As the city that gave the world luxury brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, Paris has a well-deserved reputation as one of the foremost fashion capitals of the world. Here’s a selection of shopping destinations that showcase the best of France’s savoir faire and fit every budget and sartorial style.
We Are Paris
This concept store on Oberkampf showcases local artisans and designers who abide by a strict business ethos: products must be made using solely eco-friendly, sustainable French materials. The result is a boutique filled with beautiful, natural and organic artisanal jewellery, soaps, candles, bags, beauty products, home decor items and stationery made by local artists.
If you’re following French fashion influencers on Instagram, chances are you’ve already come across the Merci boutique on your feed, recognisable by the signature red Fiat parked out front. The store is set back from the Boulevard Beaumarchais in Haut-Marais in a spacious loft-like setting, and collections are curated to appeal to design-conscious consumers who don’t take themselves too seriously. Think kitschy kitten wall clocks, electric forks, quirky dinner sets and vintage, pop-art sugar dispensers. The space also has a trio of cafés where shoppers can grab a coffee, fresh juice, baked goods and sandwiches.
If thrift shopping is more your thing, you should definitely hit up the Kilo Shop, where you can pay for second-hand goods by the kilo. The chain has several shops dotted around Paris and is a trove of sweet finds like leather bags, scarves, vintage Levi’s and other brand names (Adidas, Nike, Puma, etc). Adventurous and bold Tokyo-type fashionistas will want to look out for Kilo Shop Kawaii shops, which import vintage goods from Japan. Kawaiiis Japanese for cute and sweet.
Vintage shoppers with more high-brow budgets will want to add Thanx God I’m a VIP to their itineraries. Curated by tastemakers Sylvie Chateigner (who became known as a party planner for some of the biggest, exclusive soirées on the Parisian party circuit in the 1990s) and DJ Amnaye Nhas, the shop is a fashionista’s dream – think Burberry trenches, double-breasted designer blazers and vintage, knitted Sonia Rykiel skirts. The collection is beautifully and conveniently organised by colour throughout the store.
When Colette closed its doors in December 2017, the world’s fashion glitterati shed a collective tear at the loss of a local institution. But thankfully, ex-Colette staffers opened a new shop just a month later. Nous is a high-end concept store that sells men’s streetwear along with luxury watches, high-tech gadgets, accessories and a bookstore dedicated to street culture. Sneaker fiends will want to check out the vast collection of limited-edition lines.
While it may not be the most original suggestion, Galeries Lafayette is both a department store and an architectural marvel, with its soaring Neo-Byzantine domed glass ceiling and opulent, theatre-inspired balconies. It’s hard to believe, but the palatial building that spans several city blocks today started out as a modest novelty shop that spread across a mere 70 square metres (753 square feet) when it opened in 1893. Today, it’s home to 3,500 luxury and high-street fashion, beauty, decor and gourmet food brands. When you’re done shopping, head up to the rooftop terrace for sweeping views of the city.
Thanks to the concept store’s eye-catching window displays and cheerful pink walls, newcomer Make My Lemonade has become an instant hit in the 10th arrondissement. Created by designer Lisa Gachet, this boutique channels a new wave of upcycling by selling DIY sewing kits from their latest designs along with rolls of fabrics. If you’re not a sewer, you can buy ready-to-wear pieces or sign up for sewing workshops hosted at the shop. The mixed-use space also features a café hidden at the back, and other assorted goods like stationery, homeware and accessories.
As the world’s first department store, Le Bon Marché deserves a visit, even if it does attract a slightly older demographic. Owned by the LVMH group, the luxury department store is designed to showcase contemporary art and regularly puts on major art installations in collaboration with artists from around the world. Be sure to allow enough time to peruse the aisles of La Grande Epicerie Paris, the store’s gourmet food hall, home to 30,000 products from around the world.