For me, a true luxury good is something exclusive—and unique. It is not one of the dozens of bags that we see in fashion mags, slung over the shoulder of a celeb this week and at the local mall the next. Thankfully, when shopping in Paris, I can find many designers making exquisite luxury bags that have not yet reached the mass market: beautifully made, stylish bags that are not being worn by all your neighbors and yet have enough international acclaim to be sold in New York City.
My favorite Paris designer is not a Parisian at all but an Italian from the Bottega Veneta family, with a cool little shop in the Palais Royal. He went out on his own after the Gucci group acquired the family brand, and started his own collection, Corto Moltedo. His bags are rock ’n’ roll cool, made from leathers you want to fondle, in colors that seem to glow, particularly the stunning Priscilla bag, in China blue. His hard-shell clutches are precious jewel boxes that leave you yearning for an invitation to a ball.
Jamin Puech is a creative, dynamic couple whose personal love story and passion for quality are reflected in their romantic, unique designs that mix bright colors and rich textures. With a vibrant style that is eye-catching for its beauty, these bags are created with a craftsmanship that is obvious at a glance, making them favorites with designers as well known as Lagerfeld and as prestigious as Balmain.
Jérôme Dreyfuss is the young upstart of the group. Jérôme’s bags exude casual chic and have drawn international attention, following the rising star of his fashion-designer wife, Isabel Marant. Fun and practical, Jérôme’s bags are the perfect accessory for shopping in Paris.
These designers focus on the highest-quality workmanship, but their marketing costs are modest, giving you the opportunity to own a fabulous bag on a reasonable budget. And in case you have other things to do in Paris, they all offer e-boutiques so that you can purchase from home. Now, how chic is that?
Editor’s note: Download our walk-and-shop-the-Marais tour for a nonstop shopping tour of Paris that will delight women, girls and some very patient men.