Words: Richard Price
Image: Patrick Janicek
There are times when you want to express your individuality and creativity. And then there are times when you just want to blend into the wallpaper. BHV Homme is the place to go where you can get in touch with your inner lemming and attempt to pass as a true Parisian.
Any male foreigner living in Paris will confess by his third Kir that to walk among the French can induce feelings of inadequacy and in matters related to fashion and attire. In a town where the title ‘tourist’ is the cruelest insult of all, the often unstated goal is to blend in.
BHV Homme is not a place where one will find the wildest and more bizarre fashion statements one sees in Paris – particularly in the Marais. Rather, BHV Homme is a one-stop department store where one can find the basics which, coupled with a little attitude, will allow one to pass as French.
Looking for that multi-hued tourniquet-like scarf that the French where even on the hottest days of summer? BHV Homme is the place to find it. Or, how about that strategically ripped pair of jeans, or the frayed hand-me-down looking t-shirt that tells the world, “I tried very hard to look like I didn’t try at all.” BHV Homme.
Service is pleasant, albeit rare. (Expect even the simplest alterations to take a week to 10 days.) And unlike the smaller boutiques in Paris, the staff at BHV Homme tend to be a bit skittish, which gives Anglo-Saxons the chance to indulge in their fondness for pawing through the racks relatively unmolested. Everything is overpriced, but we would expect nothing less from the folks who brought us the €36 butter knife.
Located at 36 rue de la Verrerie in the 4th, in the shadow of the mother ship, BHV Homme is all about moi. Seriously, the floors are titled “Moi et Mon Weekend,” or “Moi et Mon Jean,” and so on. If you want to really shop like a Frenchman, bring your dog. The folks at BHV Homme won’t mind.
They’re open every day except Sunday from 10h00 until 20h00, and Wednesdays until 21h00. After you’ve made your purchases and gotten all gussied up, take yourself around the corner to one of the popular sidewalk cafés, light up a cigarette and allow the world to appreciate your splendour. Chances are, the service you’ll get from your waiter will be warmer than before your makeover.
36 Rue de la Verrerie, 4th
Ph: 01 42 74 90 00
Metro: Hôtel de Ville (1, 11)