Despite its expensive facelift with a fancy canopy, the 1970s-era Forum des Halles shopping mall isn’t the ideal place to shop in Paris unless you’re looking for international chain stores. But there are two exceptions to the rule: Sept-Cinq and the aptly-named L’Exception.
Located at the pedestrian-street level (so you don’t even have to descend into the maze of tunnels), these boutiques not only specialize in independent French designers, they’re also the perfect spot to stop for a healthy meal or an organic cappuccino.
Created by two Parisians, Sept-Cinq is a friendly little concept store featuring men’s and women’s fashion accessories and home decor from indie Parisian créateurs. On any given day you’ll find jewelry, shoes, notebooks, purses, socks (the French love their fancy socks!) and plenty of clever and unique Paris-themed gifts. This is probably the few stores where you’ll find tasteful Eiffel Tower souvenirs. The shop also has a cozy tearoom serving healthy salads, soups, wraps, and cakes for breakfast, lunch and brunch on Sundays. The boutique is open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm, Sunday 1-7pm, and the tearoom is open daily 11am-7pm. If you arrive by Metro/RER (Châtelet/Les Halles) look for the “Porte Berger” exit and it’s right on your left as you surface, at 26 Rue Berger, 1st.
Right next door is the more upscale fashion boutique, L’Exception, featuring men’s and women’s collections from the hottest independent French designers, as well as a few home decor and gift accessories. You’ll also find the Gagao organic coffee bar where you can grab a caffeinated pick-me-up or sugary treat. Open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm and Sun 11am-7pm. Address: 24 Rue Berger, 1st. If you can’t quite shell out for the prices here, they have an outlet shop for last season’s collections near the Canal St-Martin (28 Rue Bichat, 10th).
Find more shops from our Made in France series here.