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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.
16 rue Pavée
|Opening hours:||10am-7.15pm Mon-Sat; 1-7.15pm Sun|