Parisian fashion entrepreneurs have seized on to the idea of concept stores like nowhere else, with dozens of them springing up across the capital over the past decade. To help you narrow your search for the perfect snapback cap or scented candle, we have gathered below twelve of the best that every diehard fashionista should add to their shopping hit list today.
Shoes at Centre Commercial | Courtesy of Centre Commercial
Centre Commercial is concerned not only with fashion but with art, social responsibility and environmental activism too. This store in the 10th arrondissement stocks labels from France, the UK and Denmark, as well as second-hand bikes, vintage furniture and works of art. Latest arrivals in store for men include a fantastic range of headwear: Stetson beanies, Norse Projects baseball caps, tip-top Larose fedoras, and the Midnight Hat by Études. One of the new treats in store for women are the amazing watercolor prints – featuring Amy Winehouse on skis and Grace Jones in iconic Island Life pose – on Gkero’s T-shirts, jackets, and scarfs. Open Monday, 1PM to 7:30PM, Tuesday to Saturday, 11AM to 8PM, and Sunday, 2PM to 7PM.
The original Parisian concept store, colette opened back in March 1997 (how’s that for ahead of the trend?) and is a 700-square-meter, three-storey shopping experience on one of the capital’s most fashionable streets. Their chic inventory of luxury clothing, high-tech gadgetry, art, streetwear, beauty products and designer waters is constantly evolving in accordance with the store’s reactive, visionary spirit. Highlights from the new collections in the store include the Yazbukey bags and purses for women and the Maison Kitsuné wallets and passport holders for men. Open Monday to Saturday, 11AM to 7PM.
Tom Greyhound Paris was the first of this unique, Seoul-based variety of concept store to open outside of its native Korea. The beautifully designed, minimalist store in the heart of the Marais leads shoppers through a carefully selected mix of established fashion brands, like Alexander Wang and Jil Sander and new, exciting ones like J.W. Anderson, Roksanda Ilincic, and Etienne Deroeux. It represents a contemporary, multicultural approach to luxury retail and should be a firm fixture on any aspiring fashionista’s shopping itinerary in Paris. Open Monday to Saturday, 11AM to 7PM.
LE66 holds the title of Paris’ largest concept store at a whopping 1,200-square-meters of shopping space. This huge, predominantly glass structure on the city’s busiest retail street is spread over four floors and is, in fact, three stores in one. More than 200 ready-to-wear lines for men and women are represented in the collection, covering a diverse set of styles, in addition to a sterling selection of shoes and accessories. The drugstore also contains a wide range of home fragrances, teas and trendy travel games. Open Monday to Friday, 11:30AM to 8:30PM, Saturday, 11:30AM to 9PM, and Sunday, 1:30PM to 8:30PM.
Simplicity is king (and queen) at FrenchTrotters, exemplified by their Super Normal capsule collection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, polos, pajamas, mugs and candles. Products are stripped back to their essence, revealing their exceptionality. This ultra-edgy store first opened its doors in Paris in 2005 and celebrated its tenth anniversary last year by commissioning ten designers to create a unique product of their own for the brand, with ten models of each sold at their boutiques. Fashion retailing doesn’t get more exclusive than that. Open Monday, 1:30PM to 7:30PM, and Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30AM to 7:30PM.Open Monday, 2PM to 7PM, Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30AM to 8:00PM, and Sunday, 2PM to 7PM.
Anaïs Lafarge, Romain Joste, and Guillaume Steinmetz are the three friends behind The Broken Arm. Opened in February 2013, it is a 200-square-meter space showcasing a handpicked selection of clothing and accessories, as well as books, magazines, and objects which bring together the trio’s interpretation of what fashion should be. The adjoining café is open from breakfast to early evening. You can check out Swedish chef Linda Granebring’s menu of the day online before you arrive to keep you motivated on a long, arduous day of retail therapy. The café is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9AM to 6PM, and the store is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11AM to 7PM.
With over 400 brands and 10,000 products, L’Exception provides its customers with the best of cutting-edge French creativity. Represented designers are selected from the cream of the local fashion crop, and the clothing and accessories carried suit a wider spectrum of budgets than many concept stores. The store is also committed to nurturing new talent within the industry, often helping with emerging designers’ commercial and marketing strategies. As well as enjoying the in-store delights, you can read their online magazine for the latest news from within the leading French and European design studios. Open Monday to Saturday, 10AM to 8PM, and Sunday, 11AM to 7PM.
According to Marché Noir‘s online mission statement, they subscribe to the Coco Chanel school of thought which says that ‘[a] fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.’ This genuinely one-of-a-kind store is Paris’ – and potentially the world’s – first styling agency dedicated to ghetto style. The man at the helm of this revolutionary fashion venture is Amah Ayivi, who has assembled the store’s collection from sources as disparate as friends’ attics, charity warehouses and African street markets. The Togolese style guru is on hand to advise anyone looking to embrace this alternative take on the fashion industry. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12PM to 8PM.
Gab & Jo is a multi-brand boutique dedicated to presenting the very best of French accessories and fun home decor. Everything in this pretty, welcoming store in Saint-Germain-des-Prés has been handpicked by its husband-and-wife owners (the place is named after their two children) and is 100% Made in France – from the authentic Marseille soap by Marius Fabre to the hugely popular underwear from Le Slip Français and Aëdle headphones. If you’re looking for something to take away from your time in Paris but aren’t in the market for a museum postcard or tacky fridge magnet, it is most certainly the place to head. Open Monday to Saturday, 11AM to 7PM.
SoWeAre was founded by two friends, Magali et Hélène, with the intention of providing an eclectic selection of ready-to-wear clothing, accessories and lifestyle objects from French, British and Scandinavian creators. The store’s style is quirky without being kitsch and products are on offer at a variety of price points. If you’re in the eleventh arrondissement, it’s a great store to pop into to pick up something sweet for yourself or a friend. Open Monday, 1:30PM to 7:30PM, and Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30AM to 7:30PM.
Window of the store at Rue du Bouquet | Courtesy of French Touche – Galerie d'Objets Touchants
Valérie Fleurent-Didier (the sister of French singer Arnaud Fleurent-Didier) has established one of the 17th arrondissement’s greatest shopping treasures: French Touche – Galerie d’Objets Touchants. Opened in 2002, it carries ready-to-wear lines for women, men and children, accessories, homeware, books, stationary, music and more from hundreds of artists and creators. There is also an extensive e-shop which ships around the world, but it would be a shame to miss out on a trip to the store for a fruitful browse and to enjoy the brilliant soundtrack that it has become renowned for in the French press. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11AM to 8PM.
This concept store in the Marais, whose window displays change on a weekly basis, features the work of exclusively young, French designers: fashion accessories, a limited selection of clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home decor. Unique among Paris’ concept stores, La Fausse Boutique is also a functioning workshop for its creators, whom you can meet to discuss their products and processes. If you have a bright idea of your own to share, or even some constructive criticism, you might before too long see them come to fruition in the store’s offerings. Open Monday, Thursday and Friday, 12PM to 7PM, Wednesday, 1:30PM to 7PM, Saturday, 12PM to 7:30PM, and Sunday, 12PM to 6:30PM. Closed on Tuesday.