Destination: France: Paris
agnès b. enfant
Much like the comfy sweatshirt clothes agnès b. makes for adults, but in tiny sizes. Classic stripes in navy and red and cute skirts and dresses with stars and polka dots.
Alice à Paris
Founded in 2005 and named after the owner’s daughter, this boutique has grown from one small shop to include four retail locations in Paris. The clothes are simple and comfortable, but always very chic, featuring sophisticated fabrics and detailing. For children 1 month to 10 years. Closed Sundays.
Antik Batik Enfant
The same hippy chic styles that Gabriela Cortese makes for women and sells in her other outposts are sold here in miniature so their daughters can be just as groovy. She’s also added maternity clothes and plans a new line for boys next year.
Exquisite baby presents and clothes with lots of lace and smocking. These confections are fit for—and often worn by—the children of royals, rock stars and Russians. It’s the place to come when only the most extravagant infant gesture will do.
In this delightful shop in the Marais, you’ll find a mix of designer furniture and retro pieces, all of which will add cheer to any child’s room or playroom. Among the top sellers: mini Eames rocking chairs, pint-sized Philippe Starck Ghost chairs (in clear, black or red), translucent Kartell tables and shelving systems by Mahmoud Akram. While parents plot contemporary kids’ interiors, their children can amuse themselves with incredible wooden toys and puzzles and books. It’s also a great source for special gifts. Don’t miss the wonderful toy cars. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Métro: Filles du Calvaire.
Marie-France Cohen, founder of this well-known brand, has set the standard for fine French children’s clothes around the world. Many lucky children have, soon after birth, donned her onesies with the days of the week in French embroidered on the front and lived in nothing but her designs until they grew out of them as teenagers. Lucky parents were thus guaranteed that their offspring always looked well turned out. At the new flagship store, you’ll find the whole range of infant to pre-teen fashions as well as a charming restaurant on a terrace that overlooks a garden, making it a great place for a snack before or after a shop and playtime in the nearby Luxembourg gardens.
Tip: You can book a table at the Bonpoint Cafe online at www.bonpoint.com, where you can also view addresses for other Paris locations.
Imagine that the founders of Bonpoint had a daughter who grew up with her parents’ great taste but a younger, hipper attitude. The result would be Bonton. Irène Cohen, whose in-laws founded Bonpoint, has brought a slightly more modern aesthetic to the well-heeled children of Paris. She now has a mini empire comprising a baby shop, a furniture branch and a second line, Papillon. Bonton is housed in a loftlike setting and showcases vegetable-dyed cotton separates and toys, plus an adorable children’s barbershop next door. A second store is located at 118 Rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais. Métro: Rue du Bac.
After founding her wildly popular children’s clothing line, Bonton, Irène Cohen branched out with a nearby children’s design shop, so parents could create gorgeous environments for their well-dressed enfants. Displayed in mock nursery rooms are beautiful neutral linens and Liberty prints, elegant high chairs and night lights in the shapes of animals—all tailored to inspire a new nesting instinct. Closed Sundays. Métro: Rue du Bac.
This charming boutique on the Left Bank with its bright blue façade caters to children from 0 to 8 years old. In addition to clothes, they sell adorable nursery accessories and baby presents like soft toy rabbits and bumpers in patterns that reverse from chic stripes to Braquenié-like florals.
The first branch of this boutique opened in the Marais in 2000; they have since expanded with a shop on the Left Bank. With clothes for children from three months to 12 years and sweet accessories, the collection has proved that there is still demand for well-made, chic toddler togs, especially those with a retro nod. Girls can expect Liberty print dresses and skirts; boys can stock up on classic button-down cotton shirts in navy and khaki; but it’s the printed bloomers for babies that grab the eye of most moms.
Du Pareil Au Même
This low-price chain of children’s clothes receives new shipments daily. Styles ran the gamut from dressy to decontracté (casual), for children from three months to 14. Expect K-mart prices with a French flair that you won’t see on other children in the U.S. For more locations, visit the Web site.
Just down from the Café de Flore is a the light-filled space of La Chatelaine, where you can find lovely layette items mixed in with Liberty print smocks and peasant-style blouses, traditional smart shorts and classic little shoes for well-dressed children. Whisper-thin cotton cardigans and mini khaki trench coats, knit booties in pastel colors and bubble jumpers all make you long to be invited to a baby shower or have a new one of your own. Métro: St.-Germain-des-Près.
La Petite Paresse
Just across from the lovely housewares boutique Blanc d’Ivoire, this child of the its parent linen shop next door, La Paresse en Douce, sells a delectable assortment of kids’ clothing and housewares. Nothing cutting-edge but all beautifully made and tasteful. Metro: Rue du Bac.
Le Grand Bonton
Gorgeous children’s store Bonton took over a huge space on Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire (down the street from Merci ), and the soaring rooms are filled with the company’s memorable children’s clothes as well as small toys. The window displays are as imaginative as the embroidery on the little frocks, many of which you wish came in adult sizes. Whimsical decorative touches include a vintage photo booth in the center of the store out of which you expect Amélie to emerge any moment. Closed Sunday.
Little Fashion Gallery
The first boutique of the popular kid’s online clothing company, Little Fashion Gallery feels like the loft of your best-dressed bohemian yummy mummy. You’ll find children’s clothing by Marc Jacobs and lesser-known hip designers all displayed in model bedrooms and playrooms along with vintage and modern furniture that is also for sale. Métro: Les Halles.
This children’s line, lovingly designed by two sisters, is comprised of simple, but extremely well-made clothes, all manufactured in France. The beautiful fabrics—prints and bright solids alike—are high-quality, durable and very wearable. For certain styles, sizes go up to age 18 (girls.) Closed Sundays.
Milk on the Rocks NYC
This trendy baby boutique near St. Sulpice sells an eclectic mix of clothes, toys, and accessories. It is the perfect place to find rock-and-roll inspired onesies and hip graphic Ts for les enfants terribles. (1 month – 12 years). Closed Sundays.
Jane Fichard opened this special children’s clothing shop in 1986 and parents become such addicts of her well-made, sophisticated clothes that they order from around the world. Oona the Bear, as the name translates, feels like an idyllic child’s bedroom. Plaids and Liberty prints, khakis and grey flannels are tailored in a non-babyish way. Located next to the Jardins du Luxembourg, the boutique is perfect for a family outing after some park play.
Founded by a former designer for Christian Dior who wanted to create the ultimate baby store, Ovale sells exquisite baby clothes, almost all of which can be embroidered with initials or names, and silver jewelry and gifts, which can be engraved, as well as cuddly toys and accessories like hangers, bibs and booties. The palette is neutral, with lots of white, cream and beige cottons. Closed Sundays. Métro: Rue du Bac.
The founders of Bonton, Irène Cohen and Eve Cazzani, have launched a new label called Papillon, “butterfly,” with a retro emphasis. The clothes are more traditional than those at Bonton, featuring lots of lace flourishes and old-world trims. Métro: Rue du Bac.
Founded in 1893, Petit Bateau is a much more elegant version of Fruit of the Loom, so famous is it for its soft cotton underwear. They expanded from undershirts and briefs to making baby clothes in 1980, and instantly moms recognized that their cotton onesies, pajamas and T-shirts seem softer than others. The first French boutique opened in 2000 on the Champs-Elysées, and now that they sell T-shirts and T-shirt dresses for adults, moms can shop for themselves at the same time.
Petit Blanc d’Ivoire
The children’s section of the gorgeous country chic home shop, where you can find clothes and home furnishings that evoke sunny days in the country just as they should be in childhood for ages 0 to 14. Monic Fischer, founder of the brand, first added a children’s room to her home-like interiors store and realized by visitors’ oohs and aahs that there would be demand for an entire juvenile universe. She now sells everything from nursery curtains to gigoteuses (sleep sacks) in a soothing palette of prints and comforters and furniture for teenagers room that please picky adolescents as well as the parents who have to live with their choices.
Colorful Chinese prints lend themselves perfectly to children’s clothes and accessories, and here you will find a lovely array of patterned blankets, pillows, dresses, shoes and diaper bags. Children will be delighted to spend some time in this enchanted shop, which is decorated with paper lanterns and mobiles—all of which are for sale along with a great assortment of small toys, notebooks, and home decor items. (1 month – 8 years.) Closed Sundays.
This shop in the Marais sells minimalist children’s clothes for girls and boys who will grow up to wear Armani and Calvin.
Elisa de Bartilat and Laurence Simoncini founded Serendipity because they couldn’t find the hip modern baby furniture they wanted for their own kids. Choose a supersleek aluminum desk or a vintage-inspired one that could have come from a 1940s schoolroom, a poetic bassinet that appears woven from willow sticks or its antithesis a crib fashioned from a industrial crate. Other favorites include supertall high chairs, fun fake-fur rugs, funky diaper bags, metallic beanbags, pillows embroidered with words like love and baby. Closed Sundays. Métro: Saint-Sulpice.
This gorgeous children’s shop is famous for clothing that is sustainable and stylish. The owner is as devoted to fairy-tale-beautiful children’s clothing as she is to pure organic cotton and wool, so everything is all-natural and adorable. No insecticides, pesticides, bleaches or other pollutants ever touch the materials or baby’s skin. Closed Sundays. Métro: Palais-Royal.
This bright and airy children’s clothing and toy boutique exudes a whiff of innocence with its cheery space and its racks of clothes and old-fashioned toys. Opened by Italian Mariu de Andreis, the children’s boutiques sell traditional clothes with a bit of flair like pinafore dresses in Indian prints and little leather flip-flops with metallic stars and suede moccasins. Soft cotton t-shirts with a silk screen of a vintage car or little wrap skirts with embroidered roses for boys and girls who require comfy chic.
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