One of my favorite things about traveling is to find a store with lines that you can’t get at home.
On our trip to Paris in 2008, I bought a beautiful dress from Sandro. Then I walked another block and saw another Sandro. Then another and another. I realized, while the dress was perfect (and still hangs in my closet), I had just bought a dress from the Paris version of J. Crew.
And when Sandro appeared in the Bloomingdales Soho store and then opened stand-alone boutiques in Soho, I was so disappointed that my little find had so quickly appeared so close to home.
So for this trip, I was extra careful to seek out new retail experiences – although I didn’t have time for Colette, the trendsetter for ground-breaking retail around the world. And while the men’s line from FrenchTrotters is sold at Unionmade in San Francisco, I was dying to see the entire brand and vision presented at their new flagship.
The newest incarnation of FrenchTrotters, which means – you guessed it – a french version of “globe trotters”, is the flagship store.
The ground floor focused on magazines and beauty with a small sample of the FrenchTrotters men and women lines. The interior design was smart, focused, and interesting. I love the concrete and steel steps.
Upstairs started with shoes – a very smart move considering shoes move in retail spaces and the landing of a staircase is usually deadspace. The upstairs continued to open into a carefully edited men’s area – featuring the FrenchTrotters line, but supplemented by Levi’s Made Craft and other brands that we are familiar with from Stag.
The upstairs, brightly lighted from the surrounding windows, opened up into the women’s and houseware sections.
I was particularly taken by the housewares display, but as it was next to the fitting rooms (which were occupied by a very demanding, particular client), so I didn’t look at it as closely as I would have if I hadn’t felt like I was intruding.
And not examining the tablecloths and pottery was a huge mistake. HUGE. I am still wishing I would have brought home one of the woven tablecovers.
That said, the womens section was stunning, yet accessible. The amazing fabrics of the FrenchTrotter line played nicely with the basics that were carried. I am still kicking myself for not purchasing a scarf in the season’s signature ikat – but here are my picks for what I saw in the store…and yes, they ship to the USA.
The tunic shown below is so simple and perfect. I still can’t stop thinking about the woven crossbody purse (but I may have a few too many already). The wedges were perfect, but the Husband kept at me not to buy shoes or jewelry because I needed clothes.
As an aside, when I write these posts, people inevitably ask, “but what did you buy?”
In this case, I bought the laboratorio olfattivo. Developed in Italy, I am sure I can probably find it somewhere in NYC, but it smelled so amazing and since smell is our most associative sense, I wanted to remember this trip to Paris with that scent.
I am still kicking myself for not buying those beautiful woven tablerunners…in every color. But I will do just that…next time.
images via FrenchTrotters and superfuture