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Shopping for a good vintage
GETAWAYS • Paris
Paris has always been a retail paradise; most recently, it’s seen the reinvigoration of both Le Bon Marche and Samaritaine. For one-of-a-kind women’s fashion finds, however, a trip to Paris is not complete without a visit to some of the best vintage and archive boutiques in the world.
Stuck stateside? Some will ship — or just browse for the endorphins.
Thanx God I’m a V.I.P. (12 Rue de Lancry, 10e, above). Any store organized by color understands personal style — as well as how people with true personal style organize themselves. Brands carried are a mix of designer and out-of-print.
Every piece on offer is the perfect amount of cool, so it’s easy to spend an hour looking at each find.
LOUISE Paris (10 Rue de Lancry, 10e). Almost next door to Thanx God, LOUISE offers a beautifully curated selection of vintage and newish resale, all in impeccable condition. Styles here trend towards the feminine sophisticated and sunny, featuring most major luxury brands. There’s also a large selection of unique shoes in the window.
This is a true small business: the owner is often at the register labeling new items that come in. (One of the things to love about Paris is that it feels like NYC 15 years ago when there were so many independent boutiques.)
Le depot vente de Monica (7B Rue Clauzel, 9e). Less store, more closet, albeit the closet of a great, globetrotting friend who’s buying one interesting thing at each stop. Visitors end up standing in one spot, scanning from ceiling to floor, rotating two degrees, and repeating. Stock is a mix of vintage and resale.
There will be too much to take in, but you can do it.
Debardeuse vintage shop (16 Rue la Bruyère, 9e). This small but mighty collection of ‘50s-’90s vintage is filled with pieces that could mix easily into a work wardrobe. Statement jewelry, blouses with just the right amount of embroidery detail — you get it.
It’s down the rue from Soho House. Go after lunch to add a brooch or three to your collection.
Les Merveilles de Babellou (Marché Paul Bert Allée 1 stand 12, 18 Rue Paul Bert, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine). Make a sojourn north just beyond the périphérique to St. Ouen, or risk not having your trip count in many a Parisienne’s book. When you do, this store’s your first stop. It caters to collectors, museum curators, and the aspiring of either among us. Plenty of Chanel, Hermes pieces you’ve never seen before in person but are instantly recognizable (even for the uninitiated).
This store is full of conversation starters one could take home and frame as art. Also, it’s one of the few places to see/touch/buy vintage iconic Paco Rabanne pieces.
Chez Sarah (18 Rue Jules Vallès, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine). A newer discovery, also in St. Ouen. Showstoppers only! With a collection of certifiably historical pieces (regularly pulled for films), every important designer of the last century is represented. In addition: small collections of ‘60s chenille robes from St. Tropez and vintage nightgowns in perfect condition.
A living museum — you’re not allowed in without donning a pair of white gloves. –Ashley Granata