Thrintage: Free P Star, Paris

March 23, 2011

FADER contributers cross boroughs, counties and states to find fine thrifted and vintage pieces on the cheap for our column, Thrintage. This week, Deidre Dyer hit up Paris to check out it's local Free P Star. Read her thoughts and peep the steals after the jump.

I first heard about Free P Star while researching cool vintage places to shop on my winter vacation in Paris. I got sidetracked, though: two days into my vacay, I had a breakdown, threw out all my "plans" and calmly resolved over a half bottle of Chinon that it'd be best just to take it easy for the next couple of days. With my newly rearranged priorities, I forgot all about vintage shopping. That is, until I stopped a girl on Le Metro and aksed where she bought her fur jacket and she pointed me to Free P Star. By then I knew it was destiny. I accepted my fate, changed some more dollars to euros and headed to the Marais district.

From the door, I loved the crazy design and frenetic pace of the store. The shop windows are covered with an assortment of Hermes scarves and homemade soft porn photos. Free P Star was so packed to the gils with great vintage that there's barely room to walk. That would be jarring back home in New York, but I was emboldened and up for the challenge. I dug like it was a hidden treasure hunt.

Hermes scarf window collage on the left, handbag collage behind the register.

Main floor on the left, bargain loft on the right.

The main level of the store had mostly women's clothing and a little menswear off to the side. In the front there's an entire rack devoted to army shirts that will run you €10. If you climb up the narrow ladder, you'll reach the tiny loft over the back end of the shop that has a bunch of €1 bins overflowing with blouses, scarves and other ephemera that they couldn't be bothered to hang up.

As quickly as items were snatched, new inventory was put up—two shop employees, stationed on opposite sides of the store, fished new clothes out of bags, placed them on a hanger and stuffed them on the rack with assembly line precision.

As we left the store and walked around the Marais some more, we noticed another vintage shop that had everything perfectly merchandised, steamed and immaculately hung upon the racks. I told my travel companion that cleanliness comes with a price, that a neatly organized and primped store is gonna charge more than Free P Star for the same items. Luckily, I don't mind getting down and dirty for my vintage gems. Next time I'm in town, Free P Star will be the first and last stops on my itinerary.

Floral blouson dress €10
Grey shearling and black leather jacket €50
Pleated leather shorts €15

Free 'P' Star
61 Rue de la Verrerie
Paris, France 75004
The Marais section of Paris

Posted: March 23, 2011
Thrintage: Free P Star, Paris