ITW – “Authentique Parenthèse” (ndlr. Authentic parenthesis)
Hidden away in a leafy corner of the 20th arrondissement in Paris, Maud and Christophe welcome me into their charming shop. Authentique Parenthèse is a concept-store brimming with love that offers a wide variety of high-quality goods hand-picked by Maud and Christophe, two art and design lovers. Let’s find out more!
Hi Maud and Christophe! Before opening Authentique Parenthèse in 2013, were you already working in the world of fashion and interior design?
Christophe: Yes, we both did art-related degrees. Maud in graphic design with a small penchant for illustration, and myself in design. After that, we travelled a lot to find inspiration all over the world.
Maud: That’s what actually gave us the idea for the concept. All the places we visited made us want to create a place where we could present everything we fell in love with. Authentique Parenthèse was born from all that.
What are your key pieces for this new 2017 season?
Christophe: For OLOW, we couldn’t resist the bathers by Christophe Luez as well as Matthew Wigglesworth’s illustrations. We love working with Veja. As for design, we love Lexon and Hay.
Maud: Kerzon, the scents and perfumed bags, as well as the range of candles inspired by Parisian parks; the idea of the olfactory memory is very interesting.
Christophe: For womenswear, we love les Petits Hauts as we are incredibly sensitive to their illustrations this year, but also Idano, which is more classic-chic.
How do you go about selecting what you sell? Does Maud deal with womenswear and Christophe with menswear?
Maud: Our education influences each season’s selection. Christophe will be more sensitive to materials, shapes and objects, whereas I’ll be more sensitive to graphics and colours; we’re really very complimentary.
Christophe: We choose all the products, whether feminine or masculine, together. We really work as a team!
Why did you choose to set up shop in the 20th arrondissement?
Christophe: It seemed obvious to us, we love the charm and authenticity of this part of Paris that keeps growing, it reminds us of East London. There was a lot to do here, the neighbourhood was neglected and not many Parisians were actually familiar with it. Belleville has started to change and our area is beginning to follow suit.
Maud: There is also a very important cultural hub here, and our clientele is made up of people working in the creative industries, that’s also why we chose to settle down here.
Your selection is quite feminine at Authentique Parenthèse, why did you decide to sell Olow?
Christophe: It was important for us to choose a great brand in order to take the plunge and offer a masculine selection. What we really liked about OLOW is its artistic side.
Maud: Hypersensitivity in work is very important, and there’s also that confidential side that allows our clientele to discover new things.
Christophe: The spirit of the brand isn’t simply artistic, it’s also got that very Parisian, graphic and urban element to it: the materials and colours used are different.
I heard you were planning on expanding the shop; can you tell us more about that?
Maud: We’re still thinking about it, the project will be determined based on the place…
Christophe: But we really want a mixed and global concept store that sells menswear, womenswear, lifestyle and decoration. We would also like to create something a little more surprising that would echo our trips and escapism.
Maud: To really emphasise on the concept store aspect and create a place where you feel at home, where you stay a while to escape, dream and find inspiration…
You must know the neighbourhood like the back of your hand; what are your favourite places to shop or get a bite to eat?
Maud: You can enjoy a delicious glass of ice tea lounging on the deckchairs at the bar La Laverie, an old launderette that got transformed into a restaurant/bar. You must make the most of the rooftop at La Bellevilloise also, it really represents the neighbourhood’s spirit.
Christophe: Or hunt for antiques while stocking up on local products at the Epicerie Vintage, Place Sorbier. Another really special place is Le Blanc Bec, a restaurant that offers sophisticated cuisine. And finally, if you love couscous, Le Jardin cooks up a delicious one every Friday.