Paris’ fashion secret: the stock shop
As Paris Fashion Week starts today, most of us prepare to look on in longing as the shows reports flood in, simple voyeurs to what we assume is inaccessible.
In actual fact, it really isn’t. Paris, especially for Londoners and those with access to the Eurostar, is a mere hop and skip away; and armed with the right knowledge, any visitor can shop like a true Parisian fashionista, getting those high-end French designer looks at a fraction of the assumed cost. The answer to how that signature Parisian style can be accessible to most budgets lies in the cities insider secret: the stock shop.
Stock shops are akin to outlet stores here in the UK, where the discerning shoppers can purchase from past and current collections directly from the designers, at greatly discounted prices. It’s the first day of Paris Fashion Week, so now is the ideal time for a trip across the Channel to get a piece of the action for yourself.
Hidden away in back streets throughout the city, these stores offer mark-downs that typically run from 40-60%, often with additional soldes (sales) reductions on top.
In particular, the area around the Alésia Métro stop is a cluster of stock shops that include Sonia Rykiel, Kookai, Daniel Hechter and Cacharel. Here are listed some – but in no way all – of Paris’ best stock shops.
Sonia Rykiel Stock – 64, Rue d’Alésia. Métro: Alesia
Azzedine Alaia Stock – 18, Rue de la Verrerie. Métro: Hotel de Ville
A.P.C – 20, Rue Andre del Sarte. Métro: Abbesses
Stock Maje – 92, Rue des Martyrs. Métro: Abbesses
Zadig & Voltaire Stock – 22, Rue du Bourg Tibourg. Métro: Hotel de Ville
Stock Sandro – 26, Rue Sevigné. Métro: Saint Paul
L’Habilleur (Multi label stock shop including Paul & Joe and Plein Sud) 44, Rue de Poitou. Métro: Saint Sebastien-Froissart
On an endnote, the true fashion lover should not pass up a visit to the Azzedine Alaia Gallery (located next to the designer’s stock shop) where one can often run into the man himself. Just don’t pull an ‘Edina Monsoon’ and throw yourself at Alaia’s feet, as she was once seen doing with Christian Lacroix in Absolutely Fabulous!
Kiliwatch – Paris’ best vintage shop, running the gamut from bags and shoes, to t-shirts and ball gowns with an expertly picked stock for women and men.
64, Rue Tiquetonne
Agnes b – whilst the famed French designer does not actually have a stock shop, it is worth visiting one of her stores for her signature, and tres Parisian, striped t-shirts, priced at around 50 Euros.
2, 3 and 6, Rue du Jour
Round out your discount shopping trip with dinner and some local flavour at Bistrot Beaubourg (25, Rue Quincampoix) a reasonably priced – main, dessert and half bottle wine 20 Euro pp – intimate restaurant filled to bursting with local, arty Parisians. Then, head to the cosmopolitan Le Sully (13, Rue du Faubourg St Honore) for café and drinks which will set you back around 6 Euros. If you feel like splurging some of what you have saved with my guide, then may I suggest Grizzli Café (7, Rue Saint Martin).
Hotel Moulin Plaza (directly facing the Moulin Rouge);
Ian Michael Turner