The city of romance is a veritable treasure trove for the connoisseur of classic menswear
Established by Emile Aubercy in 1956, who set up shop in Rue Vivienne due toc its proximity to the Bourse – shrewd businessman that he was, he realised stockbrokers needed something equally elegant to team with their bespoke suits. Current owner Xavier, for whom the term hospitable was surely created, represents the third generation of the family business. A typical pair of bespoke shoes starts at €1500 and take sixty handcrafted hours to create a house style that fuses the very finest Anglo/Italian/Gallic nuances.
34, rue Vivienne, Paris
Revered for their bespoke shirts, the choice of cloth at Charvet is incomparable – upwards of 5,000 different fabrics for the discerning gentleman to choose. Lavishly spread across several floors, the second of which, is a vast edifice of fabric bolts, in all manner of hues and asymmetrical stripes. The knowledge and service imparted by genteel owner Jean-Claude Colban harks back to a bygone age. “Ties are all €160, Sir, because we don’t like the price to affect the design or colour the client wishes to choose”. Charvet’s offering of silk ties and bathrobes is equally exquisite. Bespoke shirts from €580.
28 place Vendôme, Paris
Camps de Luca
The Parisian masters of cloth, headed up by patriarch Marc de Luca and his two sons Charles and Julien are widely considered to be one of the finest tailors on planet earth. They bought out Stark & Sons on Rue de la Paix two years ago and moved their former base in Place de la Madeleine to within a stone’s throw of the Opéra. Their house style boasts lightweight canvas and shoulder padding; a clean chest that’s cut close with no drape; pronounced shoulder roping and meticulous finishing.
16 rue de la Paix, Paris
A ready-to-wear line par excellence, that shares many of the attributes that have made Cifonelli one of the leading exponents of bespoke tailoring. Cifonelli cut a very high armhole that sits very snug to the body and a trademark cigarette shoulder that closely resembles the British roped shoulder. From exquisite windowpane jackets, to luxurious cashmere yarns and suede loafers, you’ll want one of everything before you leave.
83 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
You can sense the playfulness that the younger bootmaker brings to the table when you enter Maison Corthay on Rue Volney, quite simply a contemporary art gallery of shoes. Quirky artistry, and a flamboyant use of colour predominate. Master bootmaker, and former John Lobb and Mario Bemer alumini, Stéphane Jiminez deconstructs regimented styles with a very distinct personality.
1 rue Volney
Parisian purveyor of parapluies, Thierry Millet of Pep’s, not only sells a fine array of umbrellas, but lays claims to be the only umbrella repair man in France. He’s been making bespoke umbrellas and repairing them since 1960 in his old curiosity shop tucked away down a leafy lane in one of the oldest streets in Paris, the very charming Passage de l’Ancre.
Passage de l’Ancre, 223, rue Saint-Martin
Hunt down this under the radar French brand, strong in denim and knitwear, in Paris’s edgy République district, for elegantly tailored wardrobe staples alongside more casual pieces aimed at the sporty sartorialist. Pick of their current Fall/Winter collection are cool Gallic interpretations of the Harrington jacket and field coat.
14 rue de Marseille
While in essence a shoe repair shop, Cordonnerie Beaumarchais’s line of mens summer footwear make it a hidden gem of the Marais. Think leather and suede versions of your favourite rivieras and espadrilles
59 Boulevard Beaumarchais
La Carte des Vins
This voluminous cave, minutes from Place de la Bastille houses a huge array of fine wines, with a particular penchant for biodynamic varieties. The wines of Burgundy, close to the heart of owner Stéphane Girard, unsurprisingly figure big but the rest of France is nicely populated and you can try many of the wines before you buy. If you’re in need of a vineyard fix and don’t have time to head to Beaujolais, Paris has its very own in nearby Clos Montmartre.
La Carte des Vins:, 26 Boulevard Beaumarchais
Clos Montmartre: 14-18 rue des Saules
Words and photos: Lee Osborne