Travel

1st Arrondissement Shops

Establishment neighborhood
L’Eclaireur
10 Rue Hérold, 1st
There are very few boutiques that fully embody an aesthetic, but L’Eclaireur does this perfectly—no small feat, considering there are seven very distinct shops scattered around the city, as well as a bar/restaurant that doubles as a shrine to Piero Fornasetti. Armand and Martine Hadida’s original outpost in 1980 was incredibly important for a number of reasons, most notably because L’Eclaireur was the first to break brands like Prada, Helmut Lang, Dries van Noten, and Martin Margiela in France. While the Hadidas have had every opportunity to rest on their laurels, the pace has been relentless ever since as they’ve continued to ferret out the world’s best new talent, in fashion, in jewelry, and in home goods. While the mix at every spot varies, we like the moodily gothic Place des Victoires location best. Under the light cast by a strange and fantastic bird chandelier, you’ll find Fornasetti umbrella stands, chunky chain link bracelets from Mawi, cashmere travel wraps by Denis Colombe, and coated Saint Laurent skinny jeans. If time allows, their most recent project shouldn’t be missed, either: They’ve taken a space in Habitat 1964’s vintage village at…
Maison Bonnet
5 Rue des Petits Champs, 1st
Though Maison Bonnet is still relatively little-known, almost everyone has seen the house’s glasses: After all, this fourth-generation, Maitre d’Art-recognized, family-run business, which was officially established in 1950, has made some of the most iconic frames around. Yves Saint Laurent, Le Corbusier, Jackie Onassis, and Jacques Chirac were all clients. While you won’t be able to pick up a pair at your local optometrist’s office, you can visit their appointment-only Paris outpost, which actually just opened in 2009 (the company operates out of a workshop in Sens, Burgundy). There, a master craftsman will map your entire face, measuring three different angles of your nose, the gap between your temples, the overall structure of your skull, the shape and tenor of your cheekbones and eyes, etc. One pair of glasses requires three visits (the final two can be condensed, for those who are visiting), and while they’re revered for their work in tortoise shell, they do more affordable versions in horn and acetate as well.
White Bird
38 Rue du Mont Thabor, 1st
Though you'll likely recognize some of the big names here by their signature style (Arielle de Pinto's spun mesh necklaces, Ten Thousand Things' impossibly delicate freshwater pearl pendants, Cathy Waterman's garlanded rings, Ileana Makri's black diamond-studded, serpentine bangles), White Bird breaks new designers onto the scene, too. Dezso's cord and shark-tooth necklaces are equal parts tough and gorgeous, and Lito's geometric rings are some of the coolest we've seen. The vibe is low-key and unintimidating, making this a great resource for significant others who need some guidance and are in gift-buying mode.
Astier de Villatte
173 Rue St. Honoré, 1st
Though it's well located on Rue Saint-Honoré, this is the sort of spot that's easy to walk right by: There's not really even a sign, and inside it's hushed, dimly lit, cloister-like, and achingly cool, complete with rickety, slightly off-kilter shelves that literally sag under the weight of Astier de Villatte's ceramic tableware. Made from black terra-cotta clay and then finished in the brand's signature milky white, these perfectly imperfect dishes are the hallmark of some of the best-dressed tables we know. You'll also find the house line of geometric-print, gold-rimmed notebooks (made by the last master printer in Paris) and the gorgeously old-fashioned candle and incense collections, along with a handful of oddities, like glassware cast in the shape of skulls and stout little teapots.
Zef
32 Rue de Richelieu, 1st
You'll wish everything at Zef came in cuts for adults (if you're the size of a teenager, you're in luck), whether it's a star-print sweatshirt, an elbow patch adorned sweater, or a sheepskin jacket. Owned by the daughter of fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, there are no mis-steps here: In fact you'll want your kids to stop growing so they can wear this stuff forever. The range runs from newborn to 16-years. There are also locations in the 6th, 7th, and 16th.
Pierre Hardy
156 Galerie de Valois, 1st
As seems to be the way in Paris, Pierre Hardy was many things before he was a shoe designer. Initially, the Parisian-born Hardy was a professional dancer. And then he was an illustrator for Vogue Hommes. And then he went to Christian Dior to design shoes, before moving on to Hermès. While he launched his own, iconic collection in 1999, he’s never stopped working for other brands. He’s still the creative director of Hermès' fine jewelry, and he does men’s and women’s shoes for Balenciaga. His space in the Palais Royal is dark and gothic, which is a pretty epic backdrop for his day-glo shoes and cube-patterned clutches; his second location in the Palais Bourbon is equally (wonderfully) gloomy. There is another location in the 7th.
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