Our Creative Director, Phil Heys, took a day trip to Paris on the Eurostar recently, with no agenda other than some glorified window shopping to see what’s going on with our Gallic neighbours.
Armed only with a list from our resident Parisian Socialite, Philippine, a camera, a Paris-themed playlist, and a (shopping) assistant (wife), here are some highlights:
Skipped past Galeries Lafayette, too big and scary on my tight timeline, however they did have some nice minimal window designs.
First up Citadium, in the 9th arrondissement, which is four floors dedicated to street wear and sneakers. All the big guys are here, and there are a few nice touches.
The Converse sneaker tree, a love letter to their all star hi tops, Nikes orange compactus storage units, and Pull and Bears cut away camper van, were the memorable bits of furniture. Big surprises and wow moments were thin on the ground though, and it’s a pretty mainstream experience, showing how far streetwear has come over the last few years.
Suggested headphone music to browse Citadium with:
Fresh – Daft Punk
Next up Colette. I had big expectations for this one, usually one of the first places on the lips for retail experience in Paris. It was a bit like shopping at the Design Museum. Everything was laid out just so, with assistants meticulously measuring the distance between items to ensure each is given its respectful breathing space. Every product had been perfectly selected to be the coolest looking ‘whatever it was’ you could buy.
The security staff, however, looked like they’d all overslept, mistakenly dressed in their Grandads suit, and couldn’t find their shoes, so stuck on a pair of shell toes!
Suggested headphone music to browse Colette with:
Anything by Serge Gainsbourg (No idea what he’s singing about, but it sounds really sexy and cool!)
Last in the battle of the departments stores was Merci. Merci is located in the Haut-Marais district, and was established by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen. You walk in via what seems to be a small quiet book store, but pass down the book lined corridor and it opens out a large open light warehouse space. The central area had blue painted wall, and was dressed like a swimming pool, in the courtyard was an inflatable flamingo sitting on a retro Fiat 500. This had a super chilled, almost thrift stores vibe, but with a really well curated product range. The kind of stuff that you don’t get in too many other stores, and it feel like a great find. Its where we (my assistant) spent our money!
Suggested music to browse Merci on your headphones with:
Paris Match – The Style Council
Some other spots worth noting:
34 Place du Marché Saint-Honore
75001 Paris, France
Specialists in preserved, tinned fish, and punk wines
Has to be seen to be believed taxidermist
Wine By One
Wine By One
Self serve wine bar using credited swipe cards
Sorted us right out after a row with the guy from the train station rank!