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"Is any breed of expert quite as chic as the fashion nerd? Add a mop of dark curls and a Parisian accent into the mix, and you’ve got swoon-worthy Maxime de Laurentis, one of France’s preeminent couture and archival designer runway dealers.
De Laurentis travels the world — Japan, Italy, and Belgium are all regular stops — to find exclusive fashion for his clients and his own collection. Following five years designing menswear at Maison Martin Margiela and two years at Yves Saint Laurent, de Laurentis struck out on his own, opening his shop de Laurentis, which sells important archival designer runway creations with a focus on Avant Garde designers such as Maison Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto to name a few. An impressive network of vintage retailers and celebrity stylists set aside important pieces for him, primarily womenswear, shoes, and accessories from the ’80s / '90s , as well as iconic pieces from more recent collections. He offers also menswear.

A master of European discretion, de Laurentis is reluctant to name names when asked about his clients but reveals that along with Vogue’s dapper international editor at-large Hamish Bowles, artistic directors, museum curators, and private collectors all stop by his shop, as do archivists and designers from fashion.

In addition to individual pieces available for sale, de Laurentis also maintains a personal archive that he occasionally loans — for a price. Naturally, the price of such an arrangement is quite high, given the market value and his personal attachment. But he isn’t overly sentimental and understands the fanaticism of his collectors.

When asked about the most important creations he has acquired, de Laurentis responds, “Important in terms of price, museum value, or just in my eyes?” He chooses the latter. “I could fall in love in front of a white Comme des Garçons shirt from the ’83 collection, which for me is priceless and super rare, even if it costs €300.”

Written by Anne Lee Philipps For Paper City Magazine.

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