L.A. Story
Four years ago, Meryl Hadida Shabani moved from her native Paris to Los Angeles for love. Since then, she has married the real estate investor Michael Shabani, had her first child (a girl), and opened a design store, L’Eclaireur, in West Hollywood. If the shop’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s an offshoot of the seminal Parisian fashion boutique founded by Hadida Shabani’s parents, Martine and Armand Hadida. As for the romance playing out between Paris and L.A., the 28-year-old says, “it all started when Hedi Slimane moved Saint Laurent here. Now you can’t pick up a French magazine without seeing an article about L.A.” For Hadida Shabani, the transition has been fairly smooth because, she says, southern California feels like the south of France. “The nature here is so generous. There are trees, lots of green space, and the beach. I love driving on the Pacific Coast Highway and watching the sunset.” Even her initial trepidations about moving in with Michael were quickly assuaged. “Before I saw his house, I kept saying to myself, ‘Don’t judge; keep an open mind,’ because I was expecting a bachelor pad—and, you can imagine, I’m very particular about home design.” But his classic, well-appointed 1930s Beverly Hills apartment and collection of Slim Aarons photographs did not disappoint. Most important, she says, “he had Rosé from Provence.”

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Slim Aarons’s Portofino Harbour, 1977, from her husband’s collection.

Photographs by Ye Rin Mok, Styled by Deborah Afshani

Growing Up L’Eclaireur
Hadida Shabani’s parents, who now have five stores in Paris, opened the first one in 1980, on the Champs-Élysées, championing designers like Martin Margiela and Dries Van Noten. Their daughter’s own style, however, is less Margiela Tabi than Valentino Rockstud. She likes to mix designer pieces with finds from her travels—a simple cotton blouse with handmade lace she picked up in Forte dei Marmi, Italy, or a leather bag from Bali. “I grew up learning that you should dress to express your personality, not to display a status-symbol label,” she says. She favors Giambattista Valli dresses for romantic femininity, but she’s equally comfortable in an Isaac Sellam python jacket and patterned scarves by Faliero Sarti, a L’Eclaireur favorite. She and her three siblings were raised literally above the store, and work spilled over into family time when her parents hosted Fashion Week dinners. The art of the table was always in play—Fornasetti Adamo and Eva dinnerware, Aristide Najean hand-blown glasses, curvy Driade candlesticks designed by Borek Sípek. “Evenings were about nice wine, good conversation, and gathering around the kitchen.”

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 Hadida Shabani’s parents, Armand and Martine Hadida, 1990.

Courtesy of Hadida Shabani

Home Away From Home
Hadida Shabani and her parents had talked initially about opening a L’Eclaireur fashion satellite in Los Angeles, but upon observing how the locals lived—indoors and outdoors, with lots of entertaining in houses that have square footage to spare—they decided to focus on home design. A perfect location presented itself: a three-story building with a French château–style facade in West Hollywood’s Design District that had belonged to the late celebrity florist David Jones. It took nearly two years to transform it into what Hadida ­Shabani now refers to as “the residence.” “Clients in Los Angeles are hard to seduce, so you really have to make yourself worthy of their attention,” she says. Gold-trimmed mirrors and green marble floors imported from Italy make a statement, but the real triumph is in how pieces are presented. A Zaha Hadid Moraine sofa upholstered in white calf hair, for example, sits atop a bold snake-design rug by Fornasetti. The Italian house has a long history of collaboration with the Hadida family, and special items, like a striking ivory-and-black secretary, are displayed with whimsy inside a “Fornasetti closet.” In fact, many of the museum-quality furnishings—a dining table imbued with hematite by the Belgian brutalist Ado Chale; sculptures by the artist John-Paul Philippe; and ceramics by Aldo Londi, the former art director of the famed Bitossi Ceramiche studio in Florence—are L’Eclaireur exclusives. “We didn’t want to create the typical luxury store. We wanted an element of surprise, a warm statement that welcomes the client who has it all and who has seen it all.”

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A view of the store, with a table by Ben Storms and benches by François Thevenin. 14. A Fornasetti rug and an Ado Chale Josephine table.

Photographs by Ye Rin Mok, Styled by Deborah Afshani

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