A Yugoslav man was on Sunday being held by French police after he drove his car through the window of fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier's showcase store in central Paris.

The ram-raider, who had allegedly surveyed the store on Friday afternoon, managed to smash through a four-metre-high window display later that night, making off with a selection of menswear before being arrested.

"It's been a year now that we've been asking for steel bollards to protect the shop from this kind of attack," store manager Donald Potard said.

"These days nut-cases use the same methods as professionals.

"Obviously the world of fashion is capable of stirring up extremely deep phantasms."

Designer Gianfranco Ferre's boutique, which also operates on Avenue George V off the Champs Elysees, has been hit twice by ram-raiders and now features a steel protective blind.