Shopping in Paris
One of the world’s fashion capitals, Paris is a shopping mecca – not just for haute couture but also for vintage designer furniture and gourmet food. Paris serves as the muse for legendary France-based designers like Alber Elbaz, Sonia Rykiel, Nicolas Ghesquiere, and Karl Lagerfeld, and is also a place for inspiration for the country’s up-and-coming creatives. Here you will find trend-setting styles that are exported to streets around the world. Fashionistas can outfit themselves from head to toe in scene-stealing garb, with some coveted accessories to boot. Voici, some tips for your next retail adventure in the City of Light.
For high fashion, one of the most prestigious streets is the Avenue Montaigne. Home to fashion heavyweights like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Chloe, the street forms the edge of the Triangel d’Or (the city’s golden triangle). Another glam destination for shopping is Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore. Traversing the first arrondissement in the heart of Paris, this east-west artery is lined with famous stores like Christian Louboutin, Chopard, Frette, Givenchy, Chanel and Lanvin. For a sweet pick-me-up while shopping, pop by Laduree at 16 Rue Royale.
The other beloved shopping districts are Saint Germain and the Marias. In recent years, the upper Marais (third arrondissement) has reached the pinnacle of cool, with boutiques like Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, Frenchtrotters, and The Broken Arm, attracting bourgeois and bohemians alike. On the Left Bank, the historic streets of Saint Germain are home to a treasure trove of addresses, like the A.P.C. flagship store and Hermes, occupying the former swimming pool of the Hotel Luteria. Just across the street at 14 Rue de Sevres is the buzz worthy new flagship for Berluti, the men’s bespoke boot maker, which is seeing a triumphant revival by LVMH. CEO Antoine Arnault has been in the headlines recently for his bold mission to rejuvenate the brand, and the store employs a team of elite shoe-makers and tailors who create bespoke, personalized attire.
Savvy shoppers jet to Paris for the semi-annual soldes. Traditionally these sales were only allowed by law to take place twice a year: in January and July. Nowadays stores can mark down items at any time, but the soldes are still a major event, where you can score big discounts on fashion.
No matter the time of year, shopping in Paris can be a good deal because of the Value Added Tax (VAT) is refunded to international visitors. Fixed at 20 percent in January 2014, this consumer tax is applied to merchandise like clothes (not hotel stays). To get your refund, bring your passport while you shop so that merchants can fill out the necessary paperwork, which you file at the airport upon departure. Note the VAT refund is only issued for purchases above 175 Euros, on items to be exp9orted. Designer bags will always be cheaper in France; brands like Louis Vuitton impose limits on the number of items purchased in-store to avoid illegal reselling abroad.
The best place for one-stop shopping is one of the iconic department stores, the grands magasins like Galeries Lafayette Haussman, Printemps, or Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche, where you will find myriad brands all under one roof.
Our Experts love the Hotel Plaza Athenee for your stay in Paris. It’s luxurious, spacious and has a wonderful location. Don’t forget to stop by their bar for an after-shopping cocktail.
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