Marius Where to Shop in Arles for Artisan Creators
Like a multi-layered quilt, the city of Arles is coated with 2000+ years of history. Sitting on the western bank of the Rhône, Arles is considered the gateway to the Camargue. The city strikes a balance between old and new. Visit the time-worn Roman monuments or the gleaming Luma Arles tower designed by Frank Gehry Partners. Smaller than Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, Arles is remarkable for the creative types who have lived here. Artists Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin are among the city’s one-time residents. Between July and September, professional photographers, students, and fans flock to Arles for the annual Recontres d’Arles.
Marius is one more reason to visit Arles, a boutique filled with local Provencal artisan creations. Elsa Lenthal, the creator behind Fuseaux de Lavande and one of Marius’ artists, answered our questions about this concept store.
Provencal Artisan Creations
Can you tell us about the store concept?
At the core of Marius is the Arles en Créa association which brings together local designers from the Arles region (Alpilles/Camargue). The Marius boutique acts as an exhibition and sales space where the member’s creations are for sale. All items are handcrafted and locally produced. There are eight (8) creators per year, and each month one artist presents their work in a pop-up fashion. The store is a cooperative with operating costs shared among the creators, and every person runs the store for a day on a rotation.
What can you tell us about the name of the boutique?
Easy to remember, Marius is a common male’s name in the South of France. It was also a popular Roman surname.
How does this collective concept benefit the creators?
Designers do not necessarily have the means or the time to have their own boutique. Within Marius, creators can present and sell their creations “live” while having time to work in their workshop. Since the costs are shared, the monthly rental for each creator is low.
Who are the Créateurs du Sud?
The 2021 artists (in alphabetical order) and their companies are as follows,
Sophie Badin of Savonnerie Écume producing artisanal handmade soaps. Following eco-responsible methodology and ingredients, these soaps are biodegradable, gentle and suitable for all skin types. The soaps are handmade via cold saponification. This method preserves the raw materials and the glycerin naturally produced during the process.
Marie Caroline Guerin – L’Antidote, a creator of “Mood-boosting, plant-based luxury candles from Provence.” In 2019, this artist dealing with a health scare directed her energy towards creating handcrafted scented candles. The first three antidotes in her collection – “Joy,” “Calm,” and “Confidence” – illuminate the homes and the moments of life. Hand-cast in her studio in Maussane-les-Alpilles, the candles are entirely vegan without toxic additives and 0% paraffin.
Aurelie Legall – Flor do Sertao makes unique furniture by hand with steel and natural rope. These handmade chairs, rockers and tables are durable for the outdoors and attractive for indoor spaces.
Elsa Lenthal of Fuseaux de Lavande de Provence produces lavender wands that will last a lifetime. She has turned that summer gig into a full-time activity promoting an old Provencal custom. The lavender flowers are “trapped” in the centre of a fuseau shaped like a spindle, a wand or a baby’s rattle. Fuseaux are made with fresh flowers and finished with brightly coloured ribbons weaved through the stems. Read more about Elsa’s work and these beautiful fuseaux.
Stephane Lenthal of Singuliers Specimens makes bugs look beautiful. She uses entomology boxes with graphic compositions playing on the beauty of shapes and colours. Each insect and every box are unique.
Virginie Ovessian of In the Mood for Arles produces a collection of stunning photography. A graduate of the National School of Photography in Arles, Ovessian is a freelance photographer. She works in the culinary, architectural, decorative, craft and event fields.
Patricia Piard – Completing studies at Ecole d’arts et d’industries graphiques in Paris, she is a watercolourist. Patricia Piard’s creations include watercolour paintings and origami, inspired by the world of plants.
Lauriane Sémat – Atelier Marlaucreation creator of contemporary jewellery. She began her career as a plastic artist. In 2012, Lauriane moved her designs towards “small sculptures to wear.” Made with brushed metal and 925 silver, the pieces are incomparably light and durable.
Where to Find the Store
25 rue du 4 septembre
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10h – 19h. In July and August, the store is open every day.
Follow the store on Instagram: marius_arles.
More Artisan Creators in Provence
Located in the centre of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Le Savoir Faire des Alpilles is a bright, airy showroom representing the creations of 15+ artists and food producers who live in the Alpilles. The boutique opened five years ago, showcasing artwork, fashion accessories, home décor items, and gourmet food that is “100% Alpilles.”
Love in St Rémy founder Laetitia Labrune de Luca is the visionary behind an exquisite collection of products for gifts (or personal treat). There are lovely scented candles and diffusers, pretty notebooks and practical little pouch bags (pochettes).
Rose et Marius is a luxury perfume house and home décor brand based in Aix-en-Provence. Founder Magali Fleurquin-Bonnard named the company after her grandmother, Rose, and as a tribute to Provence. Fleurquin-Bonnard’s inspiration for the exquisitely designed product line originates from childhood memories at the family’s country home in Puget sur Argens (in the Var) and her grandmother’s perfume. After completing commerce studies and an MBA in luxury marketing, Fleurquin-Bonnard worked with high-end fashion brands including Piaget, Kenzo and Christian Lacroix.