Paris Secrets: A Visit to Madame Stern, the best engraver in Paris

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Last week a day in my life was documented by a journalist from Travel & Leisure. The first stop in the morning was a visit to Madame Stern.


The Madame Stern experience is a very special one. There is a ritual when one orders engraved bespoke business cards. The ritual – you make an appointment, then you write your name on a virgin sheet of paper while seated in front of Madame Stern. Madame Stern looks at you and your handwritting and then will propose different possibilities for typeface, paper stock and ink. If your choice of a typeface is not in agreement with that oft Madame Stern, she will explain to you why she feels that your choice is not correct and at that point propose other card stock, type face or size of a card. If it was up to Madame Stern, the only information on your card would be your name. You can imagine what a disturbance it was when I asked to have my website printed on my cards.


Alex, the journalist, dared to ask Madame Stern what she thought about her business card. Quickly she was informed that although the typeface was lovely, the paper was no better than a dish rag.

To our great pleasure, we were given a little tour of the establishment. Stern Engraveur has been in the family for the past 5 generations. We were allowed to have a look behind the vaulted door where one finds amazing type, embossed papers and beautiful dark brown boxes containing bespoke cards. Cards were ready to be shipped around the planet to clients such as the King of Morocco, the Princess of , I forget where, and other notable citizens of the world.

The phone has been there for generations, however, it is not in use today.


Be warned, if Madame Stern does not have a good feeling about you there is a chance that you will be shown politely to the door. Passage des Panoramas is where you will find this hidden treasure.

Stern Graveur +33 45008086045
47, Passage des Panoramas 75002 Paris



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.