K Jacques

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K Jacques
The Marais

Those who love clothes and understand style appreciate that if you're up close to Mother Nature, you have to ditch the follies of the fashion spread for something more fit for purpose. But what they also realise is that such restraint doesn't have to mean dowdy clothes. The fashionable in a field rely on 'elemental chic' brands, whose collections usually have some high-tech or artisanal origin and strike the right balance between form and function, but in terms of price point, heritage and celebrity endorsement, bear a reassuring resemblance to the designer brands they wear back in town. So, for example, you might catch the fash pack in Moncler in the mountains, Barbour in the countryside, and if paparazzi shots of Kate Moss on holiday are anything to go by, K Jacques sandals at the beach.

Set up in Saint-Tropez in 1933 by Jacques Keklikian and his wife, the K Jacques workshop started life stitching together basic leather sandals for visitors to the Med resort. The Homère (or Homer), a Greco Roman-style sandal with five horizontal straps across the foot, was, and still is, the signature piece - Picasso loved them, and over the years they've counted the likes of Colette and Bridget Bardot among their fans.

Now the company, run by grandson Bernard, offers a range of around 60 styles that subtly reflect the trends of the last 70 years, but remain, in essence, simple, hard-wearing sandals. Examples of each and every style are squeezed into the Marais outpost, where makeshift seating, wooden floors and cramped dimensions make the attempt to find the perfect pair about as comfortable as getting changed in a beach hut.

Venue name: K Jacques
Contact:
Address: 16 rue Pavée
4e
Paris

Opening hours: 10am-7.15pm Mon-Sat; 1-7.15pm Sun
Transport: Metro: Saint-Paul

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Maria McBirnie

I passed this shop early February 2013 whilst on holiday in Paris and a pair of Pixie-like felt slippers in the window caught my eye. At 56 euros (on sale),a perfect luxe gift for my hostess. I returned to the shop in the evening, and it had closed earlier than the 7.15pm time stated on the window: so when I did make it back to the shop the next day, the service was so breathtakingly rude that I emailed K Jacques management twice on my return from holidays, once in English and once in (perfectly translated) French. Suffice to say that no-one responded, and hence this review. When you are asked "Do you want to try it on or not?", "Do you want a bag (for my purchase) or not?" then it becomes clear that the shop assistant feels that my custom is a waste of her time. I waited for my receipt after paying the exact money in cash, the shop assistant looked at me as if she couldn't believe I was still standing there, and said "That's all!". I should have insisted, but I was so put off by her attitude, that I walked out (without a shopping bag for the slippers). Now to my regret, the slippers were a little small, but since I have no receipt (and I am now on the other side of the world) - I (or my hostess) could not exchange the goods if we could. I emailed the management for an explanation - but that was over 2 weeks ago.. If I had to rate the shoe-ware in the shop, I could not as I was not made welcome by the snobbish attitude of the staff member.