Browsing Tag

shopping

Marché Maman: A French Marketplace in NYC

1 August 2017
Marche Maman NYC

If Paris is a perennial draw for Americans, it should come as little surprise to know that the French are head over heels for New York City, the capital of opportunity and a place where hard work actually pays off in spades. Among the many success stories of French-operated businesses, small and large, Maman ranks rather high. Opened by Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal (head chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Chassagnette in Arles), Benjamin Sormonte (entrepreneur/restaurateur) and Elisa Marshall (baker, designer, event planner) in Soho in October 2014, the bakery-canteen is very much a relaxed, country-chic gathering place reminiscent of Arnal’s childhood environs in the south of France that quickly gained popularity. Less than a year later, they opened a location in Toronto, followed by several other locations in NY — Tribeca, Meatpacking, and Greenpoint. They do simple, beautiful food and baked goods, serve good coffee and an environment you can’t help but return to (especially if a trip to France isn’t scheduled anytime soon). As of the end of last month, they’ve taken the concept of the artisanal French lifestyle a step further to launch Marché Maman, a marketplace with quality French brands and artisanal snacks for sale — beauty & […]…

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Saint James: the best of Made in France

20 August 2016
Saint James Breton Stripe

In July, I spent several days traveling through Normandy and visiting landmarks in the region that, in one way or another, have informed and continue to inform the creative process and production of Saint James garments. I went behind-the-scenes at their atelier, met with the President, collections director and Managing Director for the U.S. and walked away blown away not only by the brand’s history but their upstanding sense of ethics. If there is a company to believe in, it’s this one. And if you find yourselves in the small town of Saint James, pop in! They’re happy to offer tours. Below, you’ll find a version of my story for Conde Nast Traveler that looks at the past, present and future of this iconic French fashion brand.  Peek into the closets of most French people and you’re likely to find at least one striped sailor tee or Breton wool sweater, as much symbols of Gallic craftsmanship as of style. Chances are high the left sleeve will bear the label Saint James, the 127 year old independent French ready-to-wear brand whose durable goods and timeless nautical looks have made it a national icon spanning generations. That the brand is experiencing two-digit growth today […]…

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More than a department store: Galeries Lafayette

25 May 2016
Galeries Lafayette Coupole, Paris

As a kid, I had a habit of pleading with my parents to take me to one of two places nearly every weekend: toy stores like F.A.O. Schwartz (RIP) or Zany Brainy (with a more cerebral selection than Toys R Us but no less fun) and the bookstore. Any bookstore. Provided I finished my homework for the week and didn’t pester my older sister, they usually agreed. These visits would sometimes last hours. The end goal wasn’t necessarily to go home with bags overflowing with new games or books  – my parents taught me to value and make the most of what I already had at home and be more discerning about new acquisitions – but to explore. Being surrounded by rows upon rows of books and games was an experience in itself, a place to lose myself to my imagination, and that’s all that mattered to me. That quest for experience, which any marketer will tell you is what defines the average consumers’ most abiding needs today, stayed with me, even as a suburban gal. I couldn’t find a veritable sense of place-experience in malls so I sought it out in the (infrequent) moments I’d find myself in downtown Philadelphia or in New York City, […]…

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