From department stores to chic designers, from books to vintage, Here are the top ten best fashion boutiques in Paris.
It’s a woman’s world at Arlette, the multi-brand accessory boutique located along Rue Saint Nicolas in the 12th arrondissement. Tired of the mass-produced accessories from huge retailers in Paris, owner Sabine Cossé opened Arlette in March 2012. With her penchant for artistry and craftsmanship, Cossé carefully selects objects that please her and carry a story behind them. As a result, the shelves are filled with an array of delightful and unique creations by various brands and designers not often seen anywhere else: Delphine Conty and Trémoulière bags, jewelry by Marie Laure Chamorel and Monsieur Paris, Lovat and Green scarves, Porselli shoes, beauty creams and soaps imported from Portugal, and even stationery and notebooks. Loyal customers – mostly Parisiennes who live and work around the area – frequent the boutique for its selective taste and style, marking Arlette as a must-visit address when searching for the perfect accessory to complete any casual, sexy or smart outfit.
2. Editions MR
At the forefront of the current French menswear revival, this label now has Left and Right Bank outlets, with this stylish store in a converted bank. Despite the name, it is actually styled by two men, who refresh classic tailoring, sometimes a striped shirt or navy blazer, sometimes a floral dandy look or fleece jacket. It has quickly gained a reputation for the quality of its fabrics, with fine cotton shirts, pure wool jackets, and a large range of knitwear. This branch also offers a made to measure service.
Concept stores are aplenty in Paris, but L’Eclaireur had a head start on everyone else. It all started in a gallery basement along Champs Elysées in 1980, where Martine and Armand Hadida debuted beautifully-curated pieces by contemporary, fashion-forward labels and designers. Today, with five boutiques under their belt, L’Eclaireur continues to be a beacon of avant-garde and high-end fashion. Dries Van Noten, Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Helmut Lang, Junya Watanabe and Ann Demeulemeester grace their shelves alongside fragrances and a smattering of furniture and art objects. The stores themselves are stunning in design, architecture and location. Their Marais boutique is dominated by a towering wooden installation by conceptual artist Arne Quinze, while the Rue Mahler branch is housed in an ancient paintbrush workshop, and the Rue Hérold store used to be the stables of an 18th century mansion. It’s no wonder that clients from here and abroad seek out the eclectic taste L’Eclaireur has to offer, where one’s shopping experience is fueled by inspiration, seduction and the delightful prospect of taking risks.
4. Andrea Crews
Streetwear line and creative agency Andrea Crews was born when founder Maroussia Rebecq was asked to present her recycled clothing line at the Palais de Tokyo in 2002. Since then, Andrea Crews has stood staunchly by their motto: “Fashion, Art, Activism.” Bold and unpredictable, concept stores in Paris, Japan, Hong Kong and Seoul stock up on the brand’s latest offerings. Visually, the Marais boutique-atelier radiates an artistic vibe, from its interior decoration to the striking colors, forms and shapes of the collections. The racks display ready-to-wear street couture, as well as the signature “upcycling” creations, which are unique and sustainable pieces cut and assembled from overstock or second-hand clothes. You’ll find oversized patchwork shirts next to back-baring slinky overalls, all exuding that confident and distinctive Andrea Crews style. Always evolving, this artistic collective also dabbles in photography, set design, videos and events, leading to collaborations with Nike, Colette, Vans, Eastpak, Uniqlo and even My Little Pony. If you’re not sure you can pull off the outlandish outfits, check out their silk scarves, painted by various artists each season, or have a chat with the creative individuals you’ll most likely chance upon in the store.
5. Fifi Chachnil
Lingerie is a luxury every woman ought to indulge in, and Fifi Chachnil is the perfect place to get started. In 1984, Chachnil worked on designing stage costumes and ready-to-wear garments under her surname. Composed of fantastical cowgirl suits and skating outfits for musicians and artists, the collection sparked various collaborations and earned her the support of the Parisian elite. In 1996 she decided to devote herself to lingerie, this time under her full name, Fifi Chachnil. The pink, frilly boudoir-like boutique on Rue Saint Honoré serves as the perfect location for picking out beautifully feminine pieces with designs that are simultaneously racy, retro and playful. With her knowledge of texture and fabric (she comes from a family of silk manufacturers) and her unabashed love for the color pink, the designer’s undergarments celebrate a woman’s curves with lace, feathers, ruffles and ribbons. Baby-doll nighties, bloomers, knickers, petticoats and high-waisted girdles cut a flattering vintage silhouette on every figure. Fifi Chachnil also produces other girly essentials, like fluffy-toed kitten heels, swimwear, accessories and her very own fragrance.