Paris: The Vintage Chanel and Hermes Emporium, Les Trois Marches

Regular readers will know that I rarely blog about individual stores I visit on my travels, so when I do it means it’s a very special place indeed. When I was in Paris a couple of months ago, I met one of my favourite fashion friends on the Left Bank for what turned out to be the perfect Parisian afternoon. Being the lovely girl that she is (and knowing my penchant for Chanel and gorgeous vintage jewels), she shared with me one of her Parisian secrets: Catherine B’s vintage emporium, Les Trois Marches. It may look unassuming from the outside (in true Left Bank style), but I actually gasped when I stepped inside; so good is it that I just had to share it with you all here so that you may visit it on your next trip to Paris.

Stocking nothing but vintage Chanel and Hermes, this tiny boutique (divided into two neighbouring shopfronts) is almost too good to be true for any Parisian fashion devotee. Within its walls are shelves and shelves of Hermes Kelly bags in every colour imaginable, rows upon rows of Chanel boucle jackets, towering stacks of silk scarves and windows glinting with vintage Chanel jewels (my weakness).

Gorgeous accessories aside, my favourite part of the shop was the owner herself, the wonderful Catherine B. Instantly we bonded over our mutual love for all things Chanel (despite my rather dismal French skills), and swapped stories of our respective obsessive hunts for particular pieces from our favourite collections over the years. Such is her reputation in Paris that Chanel and Hermes themselves send customers to her when they’re after a particular vintage piece (and if she doesn’t have it, she can probably find it for you), but mostly I just kept thinking that she was so interesting and brimming with joie de vivre that I could have happily listened to her storytelling all weekend.

At one point, when I gazed upon the rows of Hermes bags telling her how I dreamed of one day returning to her shop to buy my own, she slipped behind a crimson curtain into the back room and emerged a few minutes later with a rather weathered looking Birkin bag. Laughing at my confused face, she explained that this was the very first Birkin bag ever made (yes, the very same one made for and owned by Jane Birkin – it still has her initials and her manicure set inside; fellow fashion obsessives will understand how big a deal this is) and that she now owns it herself. And this is exactly why I love Catherine so much; although she collects iconic and collectible pieces, she understands that rather than them being in a fashion museum, they should continue to be worn and loved by women who will continue to treasure them as they were intended.

I won’t pretend that prices are any cheaper in here than they are in mainline Chanel or Hermes stores, but everything is in pristine condition and a collectible treasure you will keep for the rest of your life. Catherine makes it her pleasure to match items to their perfect owner, and she sent me home with this vintage Chanel military brooch to add to my collection (and which now makes me smile every time I glance at it; as much for the memories it holds of my time in Paris and Catherine’s stories as for it’s appearance).

Have you ever stumbled upon a shop somewhere in the world that was so marvellous it felt like a wonderful emporium filled with stories? I’d love to hear about it!

Love, Miss B xx

Les Trois Marches de Catherine B, 1 Rue Guisarde Paris 75006, +33 14354 7418 (Metro: Saint-Germain des Pres or Saint-Sulpice)

P.S. All images (except first and last) from Alexandra Clamart (as you all know I always try to use my own photography/illustrations on here, but in this case I was so caught up in Catherine’s shop that I failed to take more than a single photo!) 

39 thoughts on “Paris: The Vintage Chanel and Hermes Emporium, Les Trois Marches

  1. I have yet to own any jewellery by CHANEL or anything at all by Hermes, looking at these pics I’m in vintage heaven! I will definitely give this place a visit when I’m next in Paris. Love this post 🙂 xxx

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  3. Hello! What a lovely first visit to your blog! You make me want to go to this special shop right away (if only I could!)! I think probably the most exciting store I have ever walked into was called Dear Lizzie and it was on a family holiday in Utah. I gasped when I walked inside too 🙂 One day I will get to Paris and I’m sure that nothing will compare! Thankyou for sharing!
    Jennelise

  4. Gorgeous post! It’s a rarity that I find a blog that I actually enjoy READING as much as looking at. This shops sounds incredible. If you ever make it to Zurich there’s a vintage shop I’ll have to take you to. It only has about three rails of Chanel by by the till there are heaps of jewelry… the little crossed Cs always catch my attention. xx

  5. What a joy to read, thanks for sharing this Parisian treasure trove with your readers! Catherine sounds like an amazing spirit and to own Jane Birkin’s bag she must be an enthusiast.

  6. Oh My! I actually can’t stop smiling!! What an amazing day for you! I’m putting Catherine B’s shop on the next trip to Paris. I was there for New Years but am definitely going to have to go back again, very soon. Thanks for posting about the Shakespeare and company book store too. I popped by there at New Years and it was beautiful! x

  7. Just stumbled across your gorgeous blog and will be following from now on!
    Love vintage and love Paris. Its in a class of its own for style and chic!
    Last spring I stayed in St. Germain and the streets were full of beautiful vintage boutiques.

  8. Wow! This place looks amazing and Catherine seems like a charming lady. They have the best vintage in Paris I once brought a Dior clutch for 2 Euro’s!
    Lotts x

  9. This is one of my VERY favorite shops in Paris. I lived in Paris for a year and cant name how many times I went to this shop. I bought a beautiful yellow epi leather LV there and quite a few Hermes scarves as gifts right before I moved home. The shop is like heaven. 🙂 So glad you’re sharing it with everyone!

  10. WOW. That sounds SO amazing. I’m barely a fashion enthusiast and already SUPER wrapped up in visiting this place! But really, who DOESN’T love Chanel!?

  11. I just ran into your blog today by way of Glitter Guide and I love it! This was such an enchanting story (and well written I might add!) When in Paris this spring, I’ll have to pop by this place. xo, Jolie

  12. Wow this place is definitely being added to the list of shops I *need* to visit in Paris. Whenever I go it’s always such a whirlwind experience I only have time to fit in one, maybe two shops. But this is near the top of that list… I need me a bouclé jacket damn it!

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  14. What a LOVELY place!! Thanks for sharing it with us. It’s now at the TOP of my list for the next visit to Paris! So I glad I discovered your blog through the glitter guide!! You are so fabulous! 🙂

    xo, sam

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  17. Cannot disagree enough with this post regarding the “charming Miss B” as you call her.
    I visited yesterday and while agree the collection of vintage pieces is impressive but her and her offsider could not have been more unpleasant and unhelpful. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. talk about cold and off putting.The store attached next door which is run by a charming man who sells Hermes and Chanel bags etc was lovely in comparison.. I ended up walking away with a Chanel wool bag and Hermes bracelet. Pity that some of the proceeds will fall into Ms B’s hands. Horrible women the pair and I’ll be spreading the word.

  18. Just stumbled across this post while searching for Paris vintage ideas. I am heading there in September and am hoping to come home with some Chanel 😉 Thank you for this info! So helpful.

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  20. Oh you lucky, lucky thing!! What a marvelous shop! My sister was in Paris at the weekend, next time she goes on I will be sure to tag along and find this wonderful treasure, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  21. This store sounds absolutely amazing indeed! I am planning a trip to Paris right now, and I will definitely make sure I go to this store! So a truly helpful and inspirational post 🙂

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