The Making of the Ritz Vitrine
From the storied Galerie de Ritz Paris, One Moon introduces the California brand to a European audience .
One Moon’s visual director, Joshua Klein, discusses the journey of the vitrines creation, the inspiration, and shares a few stories about Paris’ most iconic hotel.
What challenges did you face in creating the vitrine?
From pandemic delays to teaching myself 3D rendering to carrying gold leaf panels aboard a flight, the entire project was about overcoming challenges.
The creative challenge for me, as visual director for One Moon, was to make our little brand feel at home shoulder-to-shoulder with legendary European brands.
Can you tell us what inspires the vitrine’s design?
Of course it had to be elegant & beautiful, but it was the nature of California that inspired the design. When you walk down the long hall of the Galerie, I wanted the warm glow of the California sun to draw you in. We used gold leaf wallpaper by deGournay for this. The Pacific inspired the curves and transparency of the lucite base that would support the redwood shelf. The redwood represents the wild beauty of California and for me was the most personal aspect of the design.
Tell us the story of the redwood and its journey from California to Paris.
Feeling it was important to source the redwood myself, and as I’m always up for an adventure, I made the 10 hour drive north to the fog of Humboldt County. Here the coastal redwoods forests are of an otherworldly scale .... so big you can literally drive your car through.
The most coveted part of a redwood is the burl. Much like a pearl to an oyster, it is the way a redwood heals itself and it has a beautiful wavy grain structure.
At my source in Humbuldt, I walked into a massive shed with slabs of reclaimed old growth redwood stacked to the ceiling. Quickly I honed into a piece that had a stunning serrated edge and after a quick negotiation, it was loaded into the car to begin its long journey to Paris.
What about the Ritz impresses you?
The history … Coco Chanel lived here, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote here, the tragic night of Princess Diana began here, even a cross dressing Nazi was billeted here …. But the story that gets a laugh out of me is that during the WWII Liberation of Paris, Ernest Hemingway raced ahead with a group of soldiers, stormed into the Ritz’s bar and declared it liberated.
As a photographer and visual story teller, what image from the Ritz do you carry with you?
It’s evening and I am feeling good after a martini at the Hemingway bar, proudly glance over at our vitrine as I make the long walk to the front lobby, past the great staircase, say bon soirée to the doorman ... and then step out out into Place Vendôme with the lights shimmering on the wet pavement on a cool Paris evening.
About Joshua Klein
Besides creating the visuals for the One Moon, Joshua is an accomplished globe trotting fine art photographer. His work can be viewed at joshuatreestudio.com.