Inspired by a 2006 thread in the Chanel forum (Parisians and Chanel?), would love to hear from our TPFers who've lived/travelled in Paris:
1) Do Parisians wear Hermes nowadays?
2) If so, what do they wear: Birkins? Kellys? Newer style bags? Scarves? And does this vary by district/arr. and age?
3) Parisians, please chime in on current parisian style? What are popular brands? My impression from being there is that young parisians really dress differently from older ones, with the younger set going for H&M/Zara/APC while the older set goes for what Americans would recognize as "iconic" french brands.
An interesting tidbit from my 20-something Parisian friends, which might explain why the French-designed Birkin and Kelly are short-handled: they told me that they prefer to carry handheld bags rather than shoulder bags, because shoulder bags throw off the lines of their clothes. Once they told me this, I noticed that every girl I passed was indeed carrying a "hand" bag, even if she was in heels and toting groceries 10 blocks back to her apartment!
In America, it seems the converse is true: more shoulder bags. I've heard it's because they're more convenient and leave hands free (for toting a Starbucks cuppa?).
Depends on the arrondisement but I saw some H bags only on FSH and surrounding it. Mostly Kellys and Birkins but also a very elegant lady of a certain age carrying a PM or MM Picotin. She certainly did not carry it as a casual bag and she looked chic! I can only speak as someone who visits Paris, loves it and wishes to go live there!
"Parisians" consist of so many people. I would estimat that less than 1-2% of these have or carry an hermes bag and maybe the double digit hermes scarves. I hardly ever see them outside avenue montaigne and the tourist shopping areas.
1) Do Parisians wear Hermes nowadays?
Yes, they do. Hermes is the ultimate brand of French chic for French women and men, and gets passed from generation to generation.
2) If so, what do they wear: Birkins? Kellys? Newer style bags? Scarves? And does this vary by district/arr. and age? If you go to Paris 16e, 8e, 7e, 1er and to Neuilly, you are bound to see a lot of Birkins and Kellys (older ladies tend to prefer the Kellys, younger ones wear a mix of new models / colours and old vintage inherited bags) but also trims and constances, and amongst the trendier set you will see some evelynes.
H Scarves are a style staple of the French woman, and you will find them everywhere. And belts. And watches.
For men, H ties are a must, and so are belts and watches.
3) Parisians, please chime in on current parisian style? What are popular brands?
I was born in Paris and lived there 6 years as a young adult. I still go there all the time, French DH oblige. My favourite brands are Zadig & Voltaire (like most french bobos), Comptoir des Cotonniers, and DVF. For shoes it is Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and FreeLance (a french brand).
Older ladies go for more classic trends, big brands or not.
i found always more kellys thank birkins can be seen and also more in polished skins (box, chevre, etc) + mostly subdued colors with the occasional red.actually i see more hermès ready to wear or silks than bags
but of course that is only my perspective and is restricted to places i visit or frequent etc.
oh i love free lance shoes so quirky sexy styles (i love their colored innerlining they did and also have pairs of black stilettos with rose shocking soles )
but have not bought any new ones since many years thanks for reminding me !
I found more of the quirky styles on the streets of paris. During my last visit the Mangiore was spotted twice, which I've never ever seen anywhere else. I spotted a Sherpa and several Picotins as well, and as lilach mentioned a lot more of the traditional box calf kelly in neutral tones like dark browns and rouge h.
I noticed a lot more Birkins in the spring last year. They were in all colours of the rainbow, mainly around the centre and mainly with PHW. I did spot the odd bolide too, again in lighter colours. When I was there in October, it was mainly Kellys in dark box colours with GHW. The majority looked vintage.
One late night I was on the metro with DH, and a couple of girls got on right next to us. Really young, tousled long-haired things, rocking a messy chic look. Both girls were super slim, dark eyeliner, no other makeup. Converse type sneakers, I believe. Anyway, I saw one of the girls carry a SUPER beat up black bag... the bag was literally falling apart! I looked again and realized it was a birkin!
I admit I stared at the girl trying to figure out: who would trash a birkin so? Then I realized the girl was Lou Doillon, Jane Birkin's daughter! Ha ha, like mother like daughter right? Wonder if it was mum's bag or her own?
Amongst my Parisian friends, almost all have and wear Hermes scarves. I have never seen one wear Hermes bags (not saying that they don't own, I just have never seen them carrying one). I've seen their mums wear kellys, though.
Popular labels seem to be, as LittleH mentioned, Zadig & Voltaire, and Comptoir de C. Also Vanessa Bruno and Gerard Darel.