Image - Mobile

Store Visit: PaperBoy Paris

BasementApproved swings by Paris's favourite sandwich spot.

Picture it. You’re in the city of love. It’s drizzling, but that’s no match for you; your Arc’teryx jacket will see to that. Yes, your Casablanca joggers are getting a bit wet at the hem. Yes, your Carhartt WIP vest still smells of smoke from last night. But you don’t care. You are hungry, and you are on a mission. And then, just as you are about to give up hope, it appears…

Lying in the northern enclave of Marais, PaperBoy is your favourite Parisien’s favourite brunch and sarnie spot. It’s minimalist French/Scandinavian interior, accessorised with all sorts of fashion-world trinkets, books, and collectibles have made it a popular meeting place for the city’s in-the-know inhabitants. Sitting at the intersection of grub and drip, PaperBoy now produces its own clothing and collaborations: most recently a sought-after collaboration with New Balance.

Peckish from the freneticism of Paris Fashion week, we stopped by for a quick chat with founder, James Dridi, and a sandwich.

Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview - posters
Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview - t shirt
When and why did you open PaperBoy?

I created PB ’cause I always loved sandwiches. Do what you love they said ! 

Tell us a bit about the store and your vision for it?

Our store is a creative hub where customers, staff and myself share a vision, and support each other in their personal practices. Yes, it is a sandwich shop, food being the universal link; it creates a comfy and trustworthy environment for our friends to live and collaborate in.

What do you love about Paris and the neighbourhood you're based in?

We love the French way of living obviously! Having coffee at a terrasse, seeing a friend biking and stopping by to say hello, sharing a coffee and chilling for a while… We have a tradition of small neighbourhood coffee shops where you already know you’ll bump into a friend. The restaurant is located at the boarder of the Marais / République / Bastille, but we are located in a low key street which bring us calm and less car traffic, making it it walkable. It’s an Oasis of peace located in the centre of Paris

Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview - shelving
Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview - guy holding pastry
What are some of your favourite brands / things / publications you stock in the store?

We have always been inspired by our childhood memories, as well as by Japanese design. It’s a mix of heritage brands and newcomers from Japan. New Balance is obviously a strong partner which has trusted us since the beginning. Tokyo Bike, Needles, Sophnet, Kumba and soon Gramicci are brands we are in conversations with. In terms of publications, we support photography a lot, so we are showing Fanzines from our artist friends.

What are some of your favourite new streetwear brands coming out of France right now?

Helas and Coursaint are doing a great work in Paris. Skateboard infused, those 2 brands can be seen as art projects with a DIY philosophy.

How has Paris's streetwear scene changed in the last few years?

Like everywhere else in the world, from a connoisseur culture to a mass market business. Every kid is aware of the calendar of release and knows the resale value. I feel like there is a shift happening now with the youth shopping more and more in second hand store; they seem to go back to authentic fits, and playful and personal styling.

Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview -
How do you think the Pandemic has affected Paris's creative scene?

At the early stage we all felt isolated. And then creatives started to share their personal projects, ideas and dreams to their close ones via our digital communication tools. Since creative people had less commercial projects, it freed up time for focus on ourself. Then we were more willing to collaborate with each other, and from that amazing works have seen the light ! I see it as a new beginning, a stronger friend and family support. It was a good time to discover ourselves; since we know ourselves better now, we all have a clearer vision of our goals.

Paris Fashion Week has just come and gone - how does Fashion Week affect business? Do you see an increase in visitors around the time?
During FW, we offer catering services to showrooms and studios, but we also often drop collaborative pieces. Friends from overseas visits our restaurant, friends call their friends and so on and so on. It becomes an international family. New links are made, and old links are cherished. 
What’s next for PaperBoy?

Opening abroad!

Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview - coffee cup
Store Visit - Paperboy Paris - fashion - interview - wall

Paul Fogiel

Written by
Francesco Loy Bell