The BlackUp shop, part make-up bar, part art gallery, in Les Halles is worth a stop if you want the full works. PHOTO:OLIVE VASSELL
Paris: Shopping Secrets
BY OLIVE VASSELL
When it comes to shopping, few places can rival the delights of Paris. I’ve been shop-hopping in the city since I lived there as a student – which I will admit was a little while ago – and have yet to be disappointed with my delectable finds.
Though now considerably more crowded with chain stores, the city thankfully still has much to offer in the way of unique and truly wonderful shopping locales.
A recent visit introduced me to the delights of the makeup BlackUp – an unfortunate name (in English) for a truly vibrant brand. The label was created by Ivorian-born make-up artist Farbrice Mahabo.
I bought a wonderful orangey red lipstick No. 25 and get compliments every time I wear it. Though you can purchase the make-up at places like Printemps and at Sephoras across the city, I’d stop by the official shop – part make-up bar, part art gallery - in Les Halles for the full works. (12 rue de Turbigo; Tel 01 42 21 36 32; metro: Les Halles or Etienne Marcel.
If clothes are your thing, I recommend Ethnik Concept Store at Forum des Halles. Firstly, you get a lot of choice here since it’s a one-stop shop for a number of designers. You’ll find unexpected combinations of colors and textures and one-of-a kind pieces that truly express the city’s multicultural community. (Forum des Halles, Espace Créateurs - Boutique 404, Porte Berger, Level -1; Tel. 01 40 13 0 3 10); metro: Châtelet les Halles.
Meanwhile, if you’re after something really special, call Caribbean/African American designer Kate Mack whose designs have been featured in Vogue Brazil and Ebony Fashion Fair shows. Her clothes are edgy, but sophisticated, definitely not for the faint of heart. (15, rue Oberkampf; Tel: 01 48 07 08 41; metro: Filles du Calvaire.
For those on a truly tight budget, don’t despair - there’s always Tati (5 Rue Belhomme; Tel: 01 55 29 52 54; metro; Barbès-Rochechouart). I’ll be honest, the popular shop is as far away from haute couture as you can get. Still if you don’t mind a good rumble through some hazardly-displaced merchandise, and are very selective, you too can come home with your own French fashion label.