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In recent years, the French capital has seen a rise in concept shops, otherwise known as multi-brand shopping destinations. These stores are a unique alternative to shopping in the larger department stores or Parisian boutiques which can now be found all over the world. Many of these concept shops feature independent designers and artisanal items that are unavailable elsewhere, often making them more desirable. As a fan of multi-brand shops and lesser-known designers, I’m happy to see this trend taking off in Paris! Here are a few of my favorites.
The first concept shop in Paris has recently celebrated 35 years. L’Eclaireur was begun by Armand and Martine Hadida on their quest for novelty in design and fashion. They were among the first retailers to bring Prada, Maison Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten and Helmut Lang to France. Their stores, now six in total, are where they display their discoveries. “L’Eclaireur, is to go ahead, to be in what will come, to dare, to disturb, it is the duty always to seduce, always to surprise”. This is the place where designers begin, and evolve. L’Eclaireur is not simply a shop, it’s an experience.
10 rue Boissy d’Anglas Paris 75008, Tel: 01 53 43 03 70
Opening its doors in 1997 on Paris’s fashionable Rue Saint-Honoré, Colette was created to offer both Parisians and international travelers a new type of retail experience. Colette was born out of instinct, by the innate love of a product, whether it be women’s or men’s fashion, accessories, books or housewares. Many consider this the destination for present and future trends, where small local brands and larger international names are equally on display. With a focus on art and design, it’s here where you can meet a favorite artist signing their latest work. Colette also houses a restaurant and Water Bar, featuring 75-80 brands of water.
213 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001, Tel: 01 55 35 33 90
Opened in 2009 by Bernard and Marie France Cohen who founded childrenswear company Bonpoint, and housed in a former 19th-century textile factory, Merci features four floors of carefully curated designer and vintage fashion and housewares. Merci has quickly become a showcase for emerging talent. Among the many lesser known designers hang pieces by Stella McCartney and Isabelle Marant. In addition to a floor of housewares and a lower level of lighting and kitchenware, are two restaurants and a bookstore cum café. What’s most unique about Merci, however, is its philanthropic purpose, with all proceeds going towards educational projects and development in Southwest Madagascar.
111 blvd Beaumarchais 75003, Tel: 01 42 77 00 33
This innovative boutique started by two girlfriends, is well situated South of Pigalle, featuring Parisian designers, with locally made fashion, jewelry, handbags and other accessories. Proof of this is their name “Seven Five”, the postal code for Paris. It’s the perfect spot to find that unique gift while supporting local artisans. Artists and designers can be met in person during their in-store appearances. There’s also a charming café for a light lunch, coffee or organic juice.
54 Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, 75009, Tel: 09 83 55 05 95
One of the latest multi-brand boutiques to open is Tom Greyhound, located in Paris’s trendy North Marais. Once a spacious 360m2 two-floor gallery, it’s now home to an international collection of men’s and women’s designers. This is the first retail branch of this Korean-born store to open outside of Seoul. Over 50 labels come from the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and India, with only three to four pieces of each item. Featured exclusively are two Korean brands, Decke and System. Art exhibitions in the shop, reminiscent of its gallery days, change monthly.
19 rue de Saintonge 75003, Tel: 01 44 61 36 59
Lead photo credit : L'Eclaireur