Ma vie à Paris

By Jo Phillips

Being a digital publisher does not mean we have lost our love for all printed matter.  Very little compares with the wonderful feeling of holding a book  in your hand; a crafted piece of literature both in shape, form and of course content.  If you feel the same no doubt you will join us in praise of the book Ma vie à Paris.

Designers of furniture and white ceramics, Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte founded their company in 1996.  Astier de Villatte is now the only major studio to keep the tradition of artisanal ceramic production in Paris alive. In 2000, they opened the boutique at 173 rue Saint Honoré, adding other creations for the home including  titanium cutlery, borosilicate glassware and a wonderful collection of traditionally printed notebooks. Then in 2008 they added colognes, beauty products, incense, erasers and a large collection of scented candles to the offering.  This is one of Paris’ most exclusive well sort out stores…well a shop for those in the know.

However this store seems not to have been a big enough challenge for the creative twosome. Next came the book Ma vie à Paris.  The bold idea started when they bought (in order to save)  the SAIG printing house. It is the last of its kind to assemble metal printing plates and use the wonderful linotype machines. One of the last artisanal typesetters in France, François Huin and his team were already working on printing projects for the Astier de Villatte stationary. Through working at the printers and learning about the art of typesetting, the two designers were soon eager to make their own books. Eventually they created an ode to Paris which looks at first like some kind of historical novel but 332 pages of masterful typography, quality binding, , hand-drawn maps and black-and-white photos, not just an ode to Paris but a celebration of craft.

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They spent two years compiling, category by category, entries on every address they love in the City of Light, eventually garnering the assistance of their writer friend, Victoire Surio, to give a certain gravitas to the more historical entires. Published in French last January, Ma Vie à Paris is a 350-gold edge-paper and card love story about the  great city of Paris. Ma vie à Paris literally translates into My Life in Paris. After all, it takes a couple of true insiders to give a really authentic tour of the world renowned city.  The best news is that the gold edged book is now available in English and includes over 50 addresses-more than the initial French version.

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 Aesop recently announced a new collaboration with Paris-based boutique, Astier de Villatte, on the occasion of the company’s English language release of Ma vie à Paris, the two companies are pleased to launch the handsome printed edition in London this November. To celebrate the publication, Aesop’s signature store on Lamb’s Conduit Street will host an installation of the guide, complemented by satellite displays in Aesop Marylebone, Shoreditch and Soho; the guide will be available for purchase through these doors from Friday 11 November to Friday 25 November. 

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Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987 with the brand objectives to formulate skin, hair and body care products of the finest quality.  Utilising  plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients, they use only those with a proven record of safety and efficacy.  

Aesop Lambs conduit store, 50 Lambs Conduit Street

London WC1N 3LH. Tel: +44 (0) 207 404 4555

or Aesop

Astier de Villatte Paris