« A women’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting » — Christian Dior
Recognized as fashion royalty across France and indeed ~the world~, Dior exemplifies the epitome of Parisian style:elegance, sensuality and feminine silhouettes. Originally established by Christian Dior in 1947 with his first line ‘Corolle’, the brand holds a killer legacy. Creator of ‘The New Look’, Dior became known for A‑line shapes with floor length skirts, circulated through film icon Audrey Hepburn. Featuring tiny waists with fitted jackets, the Dior style suited females longing for some glitz and glamour post-war. Characterized by clean lines and geometric forms with unique stitching, only the most skilled couture ateliers can create authentic Dior pieces.
Born in Normandy, Christian Dior understood the female body and how to dress her. He is known to have had a deep understanding between the women he dressed and the creation of French Haute Couture.« Women, with their intuitive instinct, understood that I dreamed mot only of making them more beautiful, happier too », he said.
Today, the Dior brand is nothing short of a dream. The relatively new flagship store on Avenue Montaigne, original birthplace of the brand, offers a small paradise with three gardens and gallery space as well as restaurants’ Monsieur Dior and Pâtisserie Dior. Oh, and not forgetting the array of ready-to-wear collections, jewelry and leather goods. The expansive 10,000 m² building holds two spacious floors adjoined by an extravagant staircase.
Maria Grazia Chiuri – Dior’s Artistic Director – showcases her designs for womenswear, while you can find Kim Jones’s range for Dior Homme close by. Elsewhere, Dior has also established products in children’s wear, cosmetics and perfumes. Regarded as a complete shopping experience, it’s an exclusive one too. We’d advise booking an appointment prior if you’re planning on purchasing.
ADDRESS: 326 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 261 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 24 Rue de Sèvres (7th arr.) / 30 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.)
« Fashions fade, style is eternal » - Yves Saint Laurent
One of the most celebrated fashion designers of all time, Yves Saint Laurent is Algerian born designer who has revolutionized genderless clothing before we even knew it was a thing. His first role in fashion was at Christian Dior where he quickly became creative director after Dior’s sudden death in 1957. Branching off on his own to create Rive Gauche, the YSL name became known for statement suits with powerful function-led fashion for women. Blurring the lines between what was considered menswear and womenswear, the revolutionary ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedo was a defining moment for the YSL name.
« A woman wearing a suit is anything but masculine, » said Saint Laurent. « A strict, clean cut accentuates her femininity, her seductiveness, her ambiguity. »
Ironically, there was a French law in place forbidding women to wear trousers – that was only overturned in 2013! The public outrage to the sleek, feline Le Smoking suit only added fuel to the tremendous fire which keeps the brand alive.
Hedi Slimane is the current creative director, revamping Saint Laurent with a luxurious party-glamour feel. Low cut evening dresses and high leg slits are amongst biker jackets and boxy tailored jackets. Keeping with the original androgynous, yet hella sexy feel across both men and womenswear. A rebellious nature remains within the fashion house, drawing inspiration from the 70s and 80s rocker era with added chic.
The flagship store neighbors Dior on Avenue Montaigne, drawing influences from Saint Laurent’s love for French modernism in its design. Eponymous with the brand, the interiors are minimalist yet expensive with clean colors, marble flooring and a futuristic appeal. Expect way more than just fashion, the store sells loads of quirky branded items such as speakers and vinyl records from vintage exhibitions, phone cases, lighters and even condoms! The cool vintage feel is perfectly paired with the head-turning collection of YSL handbags along the walls.
Editors tip : you can’t leave Paris without visiting the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris for a walk through fashion history and probably the most beautifully laid out collection you’ve ever seen.
ADDRESS: 53 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.) / 213 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 38 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arr.) / 6 Place Saint-Sulpice (6th arr.) / 9 Rue de Grenelle (7th arr.)
« Never forget that what becomes timeless was once truly new » — Nicolas Ghesquière, former creative director at LV.
On his arrival to Paris in 1837, Louis Vuitton would become part of the thriving fashion scene which was yet to blossom. At only 16 years old he began a career as a trunk-master. Starting off his own venture into luggage, Vuitton’s timing was impeccable as transportationhad just started to expand with train journeys and holidays becoming more frequent. A master of his craft, his trunks had flat bottoms making them easy to stack on moving transport – a first of its kind.
In 1896, 4 years after his death, his son, Georges Vuitton designed and launched the interlocking LV symbol. The inventive lock married together that from a treasure chest with a suitcase, a new design that was both practical and trendy. Unfortunately, Louis Vuitton never got to see it with his own eyes.
Moving on into the mid 20th century, the Louis Vuitton name became known for luxurious, resistant and hard-wearing travel trunks. Used by the likes of Hollywood and supermodels of the era. The infamous monogram of checkerboard called ‘Damier’ was printed across the luggage, still widely used today. You’re truly buying a part of the brands history when purchasing an item with the exclusive logo print.
The original workshop and family residence of Asnières, Northeast of Paris, has been renovated as a gallery space for visitors today. Here you can see immersive shows celebrating the history of LV, as well as workshops where Ateliers still create a small selection of leather goods and custom orders.
In 2023 Pharrell Williams became the men’s creative director, replacing the much adorned Virgil Abloh who passed in 2021. Williams’ influence spans across music, art, and film, respected as a truly innovative individual who is bringing a cultural influx to Louis Vuitton. Perhaps best known for his standout single ‘HAPPY’, Williams has been continually serving us colourful and imaginative fashion looks.
A trip to Paris is not complete without too visiting a Louis Vuitton store. Its golden glamour shines across the city, drawing in both tourists and natives alike. The decadent window displays grab attention across the seasons. Inside you can find endless rails of clothing with fabrics coming from Lake Como in Italy, as well as a range of Italian leather goods and footwear.
The flagship store is a similar size to an apartment block with 4 stories of luxurious bliss. Alongside the traditional items are athleisure gear, with branded skipping ropes and tennis racket covers. No extravagance is spared with additional gallery space in this fusion between retail and museum.
ADDRESS: 22 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.) / 100 Avenue des Champs-Élysées (8th arr.) / Place Vendôme (1st arr.) / 170 Boulevard Saint-Germain (6th arr.) / 40–48 Boulevard Haussmann (9th arr.) / 24 Rue de Sèvres (7th arr.)
« Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds. » - Coco Chanel
The fashion queen that is Coco Chanel, also known as Gabrielle, spent her childhood in an orphanage where she learned to sew. If you’re wondering where ‘Coco’ came from, it was a nickname she gained from working as a singer in a café. The reasoning lies in the songs she became known for: “Ko Ko Ri Ko » and « Qui qu’a vu Coco », the latter translating to ‘who has seen Coco’.
In 1910, Coco opened her first boutique, a hat store called Chanel Modes. A few years later after its success, she delved into haute couture with her new stores in Deauville and later Biarritz. Her success story is simple: create something unique and different. Apart from her fashion peers who made extravagant dresses, Coco designed classic styles with lighter and comfortable fabrics for the modern woman.
Did you know you have Chanel to thank for the creation of the Little Black Dress (LBD as we know it)? A simple classic fashion statement was, at the time, a revolutionary and daring choice. Coco said « a woman can be overdressed, but never over elegant ». It acts as a minimalist canvas for any occasion: cocktail parties, date night or business wear.
By 1921 she had launched her first perfume, Chanel no.5, forever altering the world of luxury scents. The iconic bottle and its development is a pioneer and lives on over a century later.
Sophisticated, simple, subtle – these are the words synonymous with the Chanel brand, most recognised for the signature tweed jacket and the padded handbags. Often, these outfits were paired with over-the-top jewellery and accessories such as silk scarves and chunky pearls.
Karl Lagerfeld carried out Coco’s vision as creative director for nearly 40 years before he passed in 2019. What makes the brand special is that many of Coco’s visions are deemed just as popular today – highlighting the beauty in thesimplicity of femininity.
Rue Cambon is home to Chanel’s first modern boutique. She owned the entire building and lived on the second floor! Here you can find an impressive array of shoes including the highly popular ballerina pumps, as well as pointed kitten heels with the classic Chanel logo. Enjoy a glass of champagne while a sales assistant picks out pieces based on your style and instructions – if only we could live like this every day…
« The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress. » – Hubert de Givenchy
Founded in 1952, Hubert de Givenchy had previously worked for big fashion names such as Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli before starting his own line. The start of his success came from his creation of ‘séparables’, with blouses and lightweight skirts that could be interchanged. In a captivating combination of elegance, expertise and attention to detail, Givenchy developed into a fashion force throughout France and internationally.
His clean and fluid silhouettes enticed females, including Audrey Hepburnwho became Givenchy’s muse and the face of his brand. With architectural designs and new materials, Givenchy introduced the world to the lantern dress shape as well as the shirt dress — two items that remain popular to this day. Hepburn and Givenchy went on to rule influence over the beauty and fashion industry.
Of course, not forgetting the iconic collaboration that is ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ in 1961, where Hepburn wears a LBD made by Givenchy. « His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier. He is a creator of personality, » said Audrey. In 1957 Givenchy created a perfume for Audrey, ‘L’Interdit’, a smell that has ever since captivated a bold attitude and enhanced femininity. It’s one of the most popular perfumes world wide to date.
Recently in 2018, Givenchy had the pleasure of designing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress. In Claire Waight Keller’s reign as creative director, she designed a boat neck long sleeved simple dress with a train; classically beautiful.
Current creative director, Matthew Williams has brought an edgier, sexier look to Givenchy. The ruffles and pleats are still there, but with a modern twist that appeals to a wider range of women.
Givenchy’s shopping outlets in Paris hold a monochromatic feel with graphic lines in a metallic palette and volcanic grey rock, appealing to a darker romantic desire. Look out for the Antigona bag, which has been an it-girl accessory since its creation by Riccardo Tisci in 2011. It’s available in many different colors, sizes and styles, so be sure to try a few on!
ADDRESS: 36 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.) / 28 Rue du Fauborg Saint-Honoré (8th arr.) / 56 Rue François ler (8th arr.)
« Fashion is about what you look like, which translates to what you would like to be like » - Jean-Paul Gaultier
Paris-born, a young Jean Paul Gaultier would send his sketches to designers, journalists and creative masterminds before scoring a job as a sketcher for Pierre Cardin. With no training or previous experience, Gaultier worked his way up gaining skills to produce his own line, founding his brand and first catwalk in 1976.
Known for his wild fashion statements and unconventional looks, Gaultier was given the nick name ‘l‘enfant terrible’ thanks to his unpredictable choices. Yet daring and bold, Gaultier went on to produce unique gender-bending designs which would be legendary. Most notably? Men in skirts. Kilts became the new fashion statement and he set the punk tone to follow into the ‘80s.
Elsewhere, women adopted masculine attire, as well as embracing more nudity. You never quite knew what was coming next at one of his shows – this was the master of his art. His style weird and wonderful, shocked the world both with hesitance and intrigue.
Remember Madonna with the cone boobs? Yep that was Gaultier. He designed her outfits for the Blond Ambition tour in 1990, « I was a fan of Madonna’s so I was pleased to collaborate with her for that reason – not because it would be good for my career », he said.
His signature ‘Classique’ scent was released in 1992 in a bottle shaped like a corseted female figure. It remains widely used and iconic to this day. Shortly followed by ‘Le Male’, fragrance for him, reworked as a blue glass bodice.
Always a rebel at heart, Gaultier went on to be creative director for Coca Cola, bringing diverse visions, as well as branching out to children’s wear and dressing many a‑pop royalty such as Boy George, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Behind the scenes, Gaultier has worked more as a costume designer for TV and film, creating looks for The Fifth Element, which ultimately won him a place on the jury at Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
Under the current direction of Antoine Gagey, the Jean Paul Gaultier name transpires to liberation within gender and sexuality, keeping true to its roots and worn by models of all different appearance. Hairstyles in a tartan pattern, sexy sailors for ‘Le Male’ scent and a modernised look of cone corsets. Anything seems possible!
While there aren’t any Jean Paul Gaultier physical stores in Paris, you’re sure to find his influence all across the city as well as fashion shows. His illustrious fashion atélier on Rue Saint Martin is open to the public with exhibitions on occasions.
ADDRESS: WORKSHOP: 325 Rue Saint-Martin (3rd arr.)
« Women should have choices, and women should feel good in what they wear » - Phoebe Philo, former creative director of Celine.
The minimalistic and effortlessly chic brand of Céline started off as a children’s shoe shop in 1945, ‘le bottier pour enfants’. Céline Vipiana, along with her husband, Richard Vipiana, branched out into womenswear and leather goods going into the ‘60s. The Céline brand took a diverse approach to fashion by producing couture sportswear for the elite of Paris.
Céline soon had stores around the globe from Hong Kong to Beverly Hills and catered to the more practical, working women who desired chic style. The interlocking C logo that we are all well accustomed to was created in 1973, an homage to the Arc de Triomphe with its smooth curve.
Vapiana passed in 1997 which birthed a new chapter for Céline. Michael Kors in charge, the brand was catapulted further to the top of the pyramid next to luxury peers Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
A quiet hum surrounded Céline until 2010 when Phoebe Philo was appointed creative director. Through military dungarees and boxier silhouettes, Philo designed with every day style and comfort in mind, rather than for sensuality.
It wasn’t until Hedi Slimane was appointed creative director in 2018 that Céline really returned to its roots, targeting the bourgeois Parisiennes from the Left Bank. Be it all with a fresh Gen Z look and updated logo, it remains to provide the fashion world with pure sophistication.
Recently opening their fourth store in Paris, the flagship on Avenue de Montaigne is nothing short of a fashionistas paradise. Black and silver accents shimmer through the store, with wood seating and sculptures giving it a homey feel. Plenty of windows may just form a halo on that Ava Triomphe bag you’ve been thinking about. The sleek space is decadent with leather goods, jewellery, fragrance and accessories, sitting apart from its ready-to-wear sister over on Rue Duphot.
ADDRESS: 53 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.) / 4 Rue Duphot (1st arr.) / 24 Rue François Ier (8th arr.) / 390 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 16 Rue de Grenelle (7th arr.)
« We don’t have a policy of image, we have a policy of product » — Jean-Louis Dumas, former CEO of Hermès
Hermès has a firm place in the French fashion hall of fame. Creator of the most expensive and sort-after bag in the world — give applause for the Birkin, named after icon Jane Birkin. This elite brand holds a strong sense of desire with its products. Women save up for years to purchase this status symbol. By owning a Birkin… let’s just say you can’t really top it.
A‑list celebrities and the mega-wealthy are the normal customer for Hermès, which makes it a prestigious name that everyone aspires to buy from. Unlike other luxury brands, Hermès also never has sales or discounts.
Thierry Hermès founded the label in 1837. Initial products were based around equestrian leather goods such as saddles for the affluent owners of coach and horses across Europe. This is the reasoning behind the diagram on the Hermès logo. When Émile-Maurice (grandson of Hermès) took over the business, accessories such as jewellery and watches as well as bags started being produced. In 1925, the first clothing item was released: a men’s golf jacket.
Family owned for six generations, it’s clear to see how Hermès caters for the first-class ring leaders of the globe. Iconic pieces are items such as the Hermès silk scarf, homeware such as bed throws and cushions and the Kelly bag. Named after Grace Kelly in the 1950s, the bag was famously titled after the Princess of Monaco used it to hide from Paparazzi. That’s one way to publicize!
Hermès has the upper hand when it comes to producing high-quality products that will last a lifetime. Still today, creative director Pierre-Alexis Dumas checks every single product before it leaves the workshop. Craftsmanship is the essence of the brand and no detail goes a miss.
The Paris flagship store on Rue de Faubourg offers the widest variety of Birkin bags and the rest of the club. With neutral, warm tones, the shop is spacious and airy with plenty of space to display the products well. Along with this, you’ll find the highly sought-after sandals, loafers and accessories galore. If you’re planning to purchase and want a personalized experience, make sure to book in advance. It can sometimes be luck of the draw in store so always sign up online to avoid disappointment.
ADDRESS: 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arr.) / 42 Avenue George V (8th arr.) / 17 Rue de Sèvres (6th arr.)
« I don’t like perfection – I think it’s dangerous. There is nothing after perfection. » – Alber Elbaz, former creative director of Lanvin.
Jeanne Lanvin was 22 when she opened a little hat shop in 1889. Influenced by her daughter, Marguerite, Jeanne went on to start a children’s clothing line in 1908. What soon developed on 16 Rue Boissy d’Anglas was a busy spot serving female clothing for all ages and filled with sophisticated couture. Stand-out items included full-length gowns and ball dresses with a vintage feel, later known as Robes de Style. The Lanvin look puts the female body at the forefront with cinched waists and material that flatters curvature.
Upon further expansion into menswear, Lanvin hosts an array of luxurious products including the famous fragrance ‘L’eau de Lanvin’, the first unisex smell. As one of France’s oldest names in fashion, Lanvin provides a Renaissance feel for its customers. Most of the brands success lies with evening and cocktail dresses.
Under the most recent creative direction of Bruno Sialelli, understated styles of clean tailoring, shirt-dresses and a focus on every-day dressing was apparent. Lanvin is currently going through a major rebrand, with a shifted focus to leather goods and an embrace of the rich heritage initially instilled by Jeanne over a hundred years ago.
Shopping at the original Lanvin store in Paris is an intimate, calming experience incorporating design elements from the Japanese wabi sabi spirit. Essentially brining a simple and grounding nature, using rounded shapes and raw materials such as mineral burgundy stone on the floors. Features from Jeanne Lanvin’s office have remained intact such as the Printz triptychmirror. The elevator has had refurbishments since the 1930s but remains with a golden twirls like the original design by Armand Albert Rateau. The star of the show is the fresco decorated on the walls with natural scenes of birds and flowers. It is said that Jeanne’s liking of floral decoration came from her daughters name, with Marguerite translating to daisy.
Lookout for the Lanvin Curb sneakers with mega chunky laces and funky designs. A street style edition that will add some color to your every day outfits!
ADDRESS: 22 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8th arr.)
« All I’ve ever wanted was for Chloé to have a happy spirit to make people happy » — Gaby Aghion, founder of Chloé
Recognized for its striking feline prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) designs, Chloé was established in 1952 by Gaby Aghion. Egyptian born, Gaby created clothing to make women feel good, encapsulating a free-spirited attitude and bohemian look. She based the brand around the aura of her close friend, named Chloé.
The first Chloé fashion show took place in the world-renowned Café de Flore, Saint Germain in 1956. Cue a capsule collection of soft, light-weight materials with floaty skirts and flirty chemises. After hiring Karl Lagerfeld as designer in the ‘60s, Chloé gained its first female creative director, Martine Sitbon. With the help of the hay-day ‘90s supermodels like Linda Envangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Sitbon promoted Chloé’s image as a confident woman who put a feminine touch to masculine wear.
The Chloé girl has remained close to her roots over the years, with soft silhouettes and a romantic feel. Known for the highly popular Paddington bag which held a casually chic charm, as well as the Marcie bag, recognised by its satchel shape and contrast stitching.
Much like the clothing it sells, the Chloé store is quietly modern and beautifully aesthetic, built in an 18th century mansion. Soft gold panelling surrounds the space with the brand’s signature rosy beige backdrop and decorative ceilings. A true feast for the eyes!
ADDRESS: 253 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 1 Boulevard Haussmann (9th arr.) / 50 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.) / 22 Rue de Sèvres (7th arr.)
« A woman can carry a bag, but it is the shoe that carries the woman » — Christian Louboutin
We all know Louboutin for the iconic red-soled shoe, but where did the fashion empire begin its venture? French-Egyptian designer, Christian Louboutin opened a footwear shop in Paris, 1992. By hand-crafting exclusive designs, his reputation grew rapidly, attracting high-profile clients and the Parisian elite.
The concept behind his shoes came from a visit to Africa where he read a sign advising women not to wear stilettos as they would damage the wooden floor. In true Louboutin style, he wanted to break the rules and therefore invented his own pair of super high skinny heels. The red bottoms was initially a spur-of-the-moment thought, taking red nail polish from his assistant and covering the sole. An instant win with his crowd of customers, the classic Louboutin shoe was born.
Red, translating to seduction, allure, danger and fantasy, act as the fundamental principles for Louboutin. Through his shoes, he wishes to make fantasies a reality. This spread to film, such as Sarah Jessica Parker sporting them in Sex and the City, and they also often strut the red carpet on the likes of Rihanna, J Lo, Madonna. You name a celeb, they probably own a pair of Loubs.
It wasn’t until 2009 that Louboutin started designing men’s footwear, when pop star Mika asked him to create some for his upcoming tour. His aim was to make everyone feel like they could conquer anything, with a punky head-strong attitude.
One step ahead of the game, 2022 Louboutin welcomed a new chapter: LoubiFamily. The collection provides footwear for everyone including children and even dog accessories. Barking mad? It’s called fashion.
The brand is so iconic that its most-loved collector, American novelist Danielle Steel, owns more than 6,000 pairs!
Rue Saint-Honoré is home to the flagship store, three wonderfully red floors filled with numerous designs on display like the works of art they are. The whole feel resembles more of an art gallery. On entry you can see a cardboard cut-out of Christian Louboutin, holding a paint roller. An irony that comes from his first concept to brush on the red nail polish. The french designer quite literally painted the fashion world red. For a more historical interior and cosier feel, head to Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the initial Louboutin workshop.
ADDRESS: 400 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 19 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1st arr.) / 40 Boulevard Haussmann (9th arr.)
« Jacquemus is not about nightlife and clubbing, it’s more about fruit and vegetables and rolling in the grass » – Simon Porte Jacquemus
The story of Jacquemus is one of firmly rooted French heritage and family values.A newer, more current brand, Jacquemus has flourished in the last ten years to become one of the most successful designers in history.
Born in 1990, Provence in the South of France, Simon Porte Jacquemus spent his childhood in the countryside. When he wasn’t exploring the beauty of nature, he was learning to sew with his mother who was a seamstress. It is her maiden name that Simon named ‘Jacquemus’ after.
Moving to Paris and starting his own label at just 19, Simon is recognized as one of the most talented, youngest designers of our time. Also heightened considering he was ‘self-taught’ and has no fashion education.
He often draws inspiration from nature in his fluid designs, shown perfectly in his SS20 collection during the pandemic. Surrounded by fields of lavender near to his childhood home, he created an unforgettable moment that acted as a breath of fresh air during challenging times. Loose fitted shirts in pastel colors were paired with low waisted tailored trousers in delicate floral prints. He describes his designs as ‘naive, raw and smiley’, and we second that!
Simon has always been infatuated with women, how they dress, appear and carry themselves. Incorporating this into his shows, he uses a variety of models — his grandma has even walked the Jacquemus catwalk numerous times!
A true trendsetter, when Jacquemus released the ‘Le Chiquito’ bag, the world went into a frenzy. The cute tiny fashion accessory (we can hardly call it a bag) is available in tons of different colors and materials. Its versatile design allows it to be worn across body or as a clutch. Just be aware, there’s only space for your lipgloss and liner. And maybe your keys. On the other extreme, there’s the dramatically ginormous La Bomba hat, popularised by Emily Ratajkowski on vacation, the statement and voice of Jacquemus came to life.
Jacquemus’ powerful social media presence is what holds the attention of a younger audience, with quirky yet beautiful and engaging posts. Shopping in his stores have the same impact. The flagship on Avenue Montaigne sits in a 20th century Art Deco building with clean white interiors. A calm ambience welcomes visitors, with unique enticements such as an oversized popcorn machine.
« This is a dream come true for me, it’s very symbolic to be back Avenue Montaigne 11 years later. First time I was there was when I showed my 3rd collection during Vogue fashion night in front of everyone, back in 2011, » says Simon.
ADDRESS: 58 Avenue Montaigne (8th arr.) / 69 Rue de Monceau (8th arr.) / 40 Boulevard Haussmann (9th arr.)
« You shouldn’t want others to wear things that you won’t wear yourself » — Isabel Marant
Award winning Isabel Marant had a slow yet gradual rise within the luxury fashion world. Starting off designing pieces for herself and friends, she soon realized the potential for a business. In 1995 she opened her boutique in the trendy district of Le Marais in Paris, but it wasn’t until Marant designed the wedged sneaker in 2010 that she really blew up. A then staple for Parisian street style, the sneaker took the brand to new heights and now, she has 66 stores globally.
In 2021, 10 years later, Marant designed an updated version of the high-top shoe that ignited her brand.
Born in 1967 to a German model mother and French photographer father, Marant had a tomboyish nature as a child and a rebellious attitude against norms.Bohemian, casual and with a nonchalant style, Marant has always looked to her own fashion tastes when designing for her line.
Regularly described as ‘Parisian cool-girl chic’, Marant’s collections are timeless. With classic straight jeans, the perfect summer blouses, chunky knits and checked shackets, all embellished with an authentic Marant stamp. Hybrid tailoring combines casual wear with a high level of craftsmanship for great materials that can be worn throughout the seasons.
Isabel Marant now hosts a number of boutiques across Paris, with the newest store in the Saint-Germain-Des-Prés area. Expect a modern and elegant feel in its design, based in a traditional Parisian buildingwith clean interior and oversized fluffy sofas. Everyone needs a little pit stop mid shop! Keep your eyes peeled for their splendid array of bags, in particular the Oskan Moon, a mid sized curved design in a smooth leather. A studded style essential to pair with a more ‘chilled out’ look.
ADDRESS: 59 Rue de Seine (6th arr.) / 1 Rue Jacob (6th arr.) / 354 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.) / 16 Rue de Charonne (11th arr.)
« Good fashion is evolution, not revolution » – Pierre Balmain
Pierre Balmain grew up handling fabrics as a result of his fathers drapery business. While his creative intuition led him to study to be an architect, this was short-lived and his attention swivelled to fashion design. In 1934, when Balmain was 20, he was offered a job at British designer Edward Molyneux’s studio. This is where he and Christian Dior became great friends.
It was on Rue François, Paris, in 1945 that Balmain opened his first boutique. Recognized by elegant pillbox hats and long bell-shaped skirts that came with nipped-in waists, the house of Balmain initially held similarities with his fashion ally, Dior’s ‘new look’. With rave reviews on the collections wearability and quality of fabrics, Balmain quickly became an influential powerhouse.
It was then that his own definitive taste shined through. His ‘Jolie Madame’ style, characterised by structured cuts and strong shoulders, caught all the attention of glamorous 1950s celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Liz Taylor and Sophia Loren. An aspect still very much apparent in the brands DNA today, suiting a powerful woman who leads by example and makes her own money, a real boss. Specifically, the iconic Balmain tailored jacket, revived in the noughties into a double-breasted blazer.
Having been trained as an architect, Balmain view designing fashion in a unique way to his peers at the time. Utilizing geometry, symmetry and innovation, Balmain created structural artwork, stating « dressmaking is the architecture of movement ».
Glitz and glam defines the brand today, having been under the rule of various directors. Most well-known is Olivier Rousteing, going 11 years strong, who works traditional elements of Pierre’s vision into crazier post-modern elements. More casual couture dressing and street wear are contrasted against the eccentric sophistication.
Shopping headquarters in Paris are located on Rue Saint-Honoré, a short distance from the original Balmain store. Here, architecture meets fashion, with a symphony of angled light fixtures, tall decorative ceilings and an array of items which all bounce off mirrored walls and cabinets. The 300 m² space boasts a grand chandelier, cabochon tiles and an interior garden, all in the style of a luxurious Parisian apartment.
Look out for items with the monogram logo softly embellished such as the multi-way silk scarf top, new soft clutch or pleated long skirt, all available in marine blue or firey red.
ADDRESS: 44 Rue François Ier (8th arr.) / 374 Rue Saint-Honoré (1st arr.)
« Fashion is a movie. Every morning when you get dressed, you direct yourself » – Thierry Mugler
Challenging fashion norms is what Mugler does best. Robotic, mechanical space suit but sexy? Tick. Greek God inspired robes with a Star-Warsesque feel? Tick. Mermaid meets avant-garde Victoria Secret Angel? Tick. Nothing is too big for Mugler. Has it always been that way?
Strasbourg-born Manfred Thierry Mugler moved to Paris in 1972 to work freelance for a number of designers. His first collection ‘Café de Paris’ was showcased the following year, drawing inspiration from urban scenes, street wise extravagance.
Place des Victoires welcomed Mugler’s first boutique, and this was just the beginning of his influence across film, theatre, music and art. The ‘Butterfly dress’ worn for the 1997 runway show ‘Les Insectes’ is uniquely historical and exemplifies his creative artistry.
Viewed as spectacles rather than simple catwalks, Mugler shows were a collaboration of art and design, portraying also diversified models of all ages and sexes. Always with a wonderfully bizarre theme, he championed quirky shapes and rare silhouettes.
2009 saw Thierry retire from the label, but celebrated the birth of Mugler beauty. « Fashion is beautiful, 3‑D art on a human being. But it wasn’t enough, which is why I always went on to create in other ways. For me, it isn’t the right tool anymore. But perfume still interests me » he said. The infamous ‘Angel’ scent first appeared in 1992, adapted as we now know it as ‘Alien’, a perfume which continues to have great success.
Sensual designs that capture allure in the female body now presides at Mugler, with nudity becoming the focal point. Mesh cut-outs, latex, diamond embellished bodysuits are Mugler’s current roots. Bella Hadid can be viewed as the face of the brand, giving black cat feline energy. Under Casey Cadwallader’s creative direction, the viral black mesh-panelled jumpsuit became the new uniform for influencers and celebrities such as Dua Lipa, Beyoncé and Miles Cyrus.
Earlier this year in May 2023, Mugler joined unlikely forces with H&M, a collection defined by playful and bold pieces and precise tailoring. Currently, Mugler has none of its own boutiques in Paris, selling physically through other outlets.
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