Colorfully Decorative Storefronts Reveal the Story of Paris


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Photographer Sebastian Erras is known for his striking images of colorfully patterned floors in Paris, Venice, Barcelona, and London. As part of a continued collaboration with Pixartprinting, he’s moved from shooting what’s beneath our feet to aiming him lens at the exquisitely decorated storefronts of Paris. While some may perceive a visit to the Louvre or Eiffel Tower as a key to understanding the city, Erras digs in to the bakers, barbers, chocolatiers, cobblers, and merchants who form the tapestry of Parisian society.

Erras shoots the owners in front of their shops as a way to highlight the delicate design that is a hallmark of traditional French storefronts. Colorful tilework, hand painted signage, and refined woodwork reveal the city’s unique aesthetic. The project, Paris Re-tale, isn’t the first time the online printing company has tackled this theme—photographer Marco Valmarana explored Milan’s shops earlier in the year.

Erras captures the pride each shop owner has in their business—some being fourth-generation owners. Instead others run businesses in transformed spaces, such as a boutique hotel in what was once Paris’s oldest bakery. By primarily framing his subjects frontally, Erras gives equal weight to architecture and portraiture, thus tying both shop and owner together as one unit. View all the images, see a map of the stores, and learn the stories behind the shops here.

Above: Drew Harré, relaxing at the entrance of his fish and wine restaurant. 

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Alexandre Boyer, surrounded by pictures and posters from the history of cinema

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Luc Fracheboud and his father Patrick at the front door of their historic restaurant

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Julia Charvin at the door of the only color factory for artists in Paris

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Nathalie Felber stands in front of the dry cleaner’s created by her great grandfather

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Dave Kouliche, welcoming visitors at his vinyl records shop

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Alain, at the door of his barber shop, the most famous in Paris

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Chef Christophe Duparay in front of his restaurant

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Norbert proudly displays the collection of shoes he designs 

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Boris Lumé, standing proudly at the entrance of his picturesque bakery-confectionery

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Bernard Poussin (left) and Diane Junique (right) in front of their two-centuries-old chocolaterie

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Vanessa Jacquiot, sales and marketing manager of the boutique hotel that was once Paris’s oldest bakery

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Maxime Hubert, at the entrance of the reference jazz music shop in Paris

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Dorothée Hoffmann never takes off her apron when she is at her ceramics workshop

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Stefan Perrier, in front of what looks like a hat shop, but is in fact a leading art bookshop

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Gilles Berthommier and one of his puppets at the door of his workshop