Shopping the French Touch
When it comes to fashion, all eyes turn to Paris. Paris Fashion Week is a true showcase of French creativity and savoir-faire; twice a year, it reveals the next season's trends to the world: a must-see for fashion lovers.
Paris has established itself as the world capital of fashion, and the Paris catwalks are an experience in their own right. Houses that incarnate French style and savoir-faire – including Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Balenciaga, or Saint Laurent – have reigned over the world of luxury for decades. Stroll along Avenue Montaigne, Rue Saint-Honoré or Faubourg Saint-Honoré to visit their flagships.
Too chic for you? Beyond the luxury brands, many houses promote French style and give a boost to the Parisian's wardrobe at more affordable prices. Since the 1990s exists a new French creation of "accessible luxury", whose pioneers include Agnès b., A.P.C., Isabel Marant or Vanessa Bruno. They champion a strong identity and wearable styles, which are all the rage abroad. The best thing about these kind of labels is that because they're fashionable but timeless you can buy pieces with your eyes closed.
The family continues to grow with younger houses that have as much spirit: Maje and Sandro, Ba&sh, The Kooples, Zadig & Voltaire or Maison Kitsuné are making names for themselves in the international arena. The web phenomenon Sézane can be discovered in its flagship "Apartment" near the Grands Boulevards. For an overview of French creation, head to the L'Exception flagship at Les Halles where you will discover an on-trend edit demonstrating the vitality of French fashion.
For men too
This French touch is in evidence throughout the different neighbourhoods of Paris. Saint-Germain-des-Prés is incarnated by creators including Sonia Rykiel) and Inès de la Fressange, but also the department store the Bon Marché. On the Right Bank, the temples to shopping Galeries Lafayette and Printemps also ardently defend French creation.
Explore the Marais. Gentlemen, hit up BHV Homme and wander the surrounding streets. The neighbourhood is full of menswear boutiques as men's fashion is also booming in France. Small shops in the upper Marais such as Sessun, or Lemaire and Maison Labiche on Rue de Poitou are also worth a visit. In Montmartre, stroll along the Rue des Abbesses where you will discover boutiques from Sandro, Maje, or Ba&sh.
And if you're going for a drink on the Canal Saint-Martin, plan to make a shopping break in Rue Marseille, with an indispensable stop at Centre Commercial, the concept store and devotee of "Made in France".
For bargains, try an outlet!
Addicted to bargains? Hit up the outlets that showcase the French Touch with markdowns ranging from -30% to -70% on previous seasons' collections. And visit the luxury shopping outlets such as Vallée Village and One Nation. To get there, nothing could be simpler: comfortable shuttle services are scheduled from the centre of Paris, by the outlets themselves and by ParisCityVision for Vallée Village. Enough to prove to the world that the French capital is a must-see shopping destination.
- Copyright image: Mary Quincy