Fashion Favorite Frederica Tompkins Moves to Paris
Born and raised New Yorker Frederica Tompkins has crafted an illustrious fashion career over the past decade. Following stints at Ralph Lauren and Jimmy Choo, the marketing maven moved to Paris last year to head up Client Insights & Marketing for Europe at Chanel. We chatted with Frederica about her new life abroad and picked up some tips on navigating the City of Light with a fashionable eye.
Frederica… In a few words
WIP….work in progress.
Or better articulated by saying ‘always growing’ perhaps. I truly believe life is about growth and travel is one of the best ways to challenge your perceptions of self, culture and experience to generate an element of that growth. I am a native New Yorker living and working abroad in Paris so the last year has been a daily exercise in this "always growing" spirit.
Paris… In a few words
Enchanting, awe inspiring, magic.
Paris can flex ones ability to be present in the moment so often, it’s addictive. The city is crawling with beauty from the large doors, to the beautiful gardens, the pastries, the people and the style.
The Tuileries gardens. I often grab a salad near my office and head there when the weather is nice for lunch or a walk/run after work. You can't help but pinch yourself even after living here for a while when you are in those gardens.
Rest Your Head
Hotel des Grands Boulevards. Think Wes Anderson meets millennial pink. This hotel is just the coolest, from its amazing central courtyard restaurant to the rooftop bar, and the décor is to die for. I am biased because it is owned by a friend but, regardless, it’s my absolute fave!
Walking aimlessly with a cappuccino in hand. The absolute best way to experience Paris is by walking, so morning strolls with a little rocket fuel in hand are simply perfection, especially early mornings when the city is still quiet… And by “early” I mean 8am. Early morning in Paris means something different than it does in NY.
If I have a leisurely weekend morning I might find a café with a great terrace in the Marais or Saint Germain and read a book or people watch over a baguette with butter and jam.
Either a latte or cappuccino (still love my full fat milk) from Pret because it’s on the way to work or a quick espresso in the office.
Sometimes I’ll grab a fresh squeezed orange juice from Monoprix because those magic juicing machines produce absolute ambrosia.
Musée de l'Orangerie never gets old, even if you’ve been a million times. It’s so calming to be surrounded by Monet’s waterlilies and the temporary exhibits are always interesting too. I love Palais de Tokyo for its sprawling experimental exhibitions. If I feel like a bit of an adventure, I will head to Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin (just north of Paris) as they always have amazing contemporary exhibits.
Generally I think the Marais is the most fun area to shop. I like the more northern part for exploring small pop-up shops and discovering brands that are still local to France. A little further away, Merci is a great home and fashion boutique, and Thanx God I’m a V.I.P. for vintage.
Shakespeare & co on the left bank right by the Seine, the coolest spot to find English books in Paris.
Hands down, head to L'As du Fallafel. I am a big falafel fan and the best Falafel in Paris is meant to be eaten walking Rue de Rosier.
Loulou is my favorite year round. The setting, whether inside the velvet walled dining room or outside on the terrace in the summer, is simply beautiful and the food is delicious! You cannot have a bad time here. Indulge in the truffle pizza.
L’Olympia is the perfect old world French theater to catch a concert.
I love Serpent a Plume for its funky décor and great DJs. The cocktails are wonderful too! They always have such an eclectic group of bar revelers and dancing is a must… the crazier the moves the better.
Le Barn hotel is an idyllic spot for a weekend getaway at any time of the year. It’s only an hour or two outside of Paris but offers tons of fun outdoor activities and cozy places to rest and read amidst the beautiful outdoors and the casually decorated interiors.
The best place for a really special date night would be Perruche on top of Printemps de l'Homme. The view is dreamy and the food is delicious. It’s definitely worth going early for a sunset drink outside.
My boyfriend and I love going to Le Bon Georges for dinner because it was one of the first dates we had once I had moved to Paris. We love the classic bistro food and incredible staff/service.
Sunset on the Seine from one of the many beautiful bridges.
If you have time, the Parc du Sceaux is a hidden gem just south of Paris, designed by the same landscape artist as Versailles. It has the most incredible grounds to have picnic and escape the bustle of the city.
I love L'avant Comptoir de la Mer for its no frills take on tapas style French seafood, great natural wines, and lots of lively French locals enjoying themselves.
I loved finding home, jewelry or fashion treasures in Les Puces de Saint-Ouen to bring back from Paris any time I visited the city before moving here. You are sure to find cool vintage pieces that will be a lasting token of a great trip!
I sound like a five year old, but in the summer there are carnival rides in the Tuileries, which means there’s some seriously silly fun to be had.
French Phrase to Master
“Pourquoi pas?” = Why not?!
Staying spontaneous and open to anything in Paris is the way to be. You never know what a local tip or a lost journey down a small street might surprise you with.
Try the language, walk as much as possible, and eat everything!