Champs Elysees, a walking tour of designer heaven

Champs Elysees, a walking tour of designer heaven

Take a stroll with us down the grandest avenue in the world

 

To many, it’s the path to shopping paradise and even non-fashionistas can’t help but be swept up by the spirit of the world’s grandest avenue. Between Concorde and Etoile, the Champs Elysées throws up wonderful, picture-postcard views that extend from the Louvre Pyramid to Paris’ modern business district, La Defence. It’s also where you’ll find some of the fashion world’s most celebrated shops.

 

Cartier

Chloë Sevigny claims her Panthère ring is her most prized possession, Sophia Coppola and Katie Holmes are rarely spotted without their Love bracelets (an update on the medieval chastity belt), while the Tank watch has been worn by first ladies from Jackie O to Michelle O. Yes, it can only be Cartier. Paris’s master jeweller and watchmaker since its inception in 1847, Cartier (cartier.fr) is located at 154 at the top of the avenue, near to the Arc de Triomphe. Following an extensive eight-month renovation completed in May 2015, the extra large windows now afford a lighter, brighter approach to selecting sparklers.

 

Louis Vuitton

Having set up shop on the Champs Elysées in 1854 originally to only sell trunks, Louis Vuitton is one of the most impressive addresses in France. The brand is also the world’s most valuable. Lines now extend to leather goods, ready-to-wear, jewellery, accessories and haute couture, while on the seventh floor you’ll find a cultural centre that elevates the experience way beyond the realms of simply shopping.

 

High Street Elevation

From here make your way down to Paris’s flagship H&M flagship store, one of the handful of mainstream brands that have recently picked this avenue to place their mother ships. More than your average high-street stores though, each offers a unique shopping experience with daytime clubbing at Abercrombie & Fitch, (abercrombie.com), high-tech LED screens feeding a stream of runway footage at Hugo Boss fashion (hugoboss.com/Mode)‎ and free personalised shopping at Banana
Republic
(bananarepublic.eu). Zara, Gap, Marks & Spencer and Lacoste, along with beauty favourites Guerlain (guerlain.com) and the multi-brand Sephora
sephora.fr) can also be found here, rubbing shoulders with sporting giants Nike (nike.com/fr) and Adidas (adidas.fr).

 

LE66

Showcasing the world’s most innovative brands LE66 (le66.fr) is a concept store that adds home décor, magazines, books and technology to its fashion line-up. Too cool for school brands – over 200 of them – include Finders Keepers, House of Sunny, Elisabetta Franchi, Theory, Acne and Helmut Lang. It even has its own vintage store, in collaboration with Come On Eline and Kiliwatch. But what really sets LE66 apart is the fact that sales assistants are also the buyers, which guarantees informed, enthusiastic service.

 

Alaïa

At the lower end (but higher price bracket) of the avenue is Alaïa (alaia.fr), the titular brainchild of Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer, Azzedine Alaïa. In the 1980s the dynamic designer was nicknamed ‘The King of Cling” and today the free-spirited enigma who refuses to plays by anyone’s rules but his own, is admired for not succumbing to the marketing-driven logic of luxury conglomerates.

 

Source: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East

 

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