Zadig & Voltaire brings rocker glam to Fashion Island. Your first clue at the Parisian chain’s first and only O.C. boutique are the gilded sneakers, which sell out in a flash, the studded white women’s oxfords, and the boots—heavy-soled with wide grosgrain laces. On the racks: luxe cashmere sweaters, bold jackets, girlie blouses, and silk print dresses, all feminine, but with rebel touches—clothing worn by women who know who they are.
Established in 1997 by Thierry Gillier, the design house takes inspiration from the literary and art world and from strong women such as Jane Birkin and Patti Smith. “Brand recognition was a concern at first,” says general manager Shaida Wysor, “but so many customers say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen this line in Europe!’ or ‘I shopped at the Paris store!’
“Locals look for specialty pieces,” Wysor adds, like the line’s navy blazer with sparkle detail and pinstripe lining that she can’t keep in stock ($448). Almost every handbag has “It Bag” status—large, small, leather, suede, with the perfect sweep of silver studs, pretty chains, contrasting canvas detail, and convertible straps that add value and style ($278 to $800). There’s a small array of interesting menswear, too, including must-have T-shirts, sneakers, and boots. And, of course, the requisite leather jackets for both sexes ($700 to $1,400).