Paris’s Best Marais Fashion Boutiques
The Marais quarter has long served as Paris's fashion barometer, drawing the city's top art and design talent to open storefronts since the '80s. With so many boutiques to choose from, it would take weeks to thoroughly explore them all. For those of us with less time, these four standout boutiques rank supreme, consistently providing a choice selection of cutting-edge design, in atmospheric settings—and at prices for every budget, to boot.
The spanking-new Ra boutique brings some theatrical dazzle to the chic upper Marais—clothes spill over the floor from a mini-stage, jewelry sparkles in a coffin, and decked-out mannequins mill about like so many understudies. Taking their cue from '20s Symbolist art, the Ballets Russes, and Russian cinema, the Antwerp-based owners—who made fashion waves with their Antwerp-based mother ship—create a fantasy space to display fabulous limited-edition pieces and handpicked ready-to-wear. Look for Christian Wijnants's flowing blue-on-black sequin cape and David Szeto's masterfully draped dresses, along with established virtuosos, like Rodart, Gareth Pugh, and Givenchy.
Don't Miss: Over-the-top hats, made-to-order shoes, rare vintage pieces, and curated art books.
Buy It: www.ra13.be
Going 30 years strong, L’Eclaireur's visionary approach introduced France to the likes of Helmut Lang, John Galliano, Ann Demeulemeester, and Martin Margiela, defining the term "concept store" in the process. Among their six Paris boutiques, the extraordinary shop at 40 rue Sévigné is a mecca for international fashionistas. Serving as both a style lab and giant interactive sculpture of sorts, images flicker from 150 video screens and walls rise and fall to reveal backlit armoires and niches filled with luxury clothes and accessories. Classics like Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, and Maison Margiela mingle with glamour stars Haider Ackerman, Carven, and L'Agence, plus a slew of European artist-designers. A revolving collection of knitwear, leather, and lingerie is punctuated by handpicked bags, scarves, and some of Paris's best jewelry.
Don't Miss: Camilla Skovgaard's iconic shoes and ravishing Drome leathers.
Buy It: www.leclaireur.com
3. Surface to Air
Started by a group of artists and designers, the Surface to Air boutique on rue Vieille du Temple dispenses with the line between art and retail. Minimal displays present clothes like sculpture, and a revolving series of pop-up shops, experimental music soundtracks, and art exhibits make shopping feel like an event. The understated collection of edgy separates for men and women are ever-popular with hipsters for their staying power. Although the label can be found in specialty stores worldwide, nothing conveys the group's message like their Marais flagship.
Don't Miss: Women's platforms, flats, and strappy sandals are among Paris's best.
Buy It: www.surfacetoairstudio.com
For fashion lovers on a budget, the Swedish-based COS, H&M's sophisticated sister, is the go-to boutique for the kind of contemporary minimalist design that usually comes with a maximal price tag. The bright, uncluttered space features streamlined wardrobe staples for men and women (and a limited line for kids) alongside elegant standouts reflecting the latest trends. A neutral palate of black, gray, navy, beige, and pale pastels is punctuated with crimson, orange, blue, and metallics. Made from natural fabrics, like cotton, silk, cashmere, and leather, the European-made clothes rely on quality and fit to attract a more upscale customer, and the accessories—including gloves, belts, bags, wallets, scarves, and jewelry—could easily go for triple what you'll pay here.
Don't Miss: Sleek platform sandals and whimsical cardigans and tunics for spring.
Buy It: www.cosstores.com
Thinking of a trip to Paris?
For up-to-the-minute hotel and restaurant recommendations, plus the best planning advice, check out our Paris Travel Guide.
Photo Credit: courtesy Ra
Member Comments (1) Post a Comment
Thanks for the great suggestions ! I will be staying in Le Marais this summer with my two young children. Now I just have to figure out how I can keep them contained so I can spend a few moments in these stores !
Fodor's Top News & Features
- 5 Reasons to Go to Charleston, South Carolina Right Now
- Ultimate Walt Disney World 2014 Planner
- 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Families in the US
- Europe's Best City Escapes for Spring
- America's 10 Best Spots for Seeing Wildflowers
- Fodor's Approved: 15 Most Stylish Women's Shoes for Travel
- 15 Budget-Friendly Spring Getaways for 2014
- Top 10 Places to Go This Spring
- World's Best Overwater Bungalows
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- $130* & up -- Nationwide Fare Sale on American, R/TAmerican Airlines
- $699 & up -- Cabo All-Incl. Vacation w/Spa Credit, 25% OffCheapCaribbean.com
- $2199 -- Cuba: 5-Nt. Havana Vacation w/Air, $300 OffFriendly Planet Travel
- $449* & up -- Carnival 7-Night Caribbean CruisesCarnival Cruise Lines
- $59* -- Mammoth to San Diego this Spring, One WayAlaska Airlines
- $119* -- Portland to Billings this Spring, One WayAlaska Airlines