1. From the Feet Up - Bespoke Shoes
A pair of bespoke shoes is not only smart for you but it’s also smart for your feet. No more compromises over color and sizes. You choose exactly what you want; your feet are measured; you consult over styles, wait, inevitably as this is not something to be rushed. Then about three months later, you’re off with a pair that fits like the bespoke gloves you will also buy.
For men, one of the top names is John Lobb, a quintessentially English name that began in London’s St. James’s. The company entirely hand makes the shoes to your measurements. With tricks learnt over 150 years of shoemaking, they know how to produce a beautiful shoe. It takes about 3 months for your shoes from the initial consultation to delivery. They then keep the last so you can order more pairs without having further lengthy fittings.
32 rue de Mogador, 9th arrondissement Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 43 47 58 14 – only by appointment
John Lobb Boutique 21 rue de Boissy d’Anglais, 8th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 65 24 45
Open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm
La Boutique SentimentaleThis is the place, mainly for women, to go if you have large or small feet, don’t like the current fashions or just prefer hand-made shoes which are beautifully made and different. They stock a beautiful range of soft leather in all colors and will measure you expertly and make your boots or shoes exactly to your specifications, perhaps a startling red pair of thigh boots, or a multi-colored pair of shoes in anything from two to six weeks. Prices for women’s shoes start at 245 euros and for men from 445 euros.
La Boutique Sentimentale 14, rue Roi de Sicile, 4th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 78 84 04
Open Tuesday to Saturday 2 to 7pm
2. Get Shirty
Launched in 2005, two young entrepreneurs at Eglé have expanded from a smaller base and now custom make shirts for both men and women, plus made-to-order jeans and suits. They can copy your favorite shirt as well and can make buttons with messages on them for that final personal touch. With over 3,000 different fabrics from all over Europe, this is the place for something a little more avant-garde. It takes about a week and prices start at 215 euros.Eglé
26 rue du Mont-Thabor, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 44 15 98 31
Open Monday to Saturday 11am to 7pm and by appointment
3. A Scent Just For You
Paris is a perfume city, with the top names all having a major presence here. And there are several specialists that produce bespoke perfumes. Here are two top makers.Parfums Rares Jovoy is a small, family-owned business specialising in rare scents that are difficult to find. There are perfumes from small niche producers, often talented individuals like Mona di Orio, Lynn Harris of the U.K.’s Miller Harris as well as venerated houses like the long-standing Parfums d’Orsay. Amouage, based as most of the top perfume producers are in Grasse, produces richly scented fragrances inspired by the Sultanate of Oman where the house originated. You can smell different fragrances from little tester bottles which deliver the base notes and the essence without filling your nose with the smell of alcohol, discuss and decide what you like and they will match that with a perfume, possibly a limited edition or will make you an exclusive perfume based around your preferences.
They also make and stock beautiful candles which come with some surprising scents, beautifully presented; the bigger ones with a glass dome in a smart red circular box.
If you can’t get to the chic shop, the company can send a perfume trunk with a selection of 16 perfumes to try in your hotel room.
Parfums Rares Jovoy
4 rue de Castiglione, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 40 20 06 19
Open Monday to Saturday 11am-7pm
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
The boutique of Maison Francis Kurkdjian is one of the city’s most tempting places, but you need a pretty large budget. Private clients can discover exactly what they like in the way of frangrance and then the company will make that fragrance exclusively for them. The initial consultation and production is 8,000 euros; refills are from 180 euros.Maison Francis Kurkdjian
5, rue d'Alger, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 60 07 07
Open Monday to Saturday 11am-1:30pm and 2:30pm-7pm
4. Gloves Will be Worn
Soft leathers in great colors are just waiting to be made into a pair of gloves for you. Mary Beyer is a master designer who makes gloves for top fashion houses like Dior, but she also has a wonderful boutique in the 1st arrondissement, and custom makes the most fantastic gloves, which might come with feathers, leather insets, fur, and/or lace. You must go to the shop for a fitting, then choose the design and the materials. The gloves take about three weeks to make.
The gloves are manufactured in her factory in the south of France where they can also repair, refit or make a second glove replace the one you lost from your favorite pair.Mary Beyer
32-33 Galerie Montpensier, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 61 41 85
5. Lingerie to Seduce
Talk of lingerie and everybody will talk of Cadolle. The famous company was founded by Herminie Cadolle (1845-1926), the woman who invented the modern bra. Her store became the only place for bespoke lingerie for high society, for princesses, actresses and, apparently, Mata Hari.
The lingerie is shapely and beautiful, sexy and seductive. There are two shops, one where you can shop for bras, corsets (which the firm is famous for) and panties. The boutique on rue Saint-Honore is for the made-to-measure service, by appointment only.Cadolle
255 rue Saint-Honoré, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 60 94 94
Open by appointment only
4 rue Cambon, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 60 94 22
Open Monday to Saturday 10am-6.30pm Métro Tuileries, Concorde, Madeleine
Boucheron is one of the great world names of jewelery. The firm, founded in 1858, moved to its present headquarter in the Place Vendome in 1893. The store is gorgeous, occupying a whole corner of the Place. It produces different collections, designs which you can custom make with different stones, as well as complete ranges. But for the very wealthy and discerning, it produces one-off items that would not look out of place in a museum.
The bespoke part comes in two ways. You can choose one of their existing designs, such as the strange, double chameleon ring and decide which stones you want it created with. Or you can commission an exclusive piece of jewellery. Make an appointment and you’ll be treated royally.Boucheron
26 Place Vendome, 1st
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 61 58 16
Métro Tuileries, Concorde, Madeleine
More about Boucheron
7. Hats Off
Tucked away in the 18th arrondissement, Mira Belle is a place for dreams. Taking flamboyant and at times outlandish inspiration from her surroundings, this is the shop if you want a hat that will make you look like Marie Antoinette, an 18th-century grande dame, a flapper from the 1920s or an Ascot racegoer today. She produces two different collections each year, winter and wummer. These are beautiful hats with more than a touch of fantasy.Mira Belle
6, place Charles Dullin, 18th
Tel.: 00 33 (0)1 42 52 00 11
Open Tuesday to Saturday 3:30pm to 7:30pm
If you want to be photographed like a star, get your portrait done at Studio Harcourt in the middle of Paris. The specialist photographers have seen the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, Prince Rania of Jordan and John Malkovich come to their exclusive studio in Paris which looks like a 1930s film set.
With special lighting and expert knowledge and skill, the studio produces wonderful effects. They have even honed their techniques to produce a passport-style instant photo booth that you can find in MK2 Bibliotheque and in Franck et Fils smart department store.
More about Studio Harcourt.