Paris through a Gen Z lens

The French capital’s creative scene is back with a whole new energy and vibe, and it’s being propelled forward by a strong Gen Z.

As ever, Paris is still very much divided by La Seine – with the ‘bcbg’ (bon chic, bon genre) rive gauche – and the ‘bobo’ (bourgeois/boheme) right bank. However, Parisian youth on each side have new identities that go beyond the left and right bank stereotypes.

What’s taking place instead, is a fusion of traditional French style and aesthetics with an Americanised way of living that’s heavily influenced by social media.

We look at new sources of inspiration, new creatives and the latest Paris hangouts that influence and play host to the Parisian Gen Z.


The New Inspiration


Parisian youth turn to streetwear and skater style for major influence – and to the brands affiliated with this culture.  This also extends to the Paris suburbs, where photographers like Dadoum are living, and shoot for brands such as Supreme and Asics.

Traditionally, Parisians seek inspiration internally, giving the French capital an insular feel. However, new regions are emerging and making their mark on the city. Marseilles, for instance, is one of those new sources of inspiration – particularly as zeitgeist designer Jacquemus and rapper Jul grew up there, and have strong affiliations with the city.

Also Marseille-inspired, ‘the cagole’ is increasingly a part of Paris style. It refers to a girl that comes from the south and has a sexy, 00’s inspired look. It may buck the trend of classic, Parisian minimalism, but it’s resonating with an Instagram and aesthetic-obsessed generation.



The New Creatives 


From physical creative spaces to new collectives, Paris’ creative landscape is changing. Home to some of the world’s most heavyweight fashion houses and brands, the city traditionally doesn’t allow much room for emerging creatives. However, this is changing, with Instagram acting as a leveling playing field.

La Paix Paris is a new events space in a backstreet parking lot on rue de la paix. From exhibitions through to performances and fashion presentations, it’s affordable and attainable to Gen Z creatives.

Collectives such as Safe Place (@WeAreSafePlace), are acting as platforms for young Parisians to discuss and share stories about womanhood and sexuality.

As Gen Z prioritises sustainability and considered fashion more than their predecessors, brands and creatives that have aligned with these values are standing out. From Marine Serre’s and new brand BASSCOUTUR’s upcyling through to shoe designer Amelie Pichard, who offers consumers the opportunity to sell  shoes back to her for a store voucher.

The New Addresses


Across the city, a new dining trend is emerging in the form of small bars and restaurants that offer organic natural wine with small tapas pairings. The 10th, 11th and 20th arrondissements are the these restaurants that are forming the epicenter of Paris youth and creativity. Les Deux Amis, Au grand Bain and Paperboy are all doubling up as hangouts for Paris’s Gen Z.

Want more insight into the city of lights? Read WGSN’s latest guide to Paris here.

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