Centre Commercial, a multibrand store owned by the fair-trade footwear brand Veja that stocks (among other things) excellent made in France chinos and men’s accessories of the leather-and-canvas variety. Pickings were just as good down the block at A.P.C. and Balibaris, two French basics brands (albeit at different stages) that get the details right.
We joined the tourists for falafel on the Jewish Quarter’s Rue des Rosiers, then parked it for awhile in (4) Anatomica, for this is a space in which to spend some time. Cofounder Pierre Fournier gave us a seminar on shoes and fit. He sells hard-to-find Aldens and Birkenstocks, and his label’s museum-quality menswear, beautifully made in France and Japan, has inherited its sporting elegance from bygone days.
The cinema-inspired label turns out of some of the most wearable menswear in France, from white button-downs to chambray boxers.
What began as an eyewear brand now runs the coolest surf shop in Paris. The house-label casual wear, made in Brittany, hangs alongside on-theme pieces from international labels such as Deus Ex Machina and La Paz.
The place to go for jeans in Paris, whether from Lee or Levi’s vintage, as well as for outdoorsy heritage brands like Penfield and Barbour.
The décor is moto-oriented, but the offerings tend toward Americana-inspired menswear (Levi’s 501xx jeans, boots from Chippewa and Wesco) at this soughtout specialty shop. Fabrication and authenticity are paramount, and the pair of enthusiasts behind the store have seriously exacting tastes.
Once a place for children’s wear, this shop has expanded nicely into the grown-up market.
A great bet for outside-the-box menswear, from the guy who’s also now head designer at Hermès. For fall, Lemaire dialed back the international eclecticism for a more city-oriented look that includes Shetland sweaters and leather jackets.
The industrial-chic mise-en-scène of this former glassworks is a remarkable complement to the boutique’s super-selective range of clothes, accessories, and fragrances. This is one of their four outposts in Paris. The next is a soon-to-open furniture shop in the Saint-Ouen flea market.
After our fill of French heritage, we moved on to Colette and then to Japanese denim label (1) 45rpm, a purist’s paradise that’s home to some of the most beautiful natural-indigo jeans, scarves, and shirts you’ll find this side of Tokyo.
The Etienne Marcel neighborhood, in the Second, is home to (5) Harpo, where American Southwest tribal traditions come awesomely alive in handmade belts and beautifully understated turquoise rings. It was definitely worth the trip.
The semi-custom shoes here wed modern technology and traditional hand-finishing methods. Choose from three basic silhouettes and all kinds of colors and custom patinas.
Tiny Rue du Dragon contains (2) Officine Generale, a French label that launched earlier this year and has already scored high marks for its reworked classics.
This fabulously renovated former swimming pool sells the luxury house’s Maison line and also Petit H, a collection of one-of-a-kind items cleverly improvised from atelier discards. Also contains a cafe, and shops for books, flowers, and tea.
Born forty years ago in Les Halles, this enduring hippie-flavored brand has since moved to swankier Saint-Germain. Satchels are their hallmark.
Hard to beat the scented candles here, handmade since 1643.
The proprietor here claims to have been obsessed with watches since the age of five. He’s certainly a world-class connoisseur, and his collection of vintage timepieces (arranged by theme) are enough to make any enthusiast positively giddy.
This elite perfumer grew up in the Seventh, and it is here that he launched his original store for the brand Editions de Parfums. Malle enlists France’s top noses as collaborators, and presents their work in almost clinically elegant surroundings.
Paul Bert Serpette, at 110 Rue des Rosiers. A recent merger of two separate markets, one more classic and one more on-trend, it’s now the largest of Saint-Ouen’s fourteen markets. They’ve added fifty new dealers in the past two years, many of them on the younger side, and are planning an elaborate travel-themed installation from September 19–22.