A favourite amongst Parisians and International visitors, Le Marais will always be at the top of my list when I travel to Paris. Famous for old-world charisma, narrow cobblestone streets, hidden bars, courtyards & tranquil gardens, a multitude of high-end shopping stores, as well as mansions and a vibrant and buzzing community and café culture, Le Marais has it all.
For me, Le Marais is funky but not snobby, trendy but not over the top. For such a small neighbourhood, the charming Marais is located on the Right Bank and does a great job at mixing history, culture, fashion, art de vivre and architecture, all without being too overwhelming. It is cosmopolitan and diverse, and it ticks all the boxes of a cultural and fulfilling trip (in my eyes, anyway!).
Growing up as a teenager, this is where I discovered fashion and retail, an inspiration to getting into fashion myself, some may say! Le Marais offers one of Paris's best shopping escapades, the two main retail streets are the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois and the Rue Vieille du Temple - nooks and tall buildings, filled with luxury boutiques and high-street flagships. Ahh, it's vintage and high-end shopping heaven, teleport me there now!
One of my favourites is Home Autour du Monde by Bensimon. It opened 30 years ago and wad the first concept store gathering statement pieces of fashion and homeware from the four corners of the world. Merchandised like a home, it became a real source of inspiration for my retail passion.
As I look back, I remember travelling through Paris with my sister in her black mini to go shopping on a Sunday (as it was and probably still is the only area where retail stores stood open on a Sunday in France). We would wonder Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, visiting our favorite stores and embrace the buzzing atmosphere, sip on an espresso whilst we listened to the band basking around the corner until we would later end up at Rue des Rosiers to buy a delicious apple strudel.
How wonderful to do all of this on enchanting old paved streets, surrounded by the most charming historic buildings - sometimes from the 14th century!!??
This was an extraordinary time in my younger years, totally taken for granted as to all the good things in life that come to you effortlessly, and that I long for today.
These memories as well as my travels (up until 30 months ago) are part of me and who I am with my business today, and I love being able to share them all with you through my work in my boutiques and the Volange brand as a whole, that I am so lucky to own and be apart of.