Kobe has developed as a seaport city since ancient times. The city has accepted a variety of cultures while carefully protecting “the origins of modernity” and conveys it to the present. It is a city that has created its own culture and traditions through its capacity.

This spring, H.P.FRANCE launched its second store in Kobe following h.p.boutique.

“Creation enriches lives” is one of the key thoughts entrusted into the new store. The company hopes that H.P.FRANCE—a Decorative Arts Museum—becomes a place to share ideas with the world. Mathilde Labrouche is one of the creators who supported this project. She visited Kobe for the first time in November 2018.

The “Kobe” she felt there was different from the “Kobe” she visioned in France where she lives. It was a city with a strong sense of tradition—in contrast to the modern image of Japan—that is current in its own way.

With her aesthetic love for old-fashioned things, Mathilde was fascinated by Kobe’s diversity which embraces a sense of nostalgia. Like a kaleidoscope, her pieces change expressions with the images that emerge. Mirrors that each convey aspects of “aging”, repeat alignment and reflection to create a fantastical world. That is exactly the “Alice in Wonderland” that Mathilde envisions—a fantastical and nostalgic world.

The mesmerizing space showcases eternal masterpieces by designers such as JACQUES LE CORRE, SERGE THORAVAL and JAMIN PUECH, as well as numerous works by emerging creators representing Paris and other areas of Europe. The city of Kobe is where “tradition” and “new standards” coexist, a core belief of H.P.FRANCE—a Decorative Arts Museum—.


Mathilde Labrouche
Mathilde Labrouche—designer of French brand Côté Pierre—was born and raised in the small village of Messac located in Bordeaux, the southwestern part of France. She is currently renovating an 18th-century house near her birthplace herself, while also creating and living her daily life. She has no boundary between her work as a creator and personal life, as her activities are just as much ingrained as cooking. Mathilde is persistent about true “oldness” and can detect any appearance worn by age. She even regards the rust and rot of a mirror to be beauty that has come from age, and brings new life into every one of her pieces.

 Daimaru Kobe

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