Paris is packed with off-the-radar gems. On my last visit, I found one not-to-be-missed spot with the help of a little local knowledge from my friend, the fashion writer Clara Le Fort. Mayaro is an exquisite design showroom in the 7th arrondissement devoted to haute craftsmanship – beautiful artisanal furnishings, decorative objects and accessories.
On the day of my visit I was greeted by Eloïse Gilles, who founded this passion project with her friend Raphaëlle de Panafieu (with whom she also revived the 200-year-old French fan maker Duvelleroy in 2010) and partner Nicolas Floquet, a collector and the owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Saturne. The trio have forged alliances with an intriguing array of French artisans and inventors to offer such refined pieces as Iota Element’s HiFi desk (€43,000), which combines state-of-the-art sound with fine cabinetry, and luxurious leather-rimmed glasses (€750) by Lucas de Staël.
I was struck by the sheer creativity on display, from streamlined single-handed watches (from €1,200) by MeisterSinger to the diamond-shaped glass brick lamps (€650) by Godefroy de Virieu and Stefania di Petrillo, whose design incorporates a leather belt by saddlemaker Guy Chanel. The made-to-measure shoes (from €9,500) in exotic skins with horseshoe heels by Tranchet Vif can take up to six months to produce, while globes by Eric Nollet (from €1,500) highlight geographical features found on the moon and Mars. There’s even an electric bike (€13,000) by Maison Tamboite that is crafted from silver steel, enamelled brass, buffalo leather and beech wood, and takes about three months to make.
Mayaro is not the place for impulsive, travel-friendly purchases, but nevertheless I managed not to leave empty handed, after falling for some delightfully textured ceramic cups (from €60) by Louisélio. The design-museum-like space can also be enjoyed with a private dinner (€4,000 for eight) courtesy of chef Sven Chartier and sommelier Ewen Le Moigne (both of Saturne), who conjure up bold menus paired with niche wines.