With small businesses in Paris shuttered for the past two months due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to support local artisans. As a handbag designer manufacturing my wares in Paris, I understand this firsthand. While the French capital slowly returns to life but travel remains restricted, what better way to support your favorite city than collecting bespoke souvenirs to decorate both yourself and your home? As I return to designing and reconnecting with fellow designers, here are a few Parisian brands of note.
Ceramicist and jeweler Alix D. Reynis launched her first collection of dinnerware, including plates, platters, and bowls in 2011, each piece hand-crafted of Limoges porcelain. This natural-born artist soon followed with scented candles and light fixtures before adding jewelry to her eponymous label. Recalling Byzantine, Greek, and Roman design details, Reynis’s hand-engraved gold and vermeil rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are as delicate as they are sophisticated. My most recent coup de cœur from her housewares collection are the mugs (also called timbales) with select Paris street names engraved in gold.
When interiors aficionado Suzanne Flenard moved from New York to Paris over a decade ago, she brought her mid-century modern aesthetic with her, in the form of decorative pillows. Made in Paris of remnant designer fabrics in limited editions, Square Modern cushions are both stylish and sustainable. These vibrant pops of color brighten up any space they fill. According to Flenard, “If a room in your home was a sentence, I think pillows would be the punctuation mark.” In that case, my home is full of Square Modern punctuation!
Designing timeless womenswear for over 12 years, Mari Samvelyan’s label Koshka Mashka blends French femininity with modern elegance. From her signature Matros jeans, a staple in many fashion-savvy women’s wardrobes (mine included), to limited-edition summer dresses that sell out almost as soon as they land in her Haut Marais boutique, Samvelyan creates new collections several times a year in her local atelier, taking inspiration from her carefully curated fabrics. Her latest creative endeavor is a shoe collection to compliment her clothing.
Considering himself a nomad, artist Marin Montagut tells stories through his watercolors, often depicting enchanting scenes of his adopted city. What began as his bohemian notebooks evolved into the Bonjour City Map Guides, brilliantly illustrated guides for fellow curious travelers. His delicate silk scarves pay homage to Paris’s beloved gardens as well as the Marais, Saint–Germain-des-Prés, and Montmartre neighborhoods, also available as wall hangings and cushions. More stories from the French capital come to life through Montagut’s decorative papier-mache plates, each one hand-painted in his Parisian workshop.
Olistic The Label was born of a desire to create both ethical and elegant garments for socially conscious women. Founded by Camille Jaillant in 2018, this luxurious brand blends minimalism with bohemian chic, resulting in timeless day and eveningwear. The swoon-worthy flowy white dresses and mod jumpsuits speak for themselves. Using only natural fibers, including peace silk from India, each hand-crafted piece is assembled in a family workshop in Portugal. What does Olistic mean? “Believing in a sustainable approach to fashion, caring for people and the earth.”
An independent jeweler hand-crafting from her atelier in the beguiling Montmartre neighborhood, Cynthia Ng recently celebrated a decade since launching her bespoke bijoux brand Minicyn. Simple and timeless with a spiritually inspired aura, each sterling silver or 14k gold ring, necklace, bracelet, and set of earrings evokes the designer’s affinity for antiques and nature. Ng’s background in graphic design and illustration also comes to the surface in her sophisticated-yet-earthy collections.
- Tired of cooking? Check out our list of restaurants in Paris that are offering takeout and delivery
- Pick up a new book at one (or all!) of our favorite English bookstores in Paris
- Read about Kasia Dietz’s return to freedom during the first week of deconfinement in Paris
Written by Kasia Dietz for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.