It is a well-known saying that Paris is the fashion capital of the world – and has been for centuries – or more specifically from the 1670s and the birth of the fashion press, together with the reign of Louis XIV whose love of everything luxe led to the creation of all things couture. Who doesn’t remember the spending habits of Marie Antoinette and her life of excess?
From the days of the royals in the 17th century, to the iconic 20th century designers Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, Paris has undergone a fashion transformation – but it still holds the title as the style capital of the world.
So where to go for a flavour of the Parisian vogue and glamour? Follow our guide to shopping in Paris:
If high-end is how your roll then head to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré fashion district where you’ll get your fair share of all things elite and exclusive. When you’re wardrobe’s bursting with Hermès, Versace and D&G; this is the place to head to add to your collection of designer gear. You’ll need a credit card or two for this place, and you can even request a personal shopping experience, too. If Saint-Honoré isn’t enough, go to Avenue Montaigne and Avenue des Champs-Elysées where you can indulge in the likes of Chanel and Dior and visit top patisseries for a wind-down café au lait or a prestigious bar for a glass of bubbly.
Paris is as renowned for its world-class department stores, such as Printemps Haussmann and Galeries Lafaytte. Printemps is all about the luxury brands and boasting an area of 45,000m², it’s also got the title of the largest beauty department in the world. Architecturally it’s reminiscent of the beaux arts style that you’ll find throughout the streets of Paris and its large stained glass cupola make for the perfect setting. Galeries Lafayette is another upmarket department store on Boulevard Haussmann with stunning décor and elaborate layouts and visuals, it sells everything from Burberry to Esprit and offers the complete shopping experience all under one roof.
Taking it down a notch, Les Halles and Rue de Rivoli offer a more affordable and somewhat less overwhelming shopping experience. Take the time out to explore the independent boutiques dotted around the cobbled streets of Paris. And there are a few. Head to Rue Montorgueil in particularly for quirky young designers and pop-up shops. The Marais also has a handful of unique, cutting-edge shops with a variety of vintage outlets, too. Stop off for a famous Falafel on the way too – the area has one of the best take-aways in Paris.
From high-end to high-street, there’s a step lower still – the flea markets. Brilliant bargain bins if you have the patience to rifle through vintage items but Paris has some of the best offerings in the second hand sector. It’s all chic no matter the age! From antiques and furniture, to classic designer pieces at a snip of the price, St Ouen flea market is one of Paris’ best – and a favourite of the locals. Find everything from the retro to the really old – it’s worth a visit for those with a keen eye and a style that echoes the past.
September 4, 2019 by Suz Pathmanathan
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