Tough Cookie is All Grown Up
My favourite concept store, that blends sweet treats with street wear, art and tattoos, has moved locations since I first visited and got tattooed this summer.
In the same Boulogne-meets-Brooklyn neighbourhood, the new location is steps away from the old one but five times the size. This allows more space for their great selection of sneakers, clothes, and a full-on cafe which now provides breakfast and lunch options as well as an adorable ping-pong table.
On this visit I had the chance to meet the owners of Tough Cookie - Delphine and Olivier. I sat down with Delphine, a make-up artist who also used to work in the restaurant biz, to talk about the store, what it means to be a Tough Cookie, and the "Americanization" of Paris.
Delphine, the original Tough Cookie, says being tough is less about getting tattooed and wearing the right clothes - although the shop is the perfect place to do both - and more about being creative. She said, and I agree, that it takes a lot of courage to be creative. You have to be brave and take risks.
The store embraces this concept by supporting new designers right out of fashion school, hosting different art exhibits every month, and giving their in house tattoo artists and sneaker lovers a lot of creative freedom to do their thing.
She says that a lot of the store is inspired by New York, specifically Brooklyn, which is a bit of a trek out of the city in the same way Boulogne is to central Paris. The love for American culture is apparent in the clothing, which ranges from their in house brand to the best collection of Obey clothes I've found, and sweet treats like m&ms and peanut butter in the cafe upstairs. (I also spotted some maple syrup which I'm taking as a Canadian high five.)
Their next venture? Going around town sharing the cookie love on the Parisian version of the food truck - a Tough Cookie vélo. Everything in this city comes in a smaller package.
It is great to see the store growing. The bigger space makes it even more cozy to hang out in, and even more tempting to spend the day eating cookies, getting tattooed, checking out the art on display, and building a new wardrobe.
Again, this is the changing side of Paris that I love. Businesses that find inspiration from all over and really care about what they are doing.
And while still undeniably French, the little American touches makes it feel something like home.