Paris is a stylist’s dream. The city practically runs on fashion: a single fashion week brings in €1.2 billion (there are six per year!) and the French industry as a whole is valued in the region of €150 billion and employs over a million people. What all those figures mean, is that there’s an almost endless stream of stylish shops, markets, galleries, restaurants, and hotels to experience and be inspired by.
Where to shop
Fashionistas are spoiled for choice in Paris. No surprises there. The Parisian concept store craze started with Colette back in 1997 and while its selection remains as fresh and out-there as ever, the story doesn’t end there. Montaigne Market, which took on the traditional luxury retail giants in Paris’ Golden Triangle and won, is another must-visit destination. The 800m2 space is curated perfectly by Liliane Jossua, one of the city’s most renowned tastemakers. Tom Greyhound Paris, the first international outpost of the Seoul-based concept store, is a gorgeous minimalist store in the Marais which carries an engaging mix of established and up-and-coming brands. Last but not least is Centre Commercial which deals in French adult and children’s fashion labels, which are organic, certified sustainable ansd responsibly manufactured, as well art, and vintage furniture.
Colette, 213 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France, +33 1 55 35 33 90
Montaigne Market, 57 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France. +33 1 42 56 58 58
Tom Greyhound Paris, 19 Rue de Saintonge,75003 Paris, France, +33 1 44 61 36 59
Centre Commercial, 2 Rue de Marseille, 75010 Paris, France, +33 1 42 02 26 08
Boutiques and department stores
If you prefer your shopping to be an act of discovery, then head to the historic neighborhood of the Marais. Its narrow, windy streets are now lined with high-end boutiques to suit all tastes. It’s also less expensive than other fashion hotspots in the city and so attracts a fair amount of new designers. For an uninterrupted stretch of luxury boutiques, the Boulevard Saint-Germain is the address you are looking for. Another high-end shopping destination is the arcade of the Palais-Royal. As department stores go, Printemps and Le Bon Marché get the thumbs up from the style set.
Printemps, 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France. +33 9 60 00 08 22
Le Bon Marché, 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France. +33 1 44 39 80 00
Where to look for vintage and interior design
The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is heaven for lovers of vintage furniture and clothing and an amazing place to unearth new sources of inspiration. Open from Saturday to Monday and located just north of central Paris, it is actually a network of 14 different markets, each with its own area or era of expertise. While an aimless wander is certainly recommended, you can make a beeline for the Paul Bert – Serpette and Dauphine markets if you’re pressed for time. There are also plenty of vintage clothing and antique stores in Paris proper. Favorites among the fashion crowd include Didier Ludot and Anouschka.
Didier Ludot, 33 Galerie de Valois, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 40 15 01 04
Anouschka, 6 Avenue du Coq, 75009 Paris, France. +33 1 48 74 37 00
Where to find fashion literature
Librairie Galignani, which was founded in 1801, holds the title of being the oldest English-language bookshop on the continent. While the place possesses quite a bit of history, its selection of books on fashion and design is surprisingly broad and up to date. Taschen’s 6th arrondissement bookstore is equally well-stocked. You could spend a whole afternoon flicking through their coffee books on photography, pop culture, style, and architecture. Also, be sure to call at Le Gai Rossignol near to the Centre Pompidou. The beautifully made books are exclusively about fashion and its related disciplines. Of course, the latest edition of every fashion magazine in the world can also be bought from one of Paris’ famous green newsstands.
Librairie Galignani, 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 42 60 76 07
Taschen, 2 rue de Buci, 75006 Paris, France. +33 1 40 51 79 22
Le Gai Rossignol, 9 rue Saint Martin 75004 Paris, France. +33 1 42 74 03 02
Where to find artistic inspiration
It’s not uncommon for Paris’ largest museums to spotlight the fashion industry’s greatest minds. In the past few years, for example, the Petit Palais took a look at the early photography of Patrick Demarchelier and Jean Paul Gaultier at the Grand Palais was easily the show of 2015.
One place where you can always brush up on your fashion knowledge is the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The museum specializes in fashion, advertising, and graphic designs and draws from a vast collection to form its exhibits. Another obvious choice for creative stimulation is the Palais Galliera, which is focused exclusively on fashion. However, the museum only hosts temporary shows so check whether it’s open before going. For an alternative cultural experience, head to Les Docks. This luminous green complex on the riverfront houses Paris’ main design school as well as bars and clubs and always has something unusual to check out if not necessarily a formal exhibition.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 44 55 57 50
Independent art galleries and photography specialists aren’t difficult to come by either, thankfully. One not to miss is the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. Opened first in Salzburg in 1983, the gallery first opened its doors in Paris seven years later. It now represents 60 of the most stimulating artists on the international art scene today as well as several estates. If you have the time, head to the Paris Pantin space, on the northeastern edge of the city. The former ironworks factory and its 5,000 m² are perfectly suited to displaying monumental works. If you want to delve into the past for ideas, try Galerie J.Kugel, a world-famous antique dealership that also mounts eccentric exhibitions.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 7 Rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris, France. +33 1 42 72 99 00
Galerie J.Kugel, 25 Quai Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France. +33 1 42 60 86 23
Where to wine and dine
For lunch, try LOULOU at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The restaurant is popular with the stylish set working on the nearby rue Saint-Honoré and in the summer you can dine on one of the largest terraces in Paris, with views over the Jardin des Tuileries to the Musée d’Orsay and Eiffel Tower.
For a more intimate setting, head to Sola, a Franco-Japanese fusion restaurant set in a traditional cave on the Left Bank. Yoshitake Hiroki’s cuisine is impeccable and his Michelin star well-deserved. For cocktails before or after dinner, embrace the spirit of the 1920s that lives on at the Bar Hemingway of the Ritz or the Très Honoré jazz bar.
LOULOU, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 426 041 96
Sola, 12 rue de l’Hotel Colbert, 75005 Paris, France. +33 1 43 29 59 04
Très Honoré, 35 Place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 44 86 97 97
Where to stay
For classic Parisian glamor, the Ritz on the Place Vendôme is the place to stay. The legendary hotel reopened in 2016 after a four-year and €200 million renovation overseen by architect Thierry W. Despont. For a paltry €25,000 a night, you can stay in the suite that Coco Chanel herself designed and lived in for 34 years. Despite opening in 1898, it is one of the city’s best new hotels. Another hotel you’ll never want to leave is the Nolinski near the Palais Royal. Exquisitely designed by Jean-Louis Deniot, this boutique hotel of 45 rooms is described by its owners as a temple to the French art of living.
Ritz Paris, 15 place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, France. +33 1 43 16 30 30
Nolinski Paris, 16 Avenue de l’Opéra, Paris, France, +33 1 42 86 10 10