Lizzie Porter, The Daily Telegraph, January 23, 2014
Paris wears a merit-worthy crown as queen of the fashion world. The city's boutiques and shops run the gamut from high-end, by-appointment-only ateliers, to flea markets and bric-a-brac stalls. Here are some the city's best shopping spots, which are all approachable, offering affordably priced, wearable clothes.
Set up by a young PR in 1978, this 7,535 sq ft (700 sqm) collection of six shops is the largest and best of all the dépôt-vente in Paris. Dépôt-vente are boutiques to which well-heeled Parisiennes sell their old (often never worn) clothes, and mortal folk can get their hands on them for less than buying them new. Réciproque has thousands of designer items, from rails stuffed with classic Chanel jackets to Yohji Yamamoto and men’s leather accessories.
89, 92, 93, 95, 97, 101 rue de la Pompe, 75016
Come on Eileen
This wonderfully-named shop looks rather chaotic from the outside, and it’s true that it’s stuffed to the gunnels. But inside you will find an excellent selection of designer labels – lots of French names such as Yves Saint Laurent – at prices that won’t have you reaching for the smelling salts.
16 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 Paris, France
Le Bon Marché
Yes, the food hall is excellent, and the beauty counters offer brands rarely found elsewhere, but you’d also do well to look to the selection of younger designers in the upstairs area linked to the main shop by a walkway. Here you will find Claudie Pierlot, APC and a good selection of See by Chloé.
24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France
Sonia by Sonia Rykiel
Sonia Rykiel founded her label in May 1968 – a tumultuous month of civil unrest whose spirit of rebellion can still be felt in Rykiel’s bold striped designs. The main line is very expensive, but seek out the Sonia diffusion line for perky bright knits with trompe l’oeil details in merino wool.
Rue de Grenelle, 75006, Paris
Comptoir des Cotonniers
This brand is expanding into the UK, but the Paris boutiques are still a cut above, with better merchandising. Natasha Edwards, Paris expert, says in Telegraph Travel's Paris app that the large branch at 12 place St-Sulpice is best for its staff, who are “particularly helpful, even when it’s frantically busy”. Look out for the well cut jackets and coats.
12 place St-Sulpice, 75006
A traveller’s spirit can be sensed in the Sessun collections – unsurprising since the label’s owner took to fashion after a trip to South America. Think boho details (but high quality tasselling and natural fabrics, rather than droopy linens) and neat tailoring.
34 rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
Not an undiscovered spot, but the Chanel shop on Rue Cambon, where Mademoiselle opened a shop and once lived in the apartment above number 31, is fashion Shangri-La. Friendly assistants waft between the bouclé and feathers on wondrous garments on the upper levels, while customers without the occasions for such evening wear peer at the sumptuous leather accessories on the ground floor. Staff are very friendly and will help anyone from a girl looking to purchase her first Chanel handbag, to ladies with wardrobes full of Karl Lagerfeld’s latest pieces.
31 Rue Cambon, 75001 Paris, France
La Botte Gardiane
This shop sells easily the best practical-yet-chic boots in the whole of Paris. Founded in 1958, it is the only French company specialising in manufacturing Carmargue-style boots. Slouchy suede ankle boots in taupe, sand and black sit next to tan leather knee boots. When friends ask where you bought your shoes: you can reply, smugly, that they weren’t from the high street, but were made by hand in the south of France. At about €350 a pair, they are relatively good value.
25 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
There are six branches of this concept store, but as Diane Pernet, a fashion designer, editor and blogger has previously told The Daily Telegraph, the best is the discreet one on rue Herold, where you will find Rick Owens and Dries Van Noten alongside objets d’art and home accessories.
10 rue Hérold, 75001, Paris
This might not be the most elegant of all of Paris’ boutiques, but you absolutely cannot beat this pharmacy for discounted packs of the finest French beauty products. Sharp-elbowed women fight for space to get their Klorane, La Roche-Posay, Nuxe and Biotherm cleansers, moisturisers and shampoos. Stock up.
26 rue du Four 75006 Paris
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