If you’ve been following me, you may recall my article on “The Big Three” about the three main high-end department stores in Paris. I headed to Paris post-Covid in April 2022 excited to visit the newly opened La Samaritaine – the long-awaited re-vamped department store located in the 1st arrondissement, right near the Pont Neuf. Would it now mean Paris has “The Big Four??” It IS a truly historic building! The new five-star hotel, Cheval Blanc, is attached to this department store, so you know the store attracts very high-end shoppers.
This department store, originally founded in 1870, boasts architecture from both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. LVMH spent seven years renovating this property, and it finally re-opened in June of 2021. Yes, the architecture is beautiful. In my opinion, it’s the most attractive part of the store. Many Parisians I spoke with during this two-week visit vehemently agreed.
This department store, originally founded in 1870, boasts architecture from both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.
Given that my absolute favorite department store in Paris, Bon Marche, is also owned by LVMH, I had very high hopes. But honestly, I was disappointed. Granted, the salespeople were extremely friendly, but I found the merchandise to be quite sparse and not that fashion forward. Perhaps that’s what they’re going for… more of appealing to the common denominator versus sparking the light of innovative fashion and style?
I did enjoy the Assouline book department. I have a penchant for their oversized books on subjects I adore.
My favorite part was the first floor (second floor to Americans) as they had offerings from Forte Forte, Kenzo, and La Double J… fun and wearable clothing. But again, I felt their designer roster was lacking as compared to other shopping venues in Paris. I didn’t encounter truly unique items – I feel they are lacking in inspiration.
But again, I felt their designer roster was lacking as compared to other shopping venues in Paris. I didn’t encounter truly unique items – I feel they are lacking in inspiration.
I did enjoy lunch at Voyage on the top floor, with views of the 1907 rectangular glass roof from Frantz Jourdain. The murals on the walls around this floor are just beautiful. Countless tourists were there taking photos.
I don’t want to be a complete downer on this store, but if your time in Paris is limited, I would suggest you don’t put this at the top of your list. Paris has much more to offer! Join The Curated Shopper to have access my little black book on where to shop in Paris.