3 colorfully cool European brands I discovered
There is nothing more pleasurable than wandering the pretty Parisian cobbled streets, popping in and out of the lovely shops. Window-shopping is practically a national sport, and the French in particular take great pains to present their customers with beautifully packaged gifts. Expect to be asked if what you’re purchasing is “pour offrir” — aka, a gift for someone — and they’ll gladly render you a gorgeous present. Ok, enough — now for my favorite Paris shops and haunts, plus a few new-to-me brands that you can have delivered directly to your door.
This gorgeous line of the most delicate and whimsical jewelry you’ve ever seen features tiny handmade details like citrus fruits, birds, and incredibly intricate floral elements. Some of it can skew a little bit on the youthful side (like the ballerina elements, etc) but there are plenty of perfectly chic and colorful finds that you’ll eat right up if you go for the floral collections. This necklace is my fave, and I snapped up some gorgeous earrings while we were there.
We found Toasties in the much-beloved Merci — they’re handmade in Paris in the Belleville neighborhood. Available in a dizzying array of happy hues, you can get the cutest shearling mittens and gloves as well as scarves, shoe inserts, and hoods. It’s like Ugg’s way cooler European accessory cousin — all the comfort without sacrificing any of the style.
COS is probably not new to any of you in bigger US cities, but this was my first time to really delve in and see the line first-hand. One of H&M’s many lines (along with my other new fave, & Other Stories), it’s a higher-end look with a funkier European aesthetic — not to mention some seriously chic textiles. I was impressed with all of their knitwear — several of the pieces reminded me of something you’d find at Theory or ATM Collection. In addition to this uber-soft double-faced merino sweater (so so chic with that camel lining) and I also grabbed a fantastic chartreuse dress that has already made a few appearances back home.
MORE FAVORITE PARIS SHOPS:
& Other Stories: I mentioned it above, but this is such a cool little line of perfectly-priced on trend items. We especially loved this black velvet midi dress that had all 3 of us oohing and aahing in delight.
Satellite: one of my favorite Parisian jewelry lines since my student days. They always have a beautiful and interesting selection of jewelry that you will keep forever. Distinctive, boho style with a twist. And always the most gorgeous colors.
Merci: Again, not a new name on the scene, but always a great way to find cool brands you’ve never heard of and see what’s next on the fashion and interiors scene. There’s always a complete spectrum of colorful housewares and clothing to choose from. Plus they have some great in-house branded items like jewelry, paper goods and small fabric totes that make great souvenirs.
Bonton : Paris is full of delightful and charming children’s clothing, but this particular shop has everything from clothes to toys to decor and more. It’s a happy wonderland and I always find something to pick up here.
Diptyque : Diptyque is no longer a stranger to US consumers, but once upon a time they were sweetly nestled on 34 blvd St Germain and that was the only place you could pick up those incredibly luscious candles that they became famous for. Sadly the prices are so much more inflated than they used to be in the US (20 years ago, a candle was only $25) but it’s still a great place to pick up a little present for yourself or a loved one. I love the Quince candle and the 34 parfum. Bonus: when you’ve burned through your delish candle, you can use the stylish cup for pencils.
Reciproque: the largest luxury consignment shop in Paris. Everything is organized according to designer and size. It’s a pretty fun little treasure hunt.
Hermes (on rue de Sevres): this Hermes location is in what used to be the old pool of Hotel Lutetia next door. Think one of those incredible scenes you might find in a Wes Anderson film with an atrium where the pool used to lie, surrounded by several levels of doors above. Whether you buy anything or not, it’s still an incredibly inspiring space (remember this post on Hermes scarves?).
Les Toiles du Soleil: One of my all-time favorite fabric lines, this Catalan-based collection of happy stripes is available by the yard and also as a selection of tote bags, dish towels, tablecloths, and more.
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