It’s impossible to come up with a Paris shopping guide that fits on one page but I’ll try. Here’s a small selection of boutiques I always visit when I am in Paris.
For women’s clothing, I like the modern, chic French style exemplified by agnes b. Budget versions of this look can be found at Comptoir des Cotonniers. My other favorite is Sportmax: they have a boutique in the 7th arrondissement. There are so few Sportmax boutiques around the world. Max Mara stores carry Sportmax but not the entire collection.
I love shoes and Paris is the place to shop for fabulous shoes (although Milan and Rome are just as good). All you have to do is walk down the rue de Rennes on the Left Bank. I’ve included my favorite shoe store on that street: Christian Louboutin.
For men, Killiwatch is the place to shop for the French “grunge” look. Kitsune, a quirky Japanese brand, has just opened a boutique.
Agnes b.: the epitome of French chic, but the modern, urban version. Her Agnes Troublé began making clothes for her friends in the early 1970s, setting up her art gallery/shop in the Les Halles area when it was still home to butcher shops and flower stalls. Today, agnes b. has shops al over Paris, but my favorite remains the original space on the rue du Jour which has a raw, loft-like quality. The other store I visit is on rue du Vieux Colombier on the Left Bank, close to the St. Sulpice church. Unlike other brands, agnes b. despises marketing and does not advertise. She actively supports young artists (several of her shops are also galleries). It’s not surprising that she has a large group of loyal customers around the world. Her clothes for men and women are stylish and funky, elegant and playful. Best place to shop for clothes in Paris.
6, rue du Jour
+33 1 45 08 56 56
6, rue du Vieux Colombier
+33 1 44 39 02 60
Comptoir des Cotonniers: if you are on a tight budget but you love the agnes b. look, this chain of boutiques, which can be found all over Europe (and recently New York City), is the key to understated, relaxed French style. I love their summer dresses which evoke the Côte d’Azur when there were only fishing villages and a young Brigitte Bardot was riding around on a moto. The spring coats are also a must: unlike Max Mara and Sportmax which can be too overwhelmingly Milan-chic, CDC does a more innocent look. Great place for neutral toned basics like t-shirts, cardigans and trousers.
12, Place St. Sulpice
10, rue du Jour
+33 1 53 40 75 77
Claudie Pierlot: like agnes b., Claudie Pierlot does French style very well. This is a good place to shop for knitwear: cardigans, sweaters and dresses.
1 rue Montmartre
+33 1 42 21 38 38
Sportmax: the younger, funkier sister of Max Mara, Sportmax makes gorgeous coats, dresses and jackets that truly stand out. This is my second favorite place to shop in Paris, after agnes b.
72, rue des Saints Peres
+33 1 45 49 22 03
Christian Louboutin: no one does chic, sexy high-heels like Louboutin. They’re comfortable despite the vertiginous, vertigo-inducing heights. The rue de Grenelle shop is opulent and quirky at the same time. Worth a visit even if you won’t be buying shoes.
38, rue de Grenelle
+33 1 42 22 33 07
Parfums Frederic Malle: I love this perfume boutique on the rue de Grenelle across Louboutin. These mysterious perfumes – created by some of the greatest “noses” in the world (such as Jean-Claude Ellena and Dominique Ropion) – are unique because they were not the brainchild of a large company’s marketing department. Each perfume bears the name of the person who created it (and its creator had been given the freedom to create whatever he or she wanted). Extremely limited distribution ensures you won’t smell like everyone else (least of all Britney Spears).
37, rue de Grenelle
+33 1 42 22 76 40
Kitsune: funky men’s and women’s clothing from Japan; check out their music CD compilations, too.
52, rue de Richelieu
+33 1 42 60 34 28
Colette: a concept store that is art, entertainment and retail therapy rolled into one giant space on the rue St. Honoré. This is the place to find clothes for men and women, accessories, perfume, candles, and other pieces you can’t find anywhere else.
213, rue Saint-Honoré
+33 1 55 35 33 90
Kiliwatch: trendy menswear, urban warrior style
64, Rue Tiquetonne
+33 1 4221 1737
Assouline: this is the headquarters of the Assouline publishing house which specializes in “fine illustrated books, luxury editions and an exquisite gift line dedicated to fashion, photography, art and design.”
35 rue Bonaparte
+33 1 43 29 23 20
Merci: new concept store in the 11th arrondissement featuring a cafe, bookstore, gorgeous clothes.
111, boulevard Beaumarchais
+ 33 1 42 77 10 38
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Go to www.mapplr.com to find out my suggestions for the best boutique hotels, restaurants and cafes in Paris.