The fashion pack is on the move again, this time to Paris. With fashion week running from September 22nd to October 3rd, there’s no better time to head to “La Ville-Lumière” (“The City of Light“) for a little retail therapy.
Though a stroll along the historical Champs- Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe to Tuileries Garden (fashion week central) is an absolute must for anyone visiting Paris for the first time, much of what you’ll find along here can be found in your own home town.
To get a more local experience, hit these spots:
One of the most innovative concept stores to hit the streets, Colette is a must stop shop for fashionistas visiting the French capital. Named after the great French writer, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, this 3-storey, 8,000 square foot spaces carries clothing from top designers like Marni, T by Alexander Wang and Comme Des Garçons as well as up-and-coming French brands. A beautifully curated home section, beauty essentials from all over the world and a bookshop round out the offerings. Keep hydrated by checking out the Water Bar which carries over 100 brands of bottled water.
213 rue St-Honoré, 55-35-33-90, www.colette.fr
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Considered one of the most fashionable streets in the world, the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré extends west from the Louvre through the 8th arrondissement. Here you will find some of the most notable flagship designer stores in Paris from Hermès to Chanel. As you window shop, be sure to check out these other notable addresses:
Established in 1935, the cosmetics headquarters is housed in a beautiful historic building with French doors opening on to stone balconies on the upper floors. The main floor has a small boutique with the latest offerings from the brand.
29 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 42 65 30 74, lancome.fr
Once, an official building used by Napoléon’s government during the 1800s, this palace was originally built in 1722 as the Hôtel d’Évreux. It now serves as the official residence of the President of France. The palace is protected by a massive stone entry leading out to a circular courtyard. Though the gates are heavily guarded, it’s worth taking a peek on your way to Tuileries.
55 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 42 92 81 00, elysee.fr
The Marias or “The Marsh” is a historical district spread across the 3rd and 4th arronndissements on the Right Bank. One of the few places where you can shop on a Sunday, this district is filled to the brim with trendy restaurants, galleries, fashion houses and cabarets. If you get bored of shopping, you can always check out the Pompidou, the modern art museum designed by Renzo Piano housing major works by Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp.
Rue du Vieille du Temple:
This stretch of road has a bunch of well-known French design chains and trendy boutiques to keep you busy. Head to Vanessa Bruno and Sandro for sophisticated and feminine well-tailored basics or check out the menswear lines at Surface to Air and A.L.C..
Grab a smoked salmon bagel at the Café Charlot before heading north to some of the hip boutiques located along this strip. More avant-garde than trendy, local ateliers like Valentine Gauthier and south Korean designer Moon Young Hee are a must stop.
A typical hipster hang, 104 is a massive complex full of galleries, shops, performance spaces and cafes for grabbing a quick bite. Housed in the former state funeral parlor, the large historical building is open daily during the week and at nights on the weekend.
Run by architects Thomas Ambroselli and Anne Durand, this mish mash of vintage furniture, clothing and housewares accessories is one of the highlights of visiting Le Centquatre. The funky warehouse space thrives on shoppers who enjoy the thrill of the hunt and have unbeatable prices to make it worth a look.
104 rue d’Aubervilliers, 53 35 50 00, www.104.fr