7/29/2010 12:17 PM
According to French law, a store is only permitted to have a sale twice a year. “Soldes” is the French name for sale, which thankfully currently appears on every store window in Paris. From what I have learned, the summer sales normally start in mid-June although this summer the sale began June 30th and continues to August 3rd. I have been told the winter sales start the last week of January. In the states, you can set aside for a “presale” at Neimans, but in France, you are only able to buy the day of the sale and thereafter.
The two major department stores in Paris are close in proximity, both on Boulevard Haussmann. Galeries Lafayette is known for "ready to wear" among other things and has been compared to Macy’s. My favorite is the stand alone, newly renovated Printemps department store, compared to Saks Fifth Avenue in the shopping guides I purchased prior to arriving.
The day of the sale, we were at Printemps when the doors opened at 8 a.m. There were many woman and a few token men waiting to get all the best sales in luxury fashion. When it came to the designer handbag sale, A list designers included Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, Prada and Gucci.
Le Bon Marche is also a high end chic department store, however it is located in the 7th, near St.- Germain and is more like Barney’s New York.
I have read that as an American or foreign buyer you are eligible for a 10% discount for being at Printemps and Le Bon Marche, in addition to the 12% tax refund. A reminder, you must pick up the discount card at customer service PRIOR to purchasing and you must register for the tax refund the day you make your purchase. And apparently the card does not work on sale purchases.
When it comes to hip and cool, Collette has been called the temple of all things cool, although I found it to be extremely expensive. For example a pair of ripped, hip fashion -forward jeans, I would estimate to be around 300 euros ($375). However, I wasn’t even close. They were 1500 euros ($1875) for a pair of jeans! I would call Collette the temple of all things overpriced personally, but I loved their merchandising and think that it is worth the time to walk through and see the actual clothing and accessories you would see in a French fashion magazine. You can walk through, listening to the latest “in” music while perusing the design emporium of clothing, objets d’art, and electronics with a photo gallery, bookshop and exhibition space, too.
I personally am fond of Maje, a chain of stores in Paris carrying fashion forward, edgy styles with a few classics. I found an amazing pink sequin jacket that was so elegant, yet cut in a boxy style so it didn’t work for me at 5’2” but would be amazing on my more vertically gifted friends. And I loved a black jacket with Baliman type sleeves for less than 300 euros and that was prior to the sale even started!
Rue du Faubourg St. Honore is Paris’s most famous street for shopping. Pret-a-porter (which translates to “ready to wear”) designer shops are one after another. In and around avenues George V, Champs Elysees and Montaigne - you will find a wealth of luxury, overflowing with designer fashion houses.
Hermes is the crème de la crème of luxury fashion. When walking through the store you can almost forget about the state of world economics looking at the international world of shoppers, each wearing a designer outfit of choice. At a minimum one in twenty women are carrying the coveted Hermes Birkin. We saw a couple sitting down on a plush couch being presented with their very own collectible crocodile Kelly bag, named after Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco.
One of several coveted Hermes Birkin Bags on display at Times Past
Hermes has a bi-annual sale, however it is at a separate, undisclosed location. I was lucky enough to visit Hermes in search of a new scarf from the fall collection featuring a vintage inspired design. When purchasing my scarf, I asked about the sale, to find out it was the last and final day of the sale. Luckily I caught a cab and was at the sale with one hour to spare. We found scarves, ties, shoes, boots and more, all at luxury wholesale prices. Two shopping bags full of scarves (and, of couse, a few pairs of shoes!) and I was ecstatic to have found so many items of high quality at a great discount!
1 comment(s) so far...
By Jennifer Brock on
8/19/2010 3:44 PM
Re: Soldes: Parisian Luxury Sale Shopping
Please notify me whne your goods are at Times Past.