Jamin Puech

Jamin Puech

Handbag designers Benoît Jamin and Isabelle Puech were catapulted to fame in the early 1990s, a mere two years out of art school, after designing bags for Chanel, Balmain and Karl Lagerfeld. Their eponymous boutique opened in 1996, causing a stir in the style-conscious Marais, where the bags quickly became hallmarks for the bobo—bourgeois bohemian—fashion set. The tiny flagship shop’s earthy wood and terracotta tile decor is the ideal backdrop for the designers’ fanciful limited-edition bags, handmade in leather, raffia or embroidered fabric, with meticulous detailing and decoration in all-natural materials—wood, seeds, horn, bone, shells and beads. Each of these imaginative, sculptural bags, from whimsical evening styles—including an adorable sequined blowfish called Oscar—to exuberantly colored macramé carryalls, is an attention grabber, in the nicest possible way. They’re fun, colorful and practical. Although there are two unique collections each year, many classic Jamin Puech styles are continued from season to season, like the Honu GM, a popular patchwork leather tote. Other models are pretty much snapped up the second they hit the shelves, but if wearing last season’s look doesn’t bother you, why not also pick up a bargain at the inventory boutique on rue d’Hauteville.

68 rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd,; 26 rue Cambon, 1st,; 43 rue Madame, 6th, Inventory boutique, 61 rue d’Hauteville, 10th, website

Originally published in the June 2011 issue of France Today

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