For a fashion designer, Paris is the kind of city that nourishes the soul, thanks to its staggeringly beautiful architecture and a sensational quality of light. And then there’s also Brasserie Lipp’s creamy celery remoulade, Benneton’s elegant stationery and the calm, symmetrical perfection of Palais Royal.
These are just a few of the things Marc Jacobs loves about living in the French capital with his two English bull terriers, Albert and Daisy (who, incidentally, are prominently featured on said stationery, including the designer’s wax seal).
“[Paris] is where I feel at home right now,” Jacobs relates, sitting in his store in Palais Royal, firing up a Marlboro Light in one of the few European countries where smoking is still permitted indoors. “I feel very comfortable here and very welcomed.”
Jacobs first visited Paris when he was 17 for a summer course on costumes given by Parsons School of Design, and the born-and-bred New Yorker had that eerie sense that he was destined to live in the fashion mecca. Palais Royal and Saint Sulpice in particular were two places “that just moved me in an emotional way I can’t describe.” It’s a visceral sensation that can strike him to this day. “I do get teary when I leave the office and go through Place de la Concorde,” he says.Jacobs is on to his third address in the 7th arrondissement, and he and his pooches are now comfortably ensconced in an apartment on the Champ de Mars, which gives out onto a small garden and a larger park beyond it, with the Eiffel Tower looming like some giant, glittering lawn ornament. It’s a handy, scenic and lively hangout.
Given demanding design duties for Louis Vuitton and for his signature labels, Jacobs said he relishes time at home, and he’s definitely been fluffing the nest. His friend Lee Radziwill, the ultimate American in Paris, got the designer sorted in the linens and silverware departments, introducing him to D. Porthault and Puiforcat, plus Benneton (not the clothing chain) on Boulevard Malesherbes, where custom note cards and envelopes come lovingly wrapped with cotton ribbon. “Packaging in France is so enticing,” Jacobs notes.
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