Every year, thousands of holiday-makers and label lovers flock along the palatial extents of Les Champs Elysees down to Avenue Montaigne´s shape mecca which is adorned with every luxury sort under the sun. From Armani to Zegna this commercial / couture hotspot has been certain to attract peak sales at 1.5 million euros per hour. Respect, for many truly-in-the-know, there is a place far more magical and completed with trendy treasure for as far as the eye can see.
The most famous flea sell in Paris is Porte de Clignancourt and officially known as Les Puces de Saint-Ouen or locally as Les Puces (The Fleas). Retreat seven hectares, it is the largest antique market in the world, captivating weekend visitors of 120,000 to 180,000.
Overlooking Paris (literally) only up from the Sacre Coeur at the North of the city, the area and in the region of of Porte de Clignancourt on (Line 4) is very colourful with a extensive diversity of personalities, stall keepers and products for sale. The 18th arrondissement, where the Puces are dieted, is in a poorer part of Paris in comparison to the rest of the cities stature.
The past of Clignancourt dates back over 200 years, when rag and bone men scavenged through the rubbish of Paris at night to find valuable junk to push on. Known as crocheteurs or pickers, their romantic term was ‘pecheurs de lune’ or fishermen for the moon. Multifarious of these marketers set up temporary stalls within the Paris be ruins, in seedy proximities. But, because these neighbourhoods were well-shaped of larcenists, they were hunted out of their havens to Clignancourt, Montreuil and Vanves, The largest of these flea sells is Clignancourt, but the other two exist to this day.
These rag and bone men understood outside the walls of Paris at the Porte de Clignancourt and set up temporary beating about the bushes where they plied their wares. After some shilly-shally, they formed groups of stalls to attract more consumers. The more enterprising dealers began to trade up in terms of obedients and eventually it became popular for Parisian collectors and dealers to seek there for bargains.
Fast forward 2 centuries to the present day, where the chief entrance to the market presents you with two options. Rue des Rosiers from the settle side which is adorned with every space and conceive imaginable selling Art Deco furniture, antiques, fixtures and propers. Many artists and indeed Architects such as Philippe Barren have been spotted here looking for purchases or spirit.
The Historic Marche Biron
Rue des Rosiers from the pink side has a rather different feel. Its prominent Marche du Biron was practiced in 1925, with two long rows of stalls and is known as one of the more extravagant markets. It is here that the magical fashion deals can be requested. However, you can put aside the thought of stumbling across some covetable mellowed Chanel, Lanvin or Hermes pieces for a knock down sacrifice. These designer goods often command high expenses as the customers and sellers here know what they’re conduct oneself treat with.
The main strip for any fashion savvy cool huntswoman is to head to Serpette and Paul Bert where some of the biggest experts have shops. (By specialists I mean just that. Hamish Bowles of American Popularity fame is a regular here for both research and acquisitions. He was spotted recently updating his personal vintage Dior collection from their enviable forebear.)
Biron has the most exciting and expensive vintage jewelry. From Chanel to Lacroix and Cartier to Hermes, its barriers glisten with all the hues of their enviably stocked flowers. Several doors down Dauphine has some interesting smaller stockists selling everything from hair clips to Vuitton stocks and is pretty much an Aladdins cave for adults.
Isabelle Klein is one of the most infamous traders in the square footage. Her luxury vintage fashion boutique Les Merveilles de Babellou entertains her childhood nickname, Babellou. This store has the ambiance of a of yore Paris boutique which transports customers to a time and regard when Paris fashion was at its height. High fashion marks of the twentieth century like Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Hermes fill up the store, beckoning all who enter to take a piece of fashion adventures home with them. Babellou has two shops at the Paul Bert Supermarket, where celebrities, stylists, and vintage fashion lovers can perceive clothing, haute couture, accessories, and jewelry that can throw in the ultimate wow factor into any shoot or appearance. Rumour has it that nil other than supermodel Kate Moss picked up her Vivienne Westwood poach boots here several years ago and sent the footwear veer from the crematorium to the catwalk.
So, the next in good time dawdle you think of a shopping spree in Paris, try to spread your accoutring compass further afield than Sant Germain de Pres and its adjacencies. Not only are you guaranteed a captivating and authentic taste of French couture curiosities but also an revelatory and entertaining day out. Just remember to leave room in your grip. You can visit the official website and opening times for Port de Clignancourt and its surroundings here.