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Imagine entering a museum in which you can purchase the myriad of hand-crafted items on display, from sculptural ceramics to one-of-a-kind jewelry. This is exactly what EMPREINTES, a concept store in the heart of the Haut Marais, feels like.
Walls lined with over 1,000 carefully curated decorative wares, the 600m2 four-story loft-like shop takes the visitor on a journey into the ateliers of France. Stories of the craftsmen’s unique skills and creative visions accompany the limited-edition collections, bringing an intimacy to the shopping experience reminiscent of an art gallery.
Redesigned in raw elegance by architect Nabil Hamdouni, the airy space once housed a decades-old family-run costume jewelry studio that even designed for famed French label Chanel. Where better for Ateliers d’Art de France (the French fine crafts federation) to set the stage for local artisans? Beginning in 2016 they transformed the space into what it is today.
What makes EMPREINTES even more of an unparalleled destination is the varied selection of tableware, ceramics, jewelry resembling art, furniture, lamps, and fashion accessories. These handicrafts, not found elsewhere in France, are unique to this concept store.
Walking through the vast space provides an experience in awakening the senses to the delicacy and detail of artisanal design. Whether the item is crafted of ceramics, wood, paper, metal, or perhaps a combination of them all, EMPREINTES fondness for veritable design is clear.
Even the name empreintes, translated to fingerprints, affirms the federation’s dedication to the art of hand-crafting.
Empreintes is open Tuesday–Saturday 11am–1pm, 2–7pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.