Photographer Marek Berry for International Playground.

Styled by Lea Maltese
The late teens never look as good on anyone as they do on the French. Thereís a certain Gallic "I donít know what" about that last stretch of youth which fosters a little relaxed recklessness. Marseille, the port city on Franceís Southern coast, might best embody those teenage years. Itís there that we recently found ourselves wasting our days on rocky cliffed beaches, every cigarette smoked near us having a whiff of hash, every hour moving slower than the last as fishermen shut down their market stalls, as strains of French hip hop played in the distance.
While the cityís Greek and Roman history canít be escaped, even if interspersed with buildings by Corbusier and Zaha Hadid, we couldnít help but notice the shadows cast across the city by two of our more contemporary favorites, Zinedine Zidane, who was born there, and Rimbaud, who died there. Between the two of them, itís as if the city has been imbued by both grace and brutality. And with that in mind, the beauty of Marseille begins to emerge more fully. Youíll see it yourself in slouchy glares, daring you to take a ride on the back of a motorbike. Youíll notice it in wine-stained pouts that beg to be French kissed. If Paris is a princess, than Marseille is a punk, rough around the edges, endlessly beautiful, and forever young.