Paris Style: A Paris Woman’s Perfect French Man
Could Jérôme Dreyfuss be the perfect Parisian male? The tousle-haired designer’s luxury bags are so trendy Woody Allen had to have them for Midnight in Paris. Dreyfuss is married to the Paris style icon Isabel Marant. His slick shops (like his wife’s, all by Nicolas André) are not just in the 6th and the Palais Royal; he also has one on Broome Street in Manhattan. Dreyfuss speaks English so well he can chat about “slow fashion” and “sustainable” leather. (He has a label called Agricouture dedicated to the latter.) And, now, men of Paris—he’s coming after you!
Before Dreyfuss ever launched his accessories line, he was French Male Designer of the Year. By then, he had assisted John Galliano, designed costumes for Michael Jackson and created a fashion collection that won kudos from the French culture ministry. His women’s bags, available since 2002, boast male monikers—the Parisienne favorite Billy dates from his first collection. They are marketed with the slogan “Meet your new French lover.”
Two years ago, Dreyfuss launched Steeve: a personal remake of the leather motorcycle jacket. This was followed by bags for men (four models available in three different leathers). He also now stocks accessories for male iPad and iPhone users.
The Dreyfuss flagship store at 1, rue Jacob, began just a few doors away from his wife’s first boutique; both are directly behind a motorcycle bay. The shop, with Dreyfuss’s clever logo of a threaded needle soon became a major Paris style mecca. (Passing it a number of times every day, I can vouch for the ever-changing allure of its windows.) This June, the original store was transformed into Monsieur Dreyfuss and all the women’s goods moved across the street. They now occupy 1,000 square feet that were formerly dedicated to home wares. The addition makes Marant and Dreyfuss king and queen of the neighborhood, has done away with any free space in the motorcycle bay—and now provides perfect Saturday shopping for celebrity couples.
Like Dreyfuss’s bags for women, the men’s are both beautifully made and cleverly thought out. They come in fine leathers or canvas, most with detachable add-ons. The first ones were designed for ballet dancers and photographers who were friends of Dreyfuss and Marant. Now, they are being sold with slogans such as “Who says men don’t like bags?!” and “Even powerful men need a clever companion.” The women’s line focuses on needs his wife or the girls in his office mention and Monsieur Dreyfuss is the male equivalent. “It’s not all about Paris style,” says Dreyfuss. “It’s also about being practical and him having something that will last.”
Not without reason, Dreyfuss is often compared to Jean-Paul Gaultier. Each has a winning, self-effacing personality that, in each case, masks brilliant business sense. Both also managed to conquer challenging women’s markets before taking on the more difficult target of men. Now, in this quartier famous for male icons from Sartre to Gainsbourg, Dreyfuss is out to gain your boyfriend’s heart—and, in the process, give him a brand-new wallet. But be warned: you yourself may find the boys Bandit, Diego, Franky and Pedro just as seductive as Billy, Brice or Carlos!
If you opt for Paris style shopping en couple, try one of the city’s most delicious galettes at City Crêpes. It’s just around the corner on rue de Seine and, if you’re lucky, you can sit in a street-side window.
4, rue Jacob, in the 6th Arrondissement.
127, Galerie de Valois, in the 1st.
1, rue Jacob, in the 6th.
73, rue de Seine, in the 6th.
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