Paris's Marais District Draws Men's Retailers

New wave of men’s specialty stores arrive in the historic neighborhood.

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Inside the boutique of French Trotter.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

A few steps away on the Rue de Saintonge is Tigersushi Furs, its men’s collection inspired by owner Joquim Bouaziz’s record label of the same name. The designs include T-shirts with band logos, Throbbing Gristle being one, plus cashmere cardigans and other styles perfect for the underground indie music scene.

On the same street, another fashion and record label, April 77, stocks skinny jeans and rock-inspired collections for both men and women, while further along the road is Ventilo Homme, an offshoot of the casual women’s wear brand, and Vénus et Judes, a loungewear collection for men and women.

For some independent brands, the Marais has become a window to attract wholesale clients.

“During the week, the shop sees a lot of buyers come through the doors, from Japanese to Canadian to American. These buyers represent high-end brands and trendy companies, such as Barneys New York and Urban Outfitters,” said Lubna Playoust, public relations and communications manager for Surface to Air, at 129 Rue de Turenne, which started as a creative agency and is morphing into a lifestyle brand. A children’s collection has just been added, and the shop also stocks Opening Ceremony.

Similarly, Jacenko, a small high-end boutique, which carries labels such as John Smedley, Givenchy and Notify on the Rue de Poitou, has attracted quite a few foreign clients. “The arrival of more boutiques in the area is, for the most part, a good thing; however, expansion is only good if it’s not too cheap,” cautioned owner Frédéric Jacenko. “New stores coming in have been of good quality, and the neighborhood has been really evolving.”


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