Friday, June 22, 2012

My favorite store in Aix



...and perhaps the world. I am completely serious. And yes, that is saying something. 


Meet Zaia. She opened her boutique in Aix-en-Provence last October, having chosen an up-and-coming neighborhood in the South of France over her previous digs in Paris. 


In France, surprisingly I find that we can rarely call any retail environment "curated" (a word that is slung around a little too loosely in the States) save for Colette and Caravane in Paris and a few worthy exceptions. But every object in Le Sérail has been considered down to its finest detail. 


Zaia works with not only artisans but designers in both India and Marrakech to create exquisite pieces of the highest quality possible. Her direct relationship with them keeps the prices incredibly reasonable considering, what the French call un rapport qualité-prix. The above clutch is of such finesse that it would be deeply treasured and handed down--how often can that be said for an item that costs 248€?


I came across the store in my wanderings with the beautiful and very glamorous Dash and she was drawn to the tunics in the window like a moth to a flame. All hand stitched in India and yet, can I tell you? Even in Rajasthan, I did not come across such fine craftsmanship. Can you see the delicate beading along the collars? Amazing.



In my excitement, I admittedly forgot to do my job as well as I should. I did not take any photos of the giant heavily grained leather shoppers that any woman would want, let alone ask the price. Nor how much are the metallic woven pillows that line her shop. Folks, I know it is in poor taste to play the "I have travelled the world card" but in this case, let me insist with all honesty (and of course with absolutely nothing to gain personally) that I thought this to be one of the most finely curated (there is that word again) boutiques that I have seen anywhere. 


And it is tiny to boot! Quality trumps quantity everytime. And are you ready for the good news? Yes, she ships internationally. She doesn't have a website yet but I am sure that if you contact her, she will be willing to help you as best as she can. 

Le Sérail
5, rue Jaubert
Aix-en-Provence
Tel. +(33) 4 42 63 03 26
Email: zmarrakech28@gmail.com

or for those of you visiting Morrocco:
Boutique Akbar
Place Bab Fteuh, Medina Marrakech



Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


26 comments:

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I would love to visit Marrakech but this shop is the next best thing! The shot of the tunics and the detail just made me hungry to see more! Hope that you have a lovely weekend!

Bises,
Genie

Dash said...

I can vouch for this one, it is without a doubt the best boutique I have ever been into and the quality and beauty of Zaia's stock is beyond sublime, I could have spent a fortune in there as I wanted to buy everything!

Heather I am still dreaming about those caftans...and the evening bags...and the cushions and the...

XXX

Judith said...

Best online shopping trip EVER! And thank you for including their address in Morocco, because you never know.....

vicki archer said...

This sounds like a must do... but a dangerous venture I fear ;) xv

BigLittleWolf said...

Everything looks scrumptious!

(And small is beautiful.)

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you Genie! Wishing you the same and that you get to vistit Marrakech as it is so beyond wonderful!

Lost in Provence said...

Yes my friend, I think that between us, if money were no option, we would have bought out the shop! I can't think of anything that I didn't want! I do hope that you get a certain caftan *cough cough hint MG*...
Gros bisous...

Lost in Provence said...

Bah, you are right girl you do never know! I was there not all that long ago and if only I had that address then...

Lost in Provence said...

Ooh, be afraid, be very afraid...but it is worth it!

Lost in Provence said...

Save for small retirement funds! Ouch!

Wyn Vogel said...

Oh! All I can say .. Just itching to gently search the racks in wonder! So far away!

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather

What a beautiful boutique. What a joy to find a store with an owner who is passionate about her merchandize. I love the evening purse you indicated. Yes indeed an heirloom piece.

I will look forward to visiting Aix and visiting some of the spectacular businesses you speak of.

Wishing you a great weekend

Helen xx

carolyn bradford said...

Oh…this is all so beautiful! But all I can think of is the fact that my precious parents were LITERALLY lost in Arles just last week! In fact…because I sent them there! I told them about your blog…and about Vicki Archer's…and then they got lost…and then they were locked in a field with an iron gate that shut behind them! OH my! If only I'd had your cell phone number! LOL! I kept telling them…but I read this girls blog…Lost in Arles! Like that was going to help them! Anyway…they had a great time and finally some kind sole helped them get out! Of course they ran screaming back to their hotel and didn't venture out anymore! When I come back, though… i'm asking you a lot of advice! We need to come soon for the shop! Thanks for this great post!

quintessence said...

Looks like a marvelous shop - I love the tunics!! I'm working my way back to see your visit with Dash - oh so envious of your lovely day together!!

Aidan said...

Thanks Heather. I love peeking into beautiful bijoux shops like this one. I want one of those embroidered shawls.
Thank you for sharing. I'll pass by you today on my way to Sara's LPV. Listen for the honk!
bisous,
aidan

Lost in Provence said...

Oh no!! I know that I shouldn't laugh but it sounds like they had quite an adventure!!! Nothing too scarring I hope. And yes, do ask away--I love to give advice and it sounds like I need to make the town look good again. ;)

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

You made me feel like I was right there with you and Dash. Thanks for a wonderful Saturday morning outing!

LA CONTESSA said...

Well,that was a treat!Shopping in AIX from my California digs!Love the color of her walls!I have that color too in my master bathroom!!!!One of my favorite rooms in my tiny abode.Did you snap a photo of DASH?We would all love to see her!!!!!!!xoxox

Loree said...

I have a feeling that I am going to get addicted to this blog. Le Serail looks like a treasure trove of beautiful stuff. I adore that clutch.

Lost in Provence said...

Nope! Privacy shall be respected! But she is beautiful inside AND out!

Lost in Provence said...

Loree, I finally checked out your TWO blogs--amazing! What a fascinating life you lead...

Laura said...

Small, exquisite and carefully crafted. Who can ask for more in a boutique.
Leave it to you Heather to seek out such a wonderful place! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Ingrid Weir said...

Heather,

I have so enjoyed visiting your blog. Now I am going to read your other entries about patinas and dream houses,
Ingrid

Lost in Provence said...

Merci Laura! That is very kind of you! Glad that you enjoyed it!

Lost in Provence said...

Hello Ingrid! Thanks for stopping by and I am glad that you enjoyed the post about the store--it is so gorgeous!

ordinette said...

I am in love with those metallic clutches. So unique and sophisticated.....
laura