Fashion / Style

A guide to the best vintage stores in Paris with Jessica Steuart-Hoyler of Reciety

Sourcing vintage and pre-loved fashion is a passion of mine, brought to life through On a recent inspiration trip to Paris, I found vintage pop-up stores on almost every street in Le Marais, each with their own unique curation. They were everywhere – the more, the better, with vintage gems on every corner. I was in heaven. When it comes to the best, permanent, standalone vintage stores, here’s some of my favourites to visit when in Paris.


1. Les Merveilles De Babellou (Clignancourt Market)

A trip to vintage and antique mecca Saint-Ouen (aka Clingnancourt market) isn’t complete without visiting Le Merveilles de Babellou, which has been around since 2008. It’s a collectors haven sprawling with incredible archival pieces and cabinets full of vintage Hermes, Chanel, Christian Lacroix and more. The staff are friendly (and effortlessly chic), deeply knowledgeable (founder Isabelle Klein has forensic fashion knowledge), and everything comes authenticated. I couldn’t stop thinking about a mini Hermes bag from the 70’s, imagining how it would go with absolutely everything forever, I bit the bullet and brought it home with me. This is the place to go for a forever piece. PSA: Do not expect a bargain - it’s the best of fashion history. Do expect to fall in love with everything.


2. Pretty Box

One of my top vintage destinations – an institution: Pretty Box’s curation of avant-garde vintage with a punk/rock edge. The likes of Chanel, Prada and Junya Watanabe meet military pieces and band tees, resulting in a truly unique selection. To visit, you need to book an appointment – then to soak it all in, delve and relish in the expert curation of founders Nico and Sarah to find the ultimate vintage item with one on one service.

Nico and his wife Sarah founded Pretty Box in 2007, both working in luxury fashion before turning their hand to vintage. Many fashion stylists and celebrities are loyal clients, returning each season. Nico explains their criteria when sourcing is ‘first in the originality of the piece and its details.’ At times they have specific customers in mind when sourcing, but mostly they curate pieces that inspire them, with a love for the 80’s - the decade of maximalism. The decor reflects their eclectic spirit, like a large E.T. collectible figurine bought from Blockbuster Studios sitting pretty alongside Gaultier and Sacai.

There are two other vintage stores that Nico and Sarah run - Seven Boys & Girls and Vintage System. Each with their distinct point of view. At Seven Boys & Girls, you’ll find Y2K and more recent pieces from Gucci, Dior, Balenciaga, Kenzo and more. It’s slightly more easy going, slightly more feminine. Vintage System offers a mix of newer designer and playful vintage accessories - a more affordable, youthful mix of vintage and non-branded pieces from Jacquemus, Thierry Mugler, Issey Miyake and more.


3. Thanxx God I’m a V.I.P

Thanxx God I’m a V.I.P is a real experience. Clothes are methodically arranged in exacting colour blocks - deeply satisfying for a virgo like me. Videos of people dancing in the collections from the store play on the walls, and there’s a skylit bar in between two adjoining stores that make up the space. When you first enter, it’s hard to imagine the expanse that is to come. It has gained a strong following since it opened in 1994 and it’s no wonder. Vintage and contemporary pieces from YSL, Jil Sander, Alaïa and much more sit amongst the rails. I found a heavenly, dramatic floor length vintage kimono robe to cherish.


4. Selection Marais

Selection Marais is a vintage concept store launched a year ago by stylist Alban Bardin, previously head of visuals at Printemps. With years of experience in the fashion industry, Alban is well versed in vintage, has a keen eye for collectors items and launched a limited edition magazine for the stores’ first anniversary, featuring pre-loved and archive fashion. Expect to find Y2K to contemporary pieces with an edge from Gucci, Balenciaga, Versace and more alongside SELECTION merch. Alban is warm, welcoming and a delight to speak with. He prides himself on offering the best prices for the brands he sells. I left with a Lemaire textured zip up shirt, and still think about the metal detailed Loewe skirt I didn’t buy, the one that got away.


5. En Voiture Simone

I had seen En Voiture Simone recommended on a number of sites, so had to see it for myself. There’s an abundance of interesting pieces. Designer vintage and archive pieces (lots of great oversized tailoring and outerwear) mixed with lesser known labels, plus cowboy boots and belts. It’s relaxed and friendly, just like the founder Amel - with her wealth of fashion history knowledge, I could have listened to her for hours. There’s vintage from the 70’s-90’s, YSL, Gianfranco Ferre, Yohji Yamamoto and more. I took home a vintage Gianfranco Ferre (aka ‘the architect of fashion’) 90’s minimalist crop black jacket with green beads around the wrists.


See Jessica Steuart-Hoyler's guide to the best vintage stores in London.

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