All of Paris is a shopping area, but there are a few select areas to keep in mind depending on your need, your budget or your mood.
- The Triangle d’Or is near the rond-point of Champs-Elysees, and in streets such as avenue Montaigne or rue Francois-1er and rue du Faubourg-St-Honore. Here you will find the expensive, upscale salons of the couturiers selling their ready-to-wear clothes and accessories. In addition to the classic French designers like Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Hermes, and Saint Laurent, there are international names like Jill Sander, Giorgio Armani, Issey Miyake, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. These are lovely streets for window-shopping, although many of the shops are set back a bit from the sidewalk. Do not let the doormen intimidate you…go inside and experience the ambiance. The interiors of the stores are as stunning as the clothing.
- Place des Victoires/rue Etienne Marcel is a nucleus for some established fashion houses and for upcoming trend-setters. It straddles the 1st and 2nd arrondissements and houses expensive shops for Jean-Paul Gaultier, Adolfo Dominguez, Miki House, Kenzo, Cacharel, and Thierry Mugler.
- Le Marais, located in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, is a historical gem with small, winding streets and old world charm. There are great boutiques offering clothing, but lots of art and striking objects, as well. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is one of Paris’s best shopping streets with shops where you’ll find top quality French design at relatively affordable prices, like Zadig & Voltaire. The area around Place des Vosges is also exceptionally fashionable. This is the old Jewish section of Paris and one of the only areas that is legally allowed to be opened on Sundays, usually starting around noon. If you are in the mood to shop on Sunday, this is the place to go…just remember that the rest of Paris and its tourists do the same!
- Saint-Germain-des-Pres is an elegant, upmarket area in the 6th. The very chic frequent rue de Bac, rue Bonaparte, rue de Sevres, rue du Four, and boulevard Saint-Germain, among many others, in search of designer goodies in stores like Hugo Boss, Sonia Rykiel, Lacoste, Apostrophe and Maje. The area surrounding the Place Saint-Sulpice offers a wealth of great fashion and household delights. High quality antiques and expensive items are concentrated especially between rue des Saints-Peres, boulevard St-Michel, boulevard St-Germain and the river.
- Rue de Passy/avenue Victor Hugo is an upscale shopping haven in a lively part of the 16th arrondissiment. It tends to be less touristy than some of the other shopping areas.
- Place de la Republique, in the 10th, and the huge Paris garment district at Sentier and Place du Caire, are good places to look for inexpensive designer and basic shops. Place du Caire is one of Paris’s quiet pedestrian passageways, a glass covered-promenade, uniting architectural interest and the joys of window shopping in one place.
- Alongside the Canal Saint Martin on Quai Valmy and its surrounding streets are trendy, tiny boutiques with a fiercely loyal clientele and much more reasonably priced offerings. Parisian women may window-shop at Chanel, but more of them actually buy things in these shops: Antoine et Lili for clothes, children’s clothes and toys and offbeat housewares; Stella Cadente with luminous and very feminine clothes; and Oba Mercado for Brazilian clothes, shoes, jewelry and fantastic accessories.
- Degriffes and depot-ventes are located throughout the city, but there is a high concentration on rue d’Alesia in the 14th and rue St-Placide in the 6th. In the degriffes, some of the labels will have been taken out or mutilated…you will be the only one that knows when you are wearing these designer clothes!
- Also popular with Parisians are the online private sale sites such as Vente Privee (https://secure.fr.vente-privee.com) and Bazaar Chic (https://fr.bazarchic.com). You must be a member to participate in the offers of discounted (between 50-70%) brand name clothing, accessories and other items. You will receive updates of ongoing sales that last for about 4-7 days.