Parisian Craftsmen Reassume Centre Stage

In the last year, more and more concept stores have opened, but the two below have a focus on the handmade, a rising art and design trend in France.

by Rooksana Hossenally

Meet Mayaro, a community of artisans. Coined as a concept store for men, Mayaro offers mainly home ware that appeals to both genders, finally. Unlike any other concept store in Paris, Mayaro is more of a showroom reminiscent of high-end luxury brands, where visits are only made by appointment and decisions are made after discussing the choices and particular tastes with owners and craftspeople.

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Founded by Nicolas Floquet (the brainchild behind Saturne restaurant), and duo Eloïse Gilles and Raphaëlle de Panafieu, who revived the 200-year old French fan maison, Duvelleroy, Mayaro challenges the mass luxury market conventions by allowing the space and time for dialogue. “For us, it’s an attempt at going back to an authentic experience, and a savoir-faire, real craftsmanship,” Mayaro co-founder Eloïse Gilles says. Clients can choose from a carefully curated range of eclectic items from furniture to bicycles, and can decide to buy an existing item on display or they can opt for made-to-order piece designed by one of a dozen collaborating artisans.

Saddle-maker Guy Chanel for instance, who trained at Hermès, is specialised in leather work, especially bags, while the cabinetmakers of the IOTA Element create tailor-made furniture for digital arts. Another central part of Mayaro is the hosting of monthly events. “It can be an event to showcase a prototype of a humanoid robot, to a creator who makes cufflinks out of meteorites – he actually goes onsite, where meteorites have crashed, to collect the material,” Gilles continues. “It’s first and foremost about passion, about putting people in touch. The aim is to reinstate the relationship between the maker and the client, something that has sadly been lost.”

Related article: 4 Parisian Art Galleries

Empreintes, putting ceramics back on the map...

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The 3-level light-filled space is located in the Marais and is already proving to be a hit with locals and visitors looking to snap up something a little more personal. Empreintes, French for ‘finger prints’, fittingly implies that everything showcased here is handmade and unique. A temple to craftsmanship, the store specialises mainly in ceramics like limited edition or one-off vases to tableware all made in France by expert craftspeople, as well as jewellery, furniture, lighting, and various types of ornaments that draw on a variety of artistic expressions but mostly echo nature and inspire peaceful reflection. As well as the curated areas of objects, there is also a pretty café and library on the first floor, perfect for a quick pause before heading back out to explore the neighbourhood.

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