For the connaisseurs of the famous flea market of Paris, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, a new space is born. Habitat, of the giant furniture store fame, has opened a warehouse of retired original pieces from their classic collections of the past five decades, to celebrate their 50th anniversary with vintage pieces, now collectors' items and hard-to-find pieces.
While the classic lamps, chairs and other furniture and decoration fixtures are permanently part of our everyday sightings, it is actually extremely hard to discover them on the market. You may find copies of variable quality, but the originals have been kept locked up in decorators apartments, or their clients' lodgings, and seldom come on the market for sale.
Habitat decided to give those items a second chance at adorning design aficionados' homes and offices. A grand idea, surely born of a quest for a renewal of clients list and a chance of cashing in on sure sales of classic pieces. The concept store also allows individuals and professional to sale their own pieces, at the discretion and estimated value of the store.
The deal is a joint venture with another famed store, L'Eclaireur, the fashionable and sophisticated design boutique offering everything chic, from caviar to sophisticated peluches (not your average teddy here), from smells atelier to leather clothing, metal sculptures to designer Converses. Used as a window for various artists in decadent and temporary offerings, the store evolves with every week.
A welcome injection of a new life into the old marketplace that has seen declining attendance with the uprising of ebay and other reselling platforms of designers' originals. Long gone is the time when anybody could lay their articles on blankets by their cars to sell their unwanted furniture or small items. Those were the original garage sales. Now the flea market is home to 16 distinct areas, and it takes days to fan through; and at 5,000 square foot, the new Habitat space is hardly a booth.
Habitat 1964 Vintage Village is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., the same schedule as the host flea market.