This shop is now closed. See comment below for more information.
Violette & Léonie must be the trendiest and best-organized consignment shop (dépôt-vente) in Paris. You’ll notice the difference as soon as you walk through the door of this boutique in the ultra-chic Haut Marais. First of all, the airy, attractive shop has none of that musty old-clothes smell or overstuffed feeling found in many vintage stores. Then there is the friendly greeting, so different from the treatment you’ll get in some of the snootier consignment shops that specialize in Chanel tailleurs once worn by bourgeoises from the 16th arrondissement. Here the smiley staff speaks good English and is ready to help. And no matter how often you return, you won’t find the same stock, since no item stays in the shop for more than two months.
Another great feature is its Web site. Every item in the store is photographed and put online as soon as it comes in and can be ordered from anywhere in the world, with a money-back guarantee for dissatisfied customers. Shipping is free for orders of over €50.
The shop sells a carefully selected assortment of fashionable seasonal clothing and accessories in good condition for women, men and children. Top ready-to-wear names like Chloé, Vanessa Bruno, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Zadig et Voltaire, Manoush, Céline and more figure on the list, along with trendy, less-expensive brands like H&M and Zara.
Sellers, too, are treated well and fairly. No waiting two months for an appointment as in many of these shops: you can drop in any time between 1pm and 4:30pm on Monday, and 11am and 4:30pm on Tuesday-Saturday, and you are received in a dedicated area in the basement. You can track the sales of your consignments on the Web site, and, if they haven’t sold in two months, you will receive an email alert giving you one week to pick up the items. If you don’t, they are shipped off to a charity.
Note (July 6, 2010): a second boutique was recently opened around the corner from the first (address below).