To Cat Cat In The So. Of France

  1. Next week I'll be visiting Provence. Any good bag shopping in either Aix-en-Provence, Arles or Avignon. I know there's great shopping in the Riviera, but don't know about Provence. . . If you read this before Saturday and can give some suggestions I'd be very grateful. ;)
  2. You're best bet is going to be Aix-en-Provence as it's the biggest of the three but I don't hold out much hope for bags if you're looking for designers as none of these are big enough places. Arles is great for antiques but not a lot else and Avignon is just a biggish town.
    You're more likely to find good bag shopping in Marseille which isn't that far or why not take a day trip over to the Cote d'Azur as the bag shopping in both Cannes and Nice is TDF.
  3. Thank you for the advice sarajane. I know what you mean about Cannes and Nice, but I don't think I'll get there this time. . . My DH says I find bags in the most unexpected places . . . I'll certainly try. I just wish the exchange rate for us in the USA wasn't so awful - it is killing my hobby!!!
  4. Oh, how fun!!! I have a few suggestions for Aix, but I have to go run an errand. I will post some stores and their addresses as soon as I get back.

  5. I'm back. I've been to both Arles and Avignon, but I don't know about the shopping there. Marseille, as sarajane suggested above, is bigger and surely has good shopping, but I really dislike that city. The area around the port is nice, but the second to last time I was there I left crying (long story), and the last time I was there (one month ago) I witnessed a woman get her purse stolen out of her car (she had her purse on the passenger seat with the window down at a stop light. Two kids on a scooter reached in and zipped away with her bag).

    Aix-en-Provence, on the other hand, is really nice and has lots of good shopping. There are lots of little, meandering streets (mostly pedestrian) in the center of town, so it would probably be really helpful to stop by the Office of Tourism and get a map (don't mind all the tents set up outside--it's a political thing).

    I don't know what kind of bags you're looking for (high-end designer or less expensive) so I'll just tell you about all the places I can think of:

    Starting on the Cours Mirabeau (the major strip of town with cafes, banks and expensive shops) going from the Big Fountain (La Rotonde), which is right across from the Office of Tourism and moving up the cours:

    -Longchamp; the store is on the right side of the street, facing Monoprix which is on the left side of the street when moving away from La Rotonde.

    -Paranthèses; this shop is in the building at the end of the Cours Mirabeau. It says "Paranthèses-Maroquinerie-Bagages" on the top of the windows. The official address is 1, Place Forbin. They sell Francesco Biasia and the like...

    If you switch over to the other side of the Cours Mirabeau and walk toward La Rotonde, you'll notice several little side streets that go off the Cours. One of them is Rue Fabrot. That is a perfect street for purse shopping. You'll find:

    -Another Parathèses/Gilbert Arnaud with more Francesco Biasia and Esprit, etc.It's on the right if you're moving away from the Cours Mirabeau.

    -First; this boutique sells Mui Mui, Prada, Gucci, Chloé, Jill Sander, Dolce's on the left. The door is locked, so you have to ring a buzzer to be let in.

    -Gerard Darel Boutique; still on the left. Has some new styles that they just put out recently (there were new things in the window today when I passed).

    -Lancel; this is right across from Gerard Darel, on the right. To be exact, it's on the corner of Rue Fabrot and Rue de L'ancienne Madeleine.

    -Stephane Kélian; mostly shoes, but there was a nice bag in the window when I passed today so you never's on the right

    -Alain Manoukian; still on the Rue Fabrot on the left side

    -GAGO; sells Prada and other stuff (along with clothes...)

    -LOVE, 24; this is on the right at the end of the Rue Fabrot. It's hard to miss since (as of today anyway) there are two red Balenciaga bags in the window. They Marc Jacobs, etc...

    That's it for the Rue Fabrot.

    One street over to the left is Rue Clemenceau. There is a little shop called Frivo on the corner that sells Sonia Rykiel and Longchamps among other brands.

    One street over to the right from Rue Fabrot is Rue Marius Renaud. On that street you'll find the following boutiques:

    Sonia Rykiel
    Zadig et Voltaire

    From there you can get to a Hermes boutique. It's on the corner of Place du Verdun and Rue Thiers. It's facing the Palais de Justice across a parking lot.

    A few doors down on the Rue Thiers you'll find:

    -Makaire Ecriture; which is a shop that sells nice pens and paper, but they also sell Mulberry and other bags.

    -La Maroquinerie; this is further down the road, still on the left side. They sell bags that are less designer. They have lots of Le Tanneur, Soco, Coccinelle, etc...The guy who works there is really nice. The exact address is 12, rue Thiers. Phone:

    You probably didn't need all the directions, but I've had lots of friends get totally lost in Aix, when it's actually really small. What I've described above takes you in a bit of a loop. You can get back to the Cours Mirabeau from the rue Thiers (just keep going a bit from La Maroquinerie and then turn'll see the Cours Mirabeau a bit further).

    I hope this helps!!! Have fun!
  6. I forgot a few places. They are in a different area (but not far since, as I said, the center of Aix is small...just wear good walking shoes ;) ).

    -Scooter; is a shop in the Rue Fauchier. They have lots of fun, non-designer bags.

    -Carlotta; this is at 9, rue de la glacière. Phone:
    They have nice stuff from some newer designers. There's a really nice green Vanessa Bruno bag in the window...I might have to snag that :p

    In the same street (rue de la Glacière) a few doors down is another shop, but I'm not sure what it's called. It has cute leather bags too and you can see them from the huge front window.

    -GlamLab; this shop features bags from new, lesser known French desingers. There are some cool, different bags (some leather, some not) here that range in price from 50 to 200 euros. They are at 7 rue Paul Bert. Phone: The lady who owns the shop is really nice.

    -Mango; rue Vauvenargues and Place de la Mairie. Across from the Hotel de Ville. They have bags on display throughout, plus a section of bags at the very back of the store to the left (on the first floor).

    Let us know how it goes!
  7. :nuts: THANK YOU SO MUCH DEV!! This is fabulous. . . so much info. I absolutely love to visit France. Such a beautiful country, and the gorgeous bags well - icing on the cake. I let you know when I get back. Thanks again.
  8. Dev - I love Aix, it's such a beautiful place. I'm up at Frejus (where we've got a holiday home) but I'm really tempted to have a trip to Aix to have a look at all these great stores.
    I'm coming over in April and I'm counting the days until I hit the LV store in Cannes. It's pouring with rain here in Bath - oh how I wish I were in the south of France right now!
  9. Sylviap- You're welcome! Compiling a list of stores was a pleasure, and I'm glad I could help. You probably already know this, but I just want to mention that all those stores are closed on Sundays and some of them are closed on Mondays too. ;)

    sarajane- You should definitely come over to Aix next time you're in France. It's not right next door to Frejus, but the drive is really pretty. In the summer months I think Aix is a bit calmer than the cities on the Cote d'Azur, and so shopping might be less crowded. Anyway, I hope the weather clears up soon in Bath!