Last winter, I was strolling through the Place des Vosges, when I came upon a seemingly endless line of women snaking around the walkway. I wondered what could possibly inspire these women to wait patiently in the cold. Was Johnny Depp offering free massages inside? As it turns out, a designer had opened her showroom to the public, and these fashionable females were simply waiting to get their hands on the fine frockery inside.
In a city known for its fashion sense, designer showrooms have become the new temples for shoppers, offering a more exclusive alternative to the well-groomed Parisienne. A cross between a designer’s workshop and a boutique, these showrooms give the shopping public access to the latest lines, where they can make purchases and maybe even meet the designer. Here are just a few designers who’ve opened their showrooms to the public:
Swedish jewelry designer Viveka Bergström is at the center of haute couture, and opens her showroom on the canal Saint-Martin from Monday to Saturday and by appointment to present her new collections. (23 rue de la Grange-aux-Belles, Paris 10th, Tel +33 (0)1 40 03 04 92; Monday to Saturday, 11am-7pm)
Médecine douce welcomes fans of trendy accessories to its bohemian-chic workshop on rue de Marseille. (10 rue de Marseille, Paris 10th, Tel +33 (0)1 48 03 57 17; Monday to Saturday, 11am-7pm)
Erotokritos offers clients the possibility to customize their clothes in a workshop on boulevard Beaumarchais. (109 bd Beaumarchais, Paris 3rd, Tel +33 (0)1 42 78 14 04)
For retro fans, Anoushka Vintage, the undisputed source for vintage style in Parisian fashion, advises clients in her apartment-showroom. (6 passage du Coq, Paris 9th, Tel +33 (0)1 48 74 37 00; By appointment only)
For home design fans, the showroom of the Kidimo brand is where you’ll find vintage and personalized decor. (5 passage du Grand-Cerf, 1st floor, Paris 2nd; By appointment only)
Photograph courtesy of Viveka Bergström Jewellery.