a terrace that overlooks Fifth Avenue and is ideal for entertaining.
The new space will of course offer wifi and the sales associates will have tablets enabling you to make a purchase anywhere in the store. “I wanted to give people the feeling of being in the grand house that it once was and to restore it to its full glory,” said Despont, “I don’t think there is any other store like it in the world.”