Fall’s crop of new shops here come in all sizes, from Madame André’s tiny and quirky boutique to Benetton’s sprawling flagship on the Boulevard Haussmann and Galeries Lafayette’s 43,000-square-foot basement floor geared to teens.
Painted pink and packed with vintage jewelry, shoes, kimonos, slinky lingerie and brands like Gilles Dufour and Japan’s Bapy, Madame André is run by Chloé Para, a former fashion editor at Numero magazine who’s married to the popular Paris graffiti artist known as André.
(André is also behind the offbeat Black Block shop opened last year at the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum.)
“We wanted something very personal,” said Para. “We couldn’t do big, so we went eclectic.”
It might be petite, but Madame André is symbolic of a young generation of imaginative Parisians who are creating an alternate shopping experience. Para’s husband even decorated T-shirts, sweatshirts and blouses with customized ribbons emblazoned with graffiti.
Ramdane Touhami’s Bureau Politique shop on the Rue des Ciseaux, on the Left Bank, also captures the indie spirit. With a log-cabin facade, it hardly looks like a clothing shop. But inside it’s studiously chic with polished hardwood floors, antique chandeliers and shelves covered in tartan fabric.
“I wanted it to go against the grain,” explained Touhami, who also designs the men’s wear offered inside. “I wanted something chic, but also something wacky.”
On the nearby Rue Bonaparte, Mona Blonde has opened Mona, a 1,500-square-foot shop stocking clothes from Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and Azzedine Alaïa, as well as shoes from Michel Vivien and Pierre Hardy. With no exterior markings, it’s a discreet presence just off the well-beaten Saint-Germain shopping circuit. Former Philippe Stark underling Kristian Gavoille designed it with simple sophistication, including white leather stools and splashes of red on the walls.
“We were shooting for a real Parisian feeling,” said Blonde. “We want it to show our personal aesthetic. We’ve even asked designers to do limited editions for us.”
Meanwhile, Blonde said the small shoe store she operates on the nearby Rue des Canettes would be transformed into a vintage footwear showcase.
Issa Rae stopped by WWD's NYC headquarters to talk about season two of "Insecure," which premieres this Sunday on HBO. Click link in bio for all the details. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery; Styled by @mayteallende)
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"