11 Place du Palais Bourbon, 7th
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's another store located in the 1st.
7 Place Vendôme, 7th
While JAR (a.k.a. Joel Arthur Rosenthal) may have a shop—and that shop may be in Place Vendôme—there’s no point in swinging by unless he’s accepted your appointment. After all, there isn’t even a sign, much less regular hours. Making only 70-80 pieces per year, this reclusive designer and Harvard grad may have come from humble roots (he’s the child of a biology teacher and Bronx postal worker), but he’s made jewelry for some of the world’s most beautiful women. Those who can’t get an original (he won’t sell a piece to someone unless he’s convinced it’s a match), can always pick something up at auction: A 2006 Christie’s sale of Ellen Barkin’s JAR collection featured 17 pieces, including a 22.76-carat diamond ring that fetched more than 1.8 million.
Maison Martin Margiela
13 Rue de Grenelle, 7th
Nothing Martin Margiela turns out is particularly basic, but thanks to a muted palette and exquisite tailoring, everything is supremely wearable. The Belgian designer’s boots are always classic (if cerebral), and his jewelry is pretty cool, too. MM6, Maison Martin Margiela’s more reasonably priced line, just found a home on 22 place du Marché Saint Honoré in the 1st. There's another location in the 9th.
24 Rue de Sèvres, 7th
Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato cut her teeth working for Issey Miyake after she graduated from Tokyo's Bunka Fashion School in the '70s, though when she launched her line in the '90s, it was with an aesthetic that was undeniably her own. Though they’re frustratingly hard-to-find in the world at-large, Tsumori Chisato pieces are pretty unmistakable, and are a total siren song for anyone who isn’t sartorially timid. Vivid colors and patterns, intricate embellishments, and offbeat details are mainstays, along with slightly avant-garde cuts: While they look challenging on the hanger, they’re transportingly cool when on. (If you’re too shy for one of her dresses, test-drive one of her metallic patchworked wallets.) The Paris shop—her first location outside of Asia—is as wonderland-like as her clothing.
24 Rue de Sèvres, 7th
With a palette of muted tones, and pieces that look like they belong in a sand-washed cabin on the beach, Caravane is a useful resource for unfussy linens—both for the bed and the table. There are other locations in the 4th, 6th, 12th, and at Le Bon Marché.
Le Bon Marché
22 Rue de Sèvres, 7th
Though it's often (mistakenly) credited as being the first department store, there's no doubt that Le Bon Marché's founders, Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut, were pioneers, particularly in a culture that so adamantly prizes specialty stores. Launched in 1838 as an extension of the Boucicaut's single market stall, it became a fixed-price department store in 1850 (before that, you would barter), moving into its sweeping, Art Deco home in 1867. While it's been expanded several times since (and now belongs to LVMH), it's still inarguably one of the most beautiful, large-scale shops in existence. Whether you're looking for Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Maje, or Iro, it's likely here: Along with lingerie, kids clothing, furniture, household essentials, and shoes and bags. The food hall, La Grande Épicerie, is pretty insane, offering an embarrassingly rich array of specialty products, from Fauchon macarons to Baltic smoked fish. Many visitors concentrate their buying power here in order to hit the spending level required for VAT.
82 Rue de Grenelle, 7th
Launched by the son of the founders of Bonpoint, Bonton is styled like a department store for minis: Heart shaped cushions, bedside lamps cast in the shape of geese, knitted rattles, strawberry-printed crib sheets, stationery, tutus, and toys mingle with the house line of solid (and adorable) basics. Beyond baby shower gifts and souvenirs for little ones back home, this is an excellent pitstop if you have kids in tow. After all, there’s an in-store hair salon and a retro photo booth. There are also locations in the 3rd, Le Bon Marché, and Galeries Lafayette.
7 Rue de Solferino, 7th
Stuffed animal taxidermy, carefully turned-out cribs, incredibly chic rocking horses, kids wallpapers you wouldn't mind hanging in your living room, and wooden toys galore round out the mix at this baby-themed newcomer. Even if you're not in the mood to ship a toddler bed back home, there's plenty of packable treasures to tempt.
1 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 7th
This spot offers an encyclopedic range of every modern home good line you could ever want for your newborn or toddler: Oeuf cribs, Norman Copenhagen mobiles, Tapis Hay rugs, and wooden Little Alouette toys.
Paul & Joe
64-66 Rue des St. Pères, 7th
Launched in the '80s—and named for owner Sophie Albou's two sons—this much-loved French brand traffics in a girly-meets-modern sensibility. We love the floor-skimming, floral-print gowns and flippy little skirts, which are great for both moms and their daughters.
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