Cecile & Jeanne

Cecile & Jeanne

Photo: Cititour.com

Neighborhood: SoHo
Type of Place: Jewelry

From here in New York, it's not easy to run off to Europe for a few
days. There's airfare, jet lag...and ah, yes, the fact that people expect
us to show up for work.

But I recently stumbled onto a way for New Yorkers to visit Paris for
just a few hours. Cecile & Jeanne, a jewelry shop in SoHo (there's a
sister branch on the Upper East Side), offers the spirit of the City of
Light to shoppers in need of some extra ooh-la-la.

Jeanne (she goes by this name only) is the designer; Cecile is her
mother's and her daughter's name. Her brother, Elie, runs the business end
of this family affair. Even on her website, Jeanne radiates Frenchness,
explaining that her designs stem from a "desire to share emotions with
women" and that "each person I meet, music, a scent, are essential and
reflect in my creations." In charmingly not-quite-right English (you
can almost hear her French accent calling from the text), Jeanne reminds
us that "jewelry have an important place in a women life--the contact
with the skin is sensual, precious."

Jeanne's studio is in "the heart of Paris" (bien sur!), and each piece
is handmade there. The lovely earrings I bought at the SoHo shop
(sterling silver with enamel) have the company name stamped proudly, in
elegant script, on the back, along with a trademark Swarovski crystal. A big
fan of proud craftsmanship, I can't help but appreciate these touches.

The shop itself is beautiful, and its rich colors and textures
complement the jewelry, which has a sense of warmth and unique personality. The
European pop playing softly helped me to believe that I might find
myself on the Carrousel du Louvre (one of Jeanne's Paris shop locations;
and doesn't it sound gorgeous!) when I stepped outside.

As for prices, I'll admit that I visited during a sale and so don't
have a completely clear idea of how things run. But since Jeanne works
more in silver than in gold and tends toward enamel or semiprecious
stones, it's not likely that her work is completely unattainable. And in any
case, I can imagine Jeanne's take on this subject: "What is money,"
she'd ask, "when you can have beauty?" Besides, think of how much you're
saving by having discovering a little "Parisian vacation" right here at

  - Pamela Grossman

Cecile & Jeanne
436 W. Broadway
betw. Spring and Prince
New York, NY 10012
(212) 625-3535