Known as the Haut Marais, or Noma (for Nord Marais), the area south of the Place de la République has fast become Paris’s latest fashion flash. The old merceries, or notions shops, that once lined the narrow streets of this lovely old quarter have given way to a steady influx of high-concept fashion and accessories designers, art galleries and hip cafés. Mostly in the 3rd arrondissement, the Haut Marais is loosely defined as the triangle formed by the rue du Temple, the rue des Quatre Fils and the boulevard du Temple/Filles du Calvaire. With its old hôtels particuliers and willy-nilly warren of streets, it’s a wonderful place in which to get lost—all the better for uncovering the neighborhood’s many treasures.
For a wide but excellent selection of super-stylish women’s wear by French, European and Japanese designers—some internationally renowned, some almost completely unknown—try this trio of Haut Marais boutiques:
Abou d’Abi Bazar Color-coded racks offering the latest styles, from an A-list of French and international designers, brought together in one glittering boutique. 125 rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd, 01.42.71.13.26
Shine An up-to-the-minute collection of clothes, bags, shoes and accessories for the urban hipster. 15 rue de Poitou, 3rd, 01.48.05.80.10
Kamille High-concept ready-to-wear in natural fibers from a selection of European and Japanese designers, with a focus on artistry. 40 rue de Saintonge, 3rd, 01.42.78.53.01
Originally published in the July/August 2011 issue of France Today