When I first moved from California to Paris, one of the hardest things for me to get used to was the often aloof nature of the sales people in the clothing stores in the capital of France.
The service centric shopping experience state side, where you could easily end up sharing your life story with a sales woman or exchanging emails to set up a future coffee date, is a stark contrast to the reception in the city of light. Once you get past the front door (which is often blocked by a staff member taking a cigarette brake or chatting to a friend) the sales people usually do one of two things…ignore you totally…or hover so close that you wonder if they have ever hear of the phrase “personal space”.
So I can’t tell you how delighted I was to discover the YaYa Store in the 2eme arrondissement. Run by Ms. Yaya herself, a gray haired beauty with a smile like sunshine on a rainy day. The store is as warm an inviting as its charming owner. The shop is a fashion oasis for boho style and has a lovingly worn in feel to it. Clothing from brands like Levi’s Made and Crafted, Mes Demoiselles and Zoé Tee’s are hung on vintage American dry cleaning hangers. Bracelets by Chann Luu and ornate earrings discovered in India have pride of place inside antique bird cadges. And handsome leather bags designed by Campomaggi and artisanal shoes crafted by Anniel are stacked up against the walls of the jewelry box of a store.
The eclectic assortment of items and global reach of the owner’s designer selection gives the store a treasure trove feel, as if you are going to uncover something extraordinary at any moment. And more often than not, you do. Not only are the pieces full of character and well designed they are also really well prices. This makes it even easier to indulge in a pair of furry Dolfie shoes or an Alternative Apparel t-shirt.
And with most of Ms. Yaya’s stock displayed in the store, don’t even think about “thinking about” anything you fall in love with while you are in the shop. Because if you don’t buy it, chances are some one else will as soon as you walk out the door.
FASHION-EQUIPMENT & YAYA Store
55, Rue Montmartre-75002-PARIS France
Tel: +33 1 40 39 92 89 – Fax: +33 1 40 18 37 93
Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00-19:30