There is surely no other city where strolling from store to store shopping for clothes is such a pleasurable experience. It is hard to deny Paris its reputation as the most beautiful city in the world. In line with that reputation, it also offers a large but select range of fashion stores. The demand for quality clothing stores is easy to understand given the nature of Parisians, who are connoisseurs, demanding and elegant by nature as far as fashion is concerned.
Saint-Honoré – Opéra. Located just north of Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre museum is the largest, most varied range of fashion stores. Starting at the northern end of the area, boulevard Haussman is home to the two best stocked department stores in the city: Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Moving down boulevard des Capucines you will come to place Vendôme, a hub for jewellery stores and the location of the famous Hotel Ritz.
When you reach rue Saint Honoré you will find some of the most prestigious fashion brands there, including Escada, Gucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, John Galliano, Alberta Ferrettiand Roberto Cavalli. The most outstanding feature of this street is Colette, a concept store with a selection of exclusive culture and fashion products which, over the years, has set an example that many have sought to imitate.
Near Colette, Miu Miu has its store. Other narrow streets and alleyways feature stores many of which have helped write the history of fashion, such as Chanel on rue Cambon. On this same street you will find Costume National. The name of rue Saint Honoré changes on the other side of rue Royale, where you will find French designer Vanesa Bruno, as well as Dior and Gucci. On place de la Madeleine you will find Ralph Lauren, Kenzo and Margaret Howell.
Montaigne – Georges V. The heart of the European luxury fashion business lies without doubt in the triangle formed by avenue Montaigne, avenue des Champs Elysées and avenue Georges V. Beginning in avenue Montaigne, the list of brand names is unbeatable: Bottega Veneta, Marni, Chloé, Chanel, Dior with stores for all its product lines, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, Giorgio Armani, Pucci, Gucci, Loewe, Akris, Loro Piana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Nina Ricci, Jimmy Choo, Prada and in the midst of them the multi-brand store named after the street itself: Montaigne Market.
At place de l’Alma, avenue Montaigne meets avenue Georges V, and the next string of top-name stores begins: Armani Collezioni, Balenciaga, Ermenegildo Zegna, Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier, among others. Rue François 1er, which links the two avenues, is home to Balmain and Givenchy. And back on avenue Georges V, on the corner with avenue des Champs Elysées stands the Louis Vuitton store.
Louvre – Etienne Marcel. Rue Etienne Marcel is the backbone of this bustling area of the city, whose energy is reflected also in its fashion stores. Although the traditional top brand names found elsewhere in the city are not concentrated here, the quality of the names and stores in the area is inarguable. Anne Fontaine, Diesel and Paul & Joe stand side-by-side with benchmark multi-brand stores such as Kabuki, which has three stores in the area dedicated to men, women and accessories, with an interesting selection from the most prestigious designers.
Rue du Jour is dominated almost exclusively by a French designer who has imposed her peculiar style of urban, modern, discreet fashion all over the world: Agnés b.
It would be hard to say which of the city’s gardens and squares are the most beautiful, but Jardin du Palais Royal would certainly be near the top of the list. The area is home to the original stores of Stella Mc Cartney, Rick Owens and Marc Jacobs . Finally, in a characteristic shared by all its stores, Maison Martin Margiela in Paris has an unusual entrance on the rue de Montpensier, though it has also another on rue de Grenelle.
Along with the romanticism and the history of Paris’s Left Bank, this area features many beautiful streets and an exquisite selection of clothing stores. Strolling here is a pleasant experience, as indeed it is anywhere in Paris, given the incomparable beauty of the buildings. The renowned boulevard Saint Germain hosts Emporio Armani, Façonnable, Hugo Boss, Paule Ka, Sonia Rykiel, Ralph Lauren and EtroMoving on to the narrow streets that surround the Boulevard, rue de Grenelle is home to Saint Laurent, Prada, Maison Martin Margiela and the Sergio Rossi shoe shop. The next street is rue des Saints Péres, where you can find Barbara Bui and Paul & Joe. Shoes and handbags by Tod’s can be found on rue du Dragon. Rue de Rennes is a little wider, and boasts stores by French adopted favourite Kenzo. British designer Paul Smith, has a store on boulevard Raspail, closet to it you will find Balenciaga and A.P.C at Rue de Varenne. And on Rue de Sévres you will find an international benchmark for quality department stores offering a fine selection of fashion brands: Le Bon Marché.
Marais – République. The Marais district has become the cutting edge of the city in recent years, and as such has attracted many stores that reflect the very latest trends in fashion. Barbara Bui is located on Rue des Francs Bourgeois. As far as multi-brands are concerned, the standout store is once again L’Eclaireur, with its careful selection of brands.
16e Arrondisement. Between Avenue Victor Hugo, Avenue Pierre 1er Serbie and Rue de Passy is an interesting area with stores well worth a visit, especially in view of their proximity to the 8e district. Céline the idiosyncratic Black Block on Palais de Tokyo. Also worthy of mention in this area is multi-brand Franck et Fils.