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The quirky collection of Brigitte Tanaka | Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka
The quirky collection of Brigitte Tanaka | Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka
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Meet the Vintage Collectors Behind Paris' Most Secret Shop

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 20 October 2017

Meet the Parisian collectors who sell vintage stationery and precious jewels by Saint Roch church, a hidden antiques boutique store that used to be home to Robespierre’s barber, now listed as a historic monument.

Brigitte Tanaka is the mysterious creation of a Franco-Japanese designer duo. These two creators are always on the lookout for quirky pieces to adapt and make their own. They transform them into modern wonders before showcasing them in their hidden boutique located just outside the Parisian church of Saint Roch.

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The quirky collection of Brigitte Tanaka | © Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

Their timeless universe houses a range of precious items marked by a harmonious cocktail of their two cultures – French and Japanese – and of two different eras: ancient and modern.

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© Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

Antiques, fashion accessories, decorations, jewellery, works of art, botanical objects, household linen, prêt-à-porter, tableware, stationery, small or large-sized leather goods, and even a few hardware products: all their little treasures are exhibited in this tiny concept-store, stretched over three quaint floors covering just 7 square metres each.

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© Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

What are some of the quirkiest pieces you’ve adapted to make your own?

Personalization on ceramic tablewear is probably our ‘must have’. We have a kiln on the basement of our store that gives us the opportunity to create unique pieces in 24 hours that can even go in the dishwasher! This can go from a colourful artwork of a customer’s name on a serving plate, or simple elegant 18-carat gold initials on a teacup.

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© Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

How do the two cultures of France and Japan influence your design?

French antique objects have elegance and history, while Japanese ones have quality and delicacy. As we love them both dearly, we enjoy mixing them together creatively to end up with a contemporary, and sometimes unexpected, unique product.

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© Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

What is special about your shop and its products?

Our main speciality is personalization. We can personalize ceramics, mainly with gold, emboss leather accessories, hand-embroider clothes, bind books and more. But what is most special is the authenticity in our approach of working. Everything we make is a “labour of love”.

 

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© Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

Why did you want to set up this business and how did you do this?

Globalization has definitely changed our perspective on purchasing objects. But it’s not necessarily what people love. We believe that unique, hand-made and custom-made pieces are what people like best. The future is antiques!

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©Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka

Why are you one of the best hidden gems of Paris?

Our three-story little shop is located inside a historical church. So come and see something different for yourself; we are open every day except Sundays, on 18 Rue St Roch, 75001 Paris.

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© Courtesy of Brigitte Tanaka