Please Do Not Enter, an expanding mini-chain of exquisitely curated concept stores in Downtown Los Angeles, fills its spaces with items that defy the store’s very title. Sit here, look there, smell this, hold that, try this on: every product is an invitation to admire, engage, and—if you’re wise—purchase.
Owners Nicolas Libert and Emmanuel Renoird opened the first Please Do Not Enter location as a one-of-a-kind shop catering to the “modern human.” On their racks, you’ll find Edda Gimnes’s bold prints, Ron Dorff’s trim sportswear, Otoguo’s harlequin knits, to name just a few. Placed about each industrial space, furniture from the likes of Kenneth Cobonpue, sculptural monochrome containers from UMÉ Studio, vases from Tsé & Tsé. Whether you’re looking to fill your closet or decorate your home, the options here are exquisite.
But Please Do Not Enter offers much more than physical products. The brand is routinely involved in the L.A. cultural scene. Their latest venture is Pulo Project, a series of installations and experiences focusing on Filipino art and culture. The exhibition is curated by Michelle Aquino and hosted at Please Do Not Enter’s locations from May 7 through August 4. Do go if you’re in town.
Below, just before the launch of Pulo Project, Nicolas Libert and Emmanuel Renoird let us into one of their locations to talk prized possessions, traveling with technology, and balancing lasting beauty with enduring function.
Place of origin:
First beautiful object you cherished as a child:
NL: My teddy.
ER: Glass paper weight.
A memorable experience you’ve had with a piece of art, if any:
NL: Producing “PROJECTION,” a monumental art installation by Vincent Lamouroux on Sunset Boulevard. Lamouroux covered the decrepit motel entirely, including its surrounding palm trees and flanking billboard, with layers of white lime paint, arresting the site in a state of indefinite transformation .
Favorite street in L.A.:
NL: Former 6th Street Bridge over the L.A. River. Can’t wait to see the next bridge finished.
ER: Grand Avenue, Bunker Hill section.
Favorite time of day in Los Angeles:
NL: Sunrise over Downtown L.A.
Three magazines on your coffee table:
NL: T Magazine (NYT), Le Monde Magazine, Frieze Magazine.
ER: Citizen K, Architectural Digest, Wallpaper Magazine.
City that inspires you the most and why:
NL: Paris. One of the most creative cities in the world, filled with assholes you will always miss.
ER: Florence, Italy. History, architecture, sculptures, paintings = “Chic à l’italienne.”
If you had to leave your house and had to choose only one prized possession to leave with, which would it be?
NL: My engagement ring.
ER: “Love” necklace by Cartier.
Personal design ethos:
NL: Create or collect things of lasting beauty and enduring function.
ER: Mixing past and present.
Three items you can’t travel without:
NL: My business life on MacBook Air; my timekeeper, Hublot IceBang Watch; and my fragrance, Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
ER: My credit card.
One item you’re most likely to forget while packing:
NL: iPhone charger.
ER: My iPhone.
Window or aisle?
Brand that excites you the most right now:
NL: UMÉ Studio, a design studio launched by a French/Japanese couple that used to work for Herzog & de Meuron.
A few items at PDNE our readers should put on their spring/summer wish list:
NL: Anti-Asshole candle (Felicie Aussi Paris), Leeroy New Mask (Manila, Philippines), Atelier Polyhedre Ceramic ZigZag vase (Nantes, France).
ER: Le Gramme Sterling Silver Ruler, Walter Van Beirendonck SS19 Peace T-shirt.
The last book/film/exhibition that inspired you and why:
NL: Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil. How two art collectors built one of the most acclaimed collection while supporting artists.
ER: Honoraria by Judith Housey. I’m fascinated by people who dare risking everything for a new life.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
NL: Trust your taste.
ER: Know yourself.