Vintage Hunting in Paris can be a real wild-goose chase, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terrain. A trip, however, to Montmartre will put you on the right footing, revealing a wealth of quirky vintage stores, young designer, along with more established labels like the outlet store A.P.C. Surplus on rue André del Sartre. Montmartre once welcomed the movers and shakers of late 19th and early 20th century art in Paris. Unsurprisingly, artists were seduced by Montmartre’s majestic setting — everyone from Picasso, Van Gogh, to Erik Satie, lived, drank, worked and sweated tears in this village-like neighborhood.
Localers’ personal shopping guide, Brune, who also up until recently, ran a boutique in the area, has revealed a few of her favourite addresses in the area. She gives you a taste of what to expect. Meeting the shop owners and seeing the area through the eyes of a local fashionista will give you a first hand insiders experience of the area.
Brune says, "the advantage of shopping in Montmartre is that it’s a dramatic location". With its ascending streets and breathtaking views of the city, it is the perfect place to fit in a spot of sightseeing along the way. And local life is not far at hand either: stop at a café along the rue des Abbesses and enjoy some of the local action, or finish your day of shopping at one of the bars at the bottom of the hill, such as La Foumi, 74 rue des Martyrs, or the trendy Sans Souci across the boulevard in SoPi, on 65 rue Jean-Baptiste.
By Flowers, 86 rue des Martyrs. Metro Abbesses. Brune says: “This is a great place to find a nice little 50s party dress and owner Paul Cohen is always very agreeable.”
Chine Machine. Metro Abbesses. Brune says: “This is probably one of the more touristy shops and I have hesitated coming here before, but then once I am inside, I have found some great bargains, and the shop is quite charming.”
Paperdolls, 5 rue de Houdon, metro Pigalle. Brune says: “This shop stocks young creators and is probably my favourite in the area. The clothes are unusually presented in this shop, it feel more like you were stepping into someone’s beautifully presented home. Open wardrobes and hat stands elegantly display the shop’s stock, giving the whole thing a very lived in bohemian feel."
Spree, 16 rue de la Vieuville, metro Abbesses. Brune says: “This is definitely a very chic address − it is both designer boutique and art gallery. Labels such as Helmut Lang, Isabel Marant, Olivier Theyskens, and Marc by Marc Jacobs sit side by side with vintage furniture, painting and sculpture.”
Brocante des Abbesses, metro Abbesses. Brune says: “ Although not as cheap as some of the other markets in the city, this flea market is a great place to wander on a Sunday with a friend by your side. Often I’ve picked up things for my apartment here. Delph, postcards, old paintings, jewellery, furniture − you’ll find a bit of everything here”.
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