Undergoing a renaissance likened to those of New York's Harlem and London's Docklands district, the once rough-and-tumble Goutte d'Or section of Paris is earning a place on the city's shopping map. The epicenter: Rue des Gardes, a.k.a Rue de la Mode. Here a tight-knit community of ready-to-wear, accessories, and home furnishings designers is taking advantage of low rents to open boutiques and ateliers. The designers, dubbed Les Créateurs Goutte-d'Or, hail from as far away as Brazil and as near as next door. Leading the lot at 4 Rue des Gardes is Luc Dognin of Scalera (33-1/44-92-32-16), making leather handbags sought after for their hand-painted linings and multiple hidden pockets. Lily Latifi's delicious shop at No. 11 (33-1/42-23-30-86) sells her handmade rugs and printed felt place mats. No. 6b (33-1/42-55-11-80) is home to several créateurs, including Ken Okada, whose sculptural dresses channel Issey Miyake, and Sylviane Nuffer, whipping up ooh-la-la bustiers that pay homage to the ageless French coquette. Avenue Montaigne, watch your back.
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