Any French woman knows that one timeless purchase is worth 10 trendy ones. So bypass the high street and head straight for these shops to find something special to take back with you.
Nat & Nin
Ten years ago, two daughters of leather artisans started making handbags for their girlfriends. Lucky for us, they then created Nat & Nin, which means that now we can wear them too. Featuring supple leather, contemporary silhouettes, perfect dimensions and eye-popping colours, the collection includes backpacks, shoulder bags, clutches and wallets.
Emarobe and Haili
You get two for one when you venture out to funky rue Daguerre, in the 14th arrondissement. Emarobe has ultra-feminine fashions and accessories at all price points.
Right across the street is Haili, which stocks the latest designer labels from across Europe. Run by a former stylist with a vast knowledge of the fashion world, the shop feels like a larger version of her personal closet.
The fine jewellery boutique Monsieur creates delicate pieces – think thin, stackable rings – in gold and silver, with or without gemstones, meaning there is something for every budget.
Galerie Elsa Vanier
At the higher end of the spectrum is Galerie Elsa Vanier. As the name suggests, this is more like a gallery than a boutique, with deep glass cases, dramatic displays and rotating exhibitions. All the jewellers Vanier carries are as much artists as they are craftspeople.
In the heart of the hip Marais district, Taher Mardini offers a small but complete selection of high-quality, handmade leather shoes in classic styles like strappy heels, low rocker boots and ballet flats. Given enough time, they will customize any style in the leather and colour of your choice – at no extra cost.
A bottle of one of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s signature fragrances – Blackberry & Musk, Tea for Two, Timbuktu – does not come cheap. But it will get you stopped on the streets back home with cries of, “What are you wearing?” The shop itself – intimate, lovely, refined – is worth a visit for its irrepressible Frenchness.
For more information on things to do, as well as places to stay in Paris, visit our destination guide.