Love is in the City of Lights
I have visited the City of Lights in the Fall, Spring and Summer, but never in Winter. For the first time, I had the opportunity to discover the majestic city under its white coat of snow and in a superb winter light.
First, let me share a secret with you. I used to dislike Paris for its hordes of tourists hungry for predictable pictures, museums always crowded with people, cramped dark streets impressed with that nostalgic feel that used to depress me... and then, I learned to love Paris.
It came as a complete revelation to me. A friend made me discover unsuspected spots, full of magic and finesse. The city, which until then seemed so cliché, began to seep into me and left a mark that cannot be erased.
I recently had the opportunity to return to one of the world's most beautiful cities. I decided to stroll in one of my favorite neighboorhoods: le Marais.
Le Marais has a fasinating history. The area has remade itself many times, and retains several identities. Nowadays, it is THE place to be for every fashion & design lover. I spent one entire day in the quartier, contemplating architecture and enjoying the amazing art galleries, trendy boutiques & concept stores. Rue Vieille du Temple, Rue de Rivoli, Rue des Francs Bourgeois where you can spot fashion lovers from the whole world and get inspired by the amazing atmosphere...
The most iconic brands are present in the area - such as Sandro, Maje, Comptoir des Cotonniers, but smaller charming and/ or unpredictable places caught my attention. I would like to share my Parisian discoveries with you.
1. JIMMY FAIRLY
To speak frankly, I have hesitated to enter the store. I thought, alright, another concept store with pineapples and vintage letter boards everywhere. The smile of the salesperson inside made me change my mind. I hate having prejudices, so here I was, trying on all of their stunning vintage-inspired glasses.
Jimmy Fairly is THE destination for fashion & design enthusiasts looking for affordable yet quality eyewear. The price is really reasonable: 99 euros including handmade frames and vision lenses (made in France). Last but not least, for each pair purchased, JF gives a pair of glasses to a person in need.
2. L'ESPRIT PARISIEN
More than a shop, it is a boudoir thought like a Haussmanian apartment. L'Esprit Parisien has been established in 2016 by Elodie Cohen, a visual artist and jewelry designer and Michel Roulleau, a former deputy general manager of Galeries Lafayette.
I love their unique statement pieces presented in an elegant and cozy atmosphere, and have to evoke the artisanal dimension behind the manufacture of jewelry as well as values driving the brand. The items are handmade, assembled by persons with special needs (deaf and dumb workers) in Parisian workshops.
3. ZEN ETHIC
Founded in 1997, ZEN ETHIC proposes its clients ethnic items with a vision. The promotion of local know-how, fair working conditions, respect and just remuneration for Indian craftsmen are the values that guide their development. Located Rue des Francs Bourgeois 52, ZEN ETHIC is definitely a worthwhile visit.
If you are walking by UNIQLO Le Marais (Rue des Francs Bourgeois 39), do not hesitate to enter the store. The site is a former foundry, and the store inherited its factory-like atmosphere.
A nice place to finish your day in a good and happy way. GLOU has an excellent wine selection and serves original dishes made of seasonal products in a loft style room with red accents and exposed brick walls.