If you love fashion then you love Paris. I have been coming to Paris twice a year for some time now and yet every time I visit I'm always filled with anticipation and excitement as to what I'm about to see and be inspired by.
That adrenaline rush the moment I hit the streets in Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Saint Honoré, it never gets old.
It's the one of the few cities in the world where shopping might possibly be considered a sport. There is so much ground to cover and so little time. l run myself ragged trying to visually absorb all of it.
Eventually though, it all becomes a bit of blur because you hit sensory overload and everything starts to look alike. You see the same stores and the same merchandise over and over again. To find something truly memorable and unique you have to get off the beaten track.
Just steps away from the famous Champs Elysees is one such destination, Les Suites. As soon as you step inside you immediately realize that you've entered a rarefied world of elegance and luxury.
Every piece is selected by the founder Eka Iukuridze. She mixes haute couture and prêt-à-porter from established and independent labels with a discerning eye to aimed at addressing her clientele's lifestyle. They come into the store looking for something different and unique that they can’t find anywhere else.
The main floor houses handbags, jewelry and shoes in the front and ready-to-wear in the back. Walk up the grand staircase and you'll see three expansive suites where clients along their entourage can come in for their fittings or try on their choices in private.
Once inside they can have their pick of tea, coffee or champagne and some nibbles. The boutique employs two full time seamstresses full-time so any changes that need to be made are done in the premises and guarantees the client the perfect fit.
I first met Eka several years ago at Premiere Classe, a trade show in Paris that I participated in to showcase my Rafe New York collection during Paris Fashion Week. She came into my booth and studied my collection and with an editor's eye immediately selected an assortment that she felt would appeal to her clientele.
She invited me to visit the store since I wasn't familiar with the address. You can just imagine my delight when I walked through the doors. One of my dreams just came true. Les Suites has been carrying Rafe Minaudières ever since and the rest as they say is history.