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The Enigmatic Charm of Karl Lagerfeld's 7L Bookshop: A Journey into Literary Majesty.

In a whimsical turn of phrase, Karl Lagerfeld once quipped, "Books are a boundless addiction, safe from overdose. I happily surrender to their allure." With his penchant for such "victimhood," it's no wonder Lagerfeld amassed a vast collection, crafting a space of profound significance to house his bibliophilic treasures.


Situated at the end of Rue de Lille in Paris's 7th arrondissement, a stone's throw from the residences of luminaries like Jacques Lacan and Serge Gainsbourg, lies a discreet yet captivating enclave: the 7L Bookshop. This unassuming address boasts a subtle yet unmistakable sign designed by the legendary couturier Karl Lagerfeld, a nod to the intellectual haven that awaits within.


The 7L Bookshop is no ordinary bookstore; it is a sanctuary that seamlessly blends the realms of art, literature, and cultural exploration. Stepping inside, visitors are greeted by Lagerfeld's meticulously curated collection of art books and photography volumes, a testament to his profound passion for the written word.


What makes 7L truly legendary is its dual identity. It serves as both Lagerfeld's art bookshop and his former photography studio turned library, a space that exudes both grandeur and intimacy. The remnants of Lagerfeld's creative genius linger in every corner, from the mirrors illuminated by soft blue bulbs to the wooden screen adorned with vibrant red roses.


To fully experience the depth of 7L's treasures, one must become a member of the exclusive Friends of 7L. Behind a heavy door reminiscent of a theater's backstage lies Lagerfeld's studio, a veritable labyrinth of books that stretch skyward, accessible via a suspended walkway. Lagerfeld's unique approach to organizing his collection is evident, with books arranged in his idiosyncratic style that juxtaposes Marcel Proust with Madame de Staël and François Bluche's scholarly works with captivating monographs.


Rumors abound of Lagerfeld's nocturnal visits to direct photo shoots, infusing the space with an air of creative energy. His meticulous nature is reflected in the multiple copies of books he acquired – one for annotation, another for preservation, and more for gifting. Artworks pepper the studio, adding to its allure and mystique.


Despite Lagerfeld's larger-than-life presence, 7L is not just a shrine to his persona but a living, breathing organism of cultural engagement. The space hosts exhibitions, book signings, and intimate readings, inviting members to immerse themselves in a world where literature and art converge seamlessly.


As visitors traverse the hallowed halls of 7L, they embark on a journey through Lagerfeld's eclectic tastes and profound love for the written word. It is a space apart, where books transcend mere objects and become portals to imagination and enlightenment, a testament to Lagerfeld's enduring legacy as a literary connoisseur.


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Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of 7L.


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