Paris Fashion and Luxury Icons Tour

This is the tour for the curious, gourmets, enthusiasts and connoisseurs of fashion and luxury by Sébastien Girard, creator of and @iconiconmedia.

A tour of the iconic and enchanting places of the capital. These places where the icons of fashion, luxury have been, in turn, thought, imagined, created, concocted, and lived! Come and discover our heritage, the great luxury houses, the palaces, which has forged the reputation of Paris as the indisputable capital of chic, luxury and the art of living.

Discover the places where Paris’ reputation as the indisputable capital of chic, luxury and ‘joie de vivre’ has been formed. With a Parisian, coupled with a professor operating for the prestigious schools of fashion, commerce and hospitality, he will tell you the little stories and fascinating anecdotes hidden behind these pieces, these places, these experiences and these emblematic people.

I invite you to stroll with me – starting from Place Vendôme. Where the first modern palace stands – the Ritz! So many stories have happened there.

So many innovations too – in particular that of the French School of Gastronomy, with Auguste Escoffier operating from the kitchens of the Ritz.

A unique expertise, and excellence for signature, Chef Nicolas Sale is in charge. On the pastry side, it is François Perret who revives the taste buds today. But the iconic hot chocolate and madeleines, especially that of Proust, are still very much in the news!

We then continue up Rue de la Paix.

The street of jewels, of couture and diamonds of goldsmiths…Cartier. Mellerio said to Mellers. The boutique of the first designer in history, whose name I’ll keep to better reveal later. And that of Massaro, whose name may not arouse anything…for the moment.

Now, we arrive at the heart of French luxury. Place Vendôme and its aura of magnificence. The Mecca of fine jewelry – Chaumet, Boucheron, Van Cleef and…let me tell you about the scandal caused by the first collection of fine jewelry cut by a seamstress…

This seamstress was inspired by the octagonal lines of Place Vendôme for her perfume N°5.

And then?

Then this tour that retraces the hotspots of fashion and luxury will plunge you into the heart of Rue Saint Honoré.

With Goyard, first of all. The trunk maker settled here in 1853.

Further on, it was the Moynat universe that linked fashion, dance and opera.

Then, it’s time to come back to the art of Francis Kurkdjian, a key vendor of French perfumes.

Next, we disembark on the lively artery that is Rue de Rivoli.

It is here that the secrets whispered by the ceramic of its sidewalk, under its arcades, will all be revealed to you…

The bookseller Galignani, Angelina, Meyrowitz at 5 Rue de Castiglione… the first luxury eyewear manufacturer!

Goutal, another company that makes the greatness of French perfumery.

Meyrovitz, Grolet and even the Palace of Mauritius had so much to say about the icons of luxury and fashion! Pieces that have revolutionized the genre, but not only that!

The pastry of Meurice by Cédric Grolet merges sculpture, fruit and gluttony. Le Meurice, again, from where Alain Ducasse has literally revolutionized cooking, advocates a return to culinary simplicity. A taste experience that has become an example of the genre.

This is also where Guerlain founded his company. In 1828, the Guerlain perfumery moved to the ground floor of the Meurice hotel!

Another icon of gastronomy, it is at Mandarin Oriental where we will find Thierry Marx cuisine – and his signature dish – Le Risotto au…

We now pass in front of the place which hosted the very first Yves Saint Laurent parade.

Now we find ourselves at the heart of the Chanel universe. Where the heart of his workshops has been beating since 1910, Rue Cambon.

We now find ourselves the heart of the Chanel universe. In particular with the surrounding houses, purchased by that of Coco. Like Maison Michel – we can imagine the Chanel woman in a Virginie hat, right?

Finally, we arrive in Parisian night time – Maxim’s, the Mecca of the Second Empire of Napoleon. Hotspot of Parisian life, where the pleasure of the senses has become a way of life. Haute couture, champagne, parties until the early hours – casseroles laid the foundations of Parisian life.

The Hôtel du Crillon has seen Parisian women. The first palace in old history to have this sophistication!

We now will cross over to Rue Royale to join the artery world – the beautiful and the sublime.

Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré – the most luxurious street in the world holds the keys to more than one universally desired product today.

Now it’s time to go back up, not too far, to the boutique where the ecstasy of French luxury was acquired. The Hermès boutique is brimming with objects of desire, very inspirational display cases. And anecdotes that have raised the standards of fashion and luxury all over the world!

Jeanne Lanvin, too, had her part to play. In 1889, she opened here, at 16 Rue Boissy d´Anglas, what would become the oldest French fashion house.

Paris is a story of chic and sophistication.

A story of pleasure and of knowing how to live. A story that La Durée always tells. So, how not to end this “Paris Fashion and Luxury Icons Tour” with these macaroons, such chic delicacies.

You have to have seen and tasted these little bits of Parisian life to understand it better!


What To Do In Paris: Mon Coco, The Brasserie!

Located on one of the corns of the Place de la Republique, Mon Coco has all the spirit of a traditional brasserie with the audacity of our time – when cocktails surprise alongside very French dishes. 

The Restaurant of the Place de La République 

Place de la République. Behind its seaside brasserie allure, with its blue and white striped front, Mon Coco electrifies the most popular square in Paris. it must be said that the colourful Parisian establishment is the work of Michael Malapert – the talent behind BAM Karaoke set his sights on twisting French icons in the heart of these 400 square meters. 

Spread over three floors, Mon Coco has the comfort of large windows, two heated terraces (one of which is entirely non-smoking), a cocktail bar coupled with a dance floor and a restaurant. That’s for the arrangement. What about the spirit?

Mon Coco Cocktails

The idea behind Mon Coco? To make it a “living space that is an extension of the place de la République and to express the energy that emanates from it” says Michael Malapert.

And with the cocktails signed by mixologist Matthias Giroud, the challenge is accomplished. The alchemist of liquors behind the Buddha Bar and ranked second in the famous World’s 50 Best Bars list, takes the art of cocktails in a mise-en-scene that is as crazy as it is awesome. 

And since each season has its own theme, for Autumn/Winter 2019, Matthias Giroud wanted to create a tour of the world of flavours and tastes. Northern Europe, Jamaica and the Americas – the coktails of the season were dreamlike, globetrotters or simply divine!

Also seasonal, dishes change according to harvest and as it is a must of the traditional brasserie – Mon Coco delights its quests from 7am until 5 am…Nestled in a cosy and lush atmosphere. Enough to spend sleepless nights remaking the world, inspired by place rich in adventure!

Chanel at Courchevel – Another Star

Chanel inaugurated its wintertime boutique in the world’s most star-studded valley – with the palaces and iconic tables of Courchevel. 

Courchevel – The Most Luxurious Ski Station 

If the Courchevel slopes can indeed be used for a quick ski, people gather here for its many palaces and highly luxurious spots. Planted in the heart of a valley perched by the Savoie mountain, Courchevel figures as a highly distinguished ski station. One must only list its iconic palaces to know it. 

The Barrière Courchevel, the first hotel perched in the mountains thought up by the pioneers of luxury tourism: the Barrière family. Here, we let ourselves be lulled by larch wood and silky fabrics.. We marvel in front of the chimney. Barrière Courchevel is the charm of mountains harmonised to a very modern and genial design. 

And since luxury is not only a question of feelings, the hotel also serves high gastronomy in its iconic brasserie: Fouquet’s. Even better? Its spa, allover grandiose. With its 1000m2, it is the largest in the entire ski station! Inside, a majestic pool and exterior jacuzzi put the senses in focus. A truly unique emotional experience.

Place of dreams and utopia at Courchevel, the Cheval Blanc palace impeccably combines 5 stars with authenticity. It must be said that at the beginning, Bernard Arnault wanted it as his private chalet. Failing to receive authorisation, he made the Cheval Blanc a jewel of the region. The secret? All the chic of the LVMH group. 

Noble woods and patinated leathers blend with high-tech cutting edge gear. Then comes Bernard Arnault’s passion for contemporary art. Paola Pivi, Jeff Koons, Xavier Veilhan … the works are spread out everywhere. Like this Trojan Horse by Bruno Peinado – majestic. The spa is a Guerlain affair. High rendezvous of the luxury house, the treatments here are specifically tailored to winter sports. 

The White 1921, latest LVMH  group creation on the Courchevel domain is also entirely dedicated to well being. If the hotel does not have a restaurant it is because it prefers to concentrate on treatments for after a long day hitting the slopes. To relax in the sauna or hammam.. for the more sporty ones there is a super modern fitness room to accompany daily trainings. Finally, for those avid of a more intellectual relaxation, the hotel proposes a library that will know how to enchant all vagabondage of spirit. 

In Courchevel The Palaces Follow Another But No Two Are Alike 

At least not for extreme luxury. The Airelles de Courchevel was given the title of “best mountain hotel in the world”. Why? This fairytale-like chateau niched in the snowy valleys of Savoie offers a true avalanche of well being that forged the reputation of this palace. 

Built in 1850 in a most enchanting Italo-Tyrollean-Hungarian style, Les Airelles is decorated in woodwork, antiques and ancient carpets. The 37 rooms and 14 suites that make up the hotel are  roofed by antique wood, and handmade ceramic. Culinary side – the starred chef Pierre Gagnaire excels; many tables at a time. 

For lunch the generous buffet of the Table du Jardin Alpin. For dinner it is the Cala di Volpe for Les Airelles that proposes an Italian and Sardinian cuisine. Pierre Gagnaire for Les Airelles , with his 2 Michein stars, works this place of high gastronomy with specialities also based on the best cheeses, of course!

The Cellcosmet spa for Les Airelles offers a moment of pure relaxation: massages, cellular treatments, pool and personal training, fitness area, themed saunas, hammam, interior and exterior whirlpools, sensory shower and without forgetting the exceptional and unique snow cave. All this in the heart of the most en vogue of french ski resorts. 

Another place to stay at Courchevel – the K2 with its allures of a Himalayan chalet. The lines of the K2 could only have been inspired by this mountainous and particularly beautiful region of Tibet and Nepal where temples are as suspended between sky and earth. It is marvellous: sourcing its sense and origin in the challenge and accomplishment of a dream, the K2 takes on airs of a haven of luxury situated in the centre of the cosy valleys of Savoie. 

5 private chalets imagined by Philippe Capezzone take root in the heart of the mountain while 29 rooms and suites of the hotel illustrate it’s exceptional character. Whereas  the Goji Spa that stretches for 550 m2 spread on two floors thrives on the ancestral savoir-faire put into modern light by a team of devoted experts. 

Another restaurant in Courchevel? The K2 hosts Kintessence gastronomic restaurant that won a second star in the 2014 Michelin guide. A most worthy prize for the cuisine of Chef Nicolas Sale, inspired, pure, and never ceasing to impress by putting local produce in the spotlight. Rigorous and sincere, the cuisine of Kintessence opens its doors when night appears in the midst of the magic of a place out of the ordinary. 

But in Courchevel there are many grand restaurants! The Comptoir de l’Apogée for example. Known for the brasserie under Jean-Luc Lefrançois —at centre stage? A creamy Jerusalem artichoke, fine truffled poultry dumpling, pine-honey caramelised veal shank, parsnip mousseline…

Courchevel’s Chabichou, Formidable Family Saga

It is the dear favourite of Courchevel. This hotel that has now received four stars, is located where a white on white landscape dominates over the slopes and is the work of at that time young couple, Michel and Maryse Rochedy. In 1963 they acquired a small 9 room chalet. A little hotel where Michel is in charge of the restaurant, Maryse of the rooms – their goal: to create happiness at the foot of the ski slopes. 

Their beginnings were delicate and when the full nine rooms are rented out by chance, the Rochedy made themselves a bed out of the dining room… However their devotion was such that as of the 1970s, the Chabichou gained its first stripes in hospitality when it received 2 stars. Little by little the couple and their team were looking to create an ambiance, an atmosphere enveloping softness and discretion as if to liberate the imagination of the guests. 

In 1984 it is the hotel’s restaurant table that becomes noticed with Michel Rochedy receiving a 2nd star in the Michelin Guide after having already received a Bottin Gourmand and Gault Millau. . A doubly starred restaurant  that would contribute to the renown of the hotel whose reputation had become indisputable thanks to its cuisine. 

In 2003, for its 40 years the Chabichou decided to refresh its look and take on a white coat. It  will now be the white pearl of Courchevel. Two elegant white-wood chalets, 41 rooms and 8 suites make up the love nests with absolute comfort and refinement. 

All the more, its magnificent Cha’Banya opened end of 2011 is a delicious 1100m2 underneath the slopes. 

Courchevel – 14 Stars for 2400 People – and Chanel!

For this winter season, Chanel has indeed decided to install itself once again at the iconic ski station of Courchevel. The letters of Chanel now illuminate the place du Rocher in red neons. 

A graphic contrast that reminds us of the strength of Coco Chanel’s fashion. A style that is found in the white facade with embedded  black-edged vitrines. Inside, the activewear with its references to Coco Chanel fashion abound, black, white, beige and khaki interwoven with tweed. The wrought-iron staircase reminds us of the one at 31 rue Cambon. 

A 160m2 boutique that welcomes the Cruise 2019/20 collection and the Coco Neige line imagined  by Virginie Viard. Bags and accessories as well as timepieces and jewellery. Something to remind us of the simplicity of the Chanel style – everything mixes with a complete liberty of tone. A place that comes to complete de charm of a ski vacation. But in an extra-luxurious version. 

Patrick Roger, Chocolatier and Audacious Artist

Few artists use chocolate as their material of choice, Patrick Roger has made chocolate his base of experimentation culinarily as well as visually. 

More than a Christmas Chocolate, That of Patrick Roger’s 

Patrick Roger entered the international scene in 1994 when he received the world cup of chocolate. Six years later, he received the prize of Meilleur Ouvrier de France – chocolatier and sculptor, Patrick Roger made chocolate much more than simply a  gourmet element. Chocolate to him was a “passport for the world. It was a sudden revelation. Everything became possible whereas at the beginning I never expected my life to go this way. I went to sixty countries, I am travelling often; now I am leaving for Madagascar to see a plantation with which we are working. The materials also come to us, it is a very rich exchange”. 

Patrick Roger Sculpts Christmas Delicacies 

Free and audacious, his creations surprise as much as they delight. Wild combinations like yuzu and verbena, lemongrass ganache sublimed with peppermint or lime-caramel. Nothing is impossible for Patrick Roger. His sculptures prove it – gourmet and wildly poetic, his creations have recently made the headlines for the 30 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall. His giant work, made of chocolate, reproduced the wall with breathtaking preciseness. Once broken, the chocolate chips were enjoyed with strong pleasure. 

For this end of the tear, he has put his talent to the iconic sweets of Christmas. A collection putting to the forefront almond studded pinecones coated in honey, Christmas trees made of chocolates and dark chocolate-lime shells. 

The Iconic Bûches Cakes of Christmas 2019

Like every year, French Chefs Patissiers are brimming with imagination to create the wildest of bûches – let’s focus on the most iconic ones!

For a long time already, the tradition of the bûche de Noël is no longer only about letting a piece of wood burn – on the contrary! It is a true exercise in pastry creativity, the tradition has now become a much awaited annual rendezvous for French gourmets. Even of the entire world – a true gourmet tradition, French pastry chefs have become masters in the exercise. 

It is in this way that Chef Pâtissier Dominique Costa revisited for the Peninsula Paris the shape of vines. In a very sweet and highly inspired version. His bûche is composed around an almond praline bonbon associated to a vanilla dark chocolate craquant. All enveloped in a final glaçage where the croquant gives room to an aerated biscuit flavoured with gingerbread. The final touch? Pieces of wine poached pears exalted by a light vanilla mousse. 

Other iconic place of Paris, other style. For La Réserve Paris, Chef Pâtissier Adrien Salavert chose to celebrate their impressive collection of ancient books. The bûche becomes trompe-l’oeil and plays with the book covers in a light chocolate that ravishes the palate – perfumed with tea and citrus. For the Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, Florent Magaillan, French champion of desserts in 2010, wanted to honor the harmony of simple and gourmand flavors. 

Nicolas Paciello, new Chef Pâtissier of Fouquet’s, decided to do the same. With the help of historian Marion Godfroy-Tayart de Borms, they composed a bûche around a Malmaison biscuit of roasted almond, brown butter and citrus zest. A composition that celebrates the 120 years of Fouquet’s. Finished with a crème madame and bergamot insert – an unexpected combination! Other unique creation, that of Pierre Hermè’s for the Royal Monceau: a bûche like a ferris wheel, brimming with sophistication and extremely delicious. It can already be devoured by the eyes. 

Just like the exotic creation by Jimmy Mornet for the Parc Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. Inspired by the sudashi, small wild, green Japanese citrus, the Chef pâtissier developed an entire flavour enhanced by the audacity of the confit pear and lemon duo, tender biscuit, yellow lemon, pear syrup and a croustillant of almond and chocolate dulce. 

The Café Pouchkine is also present with Patrick Pailler’s bûche the “Tropiki Pouchkine”. A treat encapsulated in a white chocolate construction in orange hues. Inside? A bûche made of almond biscuit, mango confit with fresh mango pieces…imbibed in a passion fruit white rum and Madagascan vanilla mousse with a mango jelly. 

Finally, the 2019 versions of the tradition can be discovered at two iconic Paris palaces. For the Hotel Crillon, the Chef Matthieu Carlin imagined a bûche like a Christmas carriage – “Le Carrosse de Noel” of which the entirety can be savoured. A Proustian return to childhood, notable speckled with a 66% dark chocolate mousse and a red grapefruit jelly. However it is the den of Marcel Proust that reveals the most demanded bûche of the year. 

It must be mentioned that Chef François Perret for the Ritz, was consecrated the best pastry chef in the world in 2019. A creation built around a tender roasted hazelnut biscuit – covered in a creamy Gianduja and a Carúpano 70% dark chocolate. An infinitely desirable spiral, to be placed on all Christmas tables. 

The Ritz, Prestige for 120 years


In June 2016, after 4 years of renovation, the magnificent Hôtel Ritz at Vendôme Square in Paris reopens its doors – the interior remains full of splendour, charm and the illustrious history of the Ritz! Opened on the first of June 1898, the Ritz came together through the audaciousness and influence of the Swiss gentleman César Ritz… the man who introduced, almost invented, the new art of chic hospitality and fine cuisine. Indeed, the Ritz oozes French refinement while also securing long-lasting foundations and milestones. Invaluable furniture, decorations, lighting through fabulous diamond chandeliers – from its opening, the Ritz has counted highly distinguished guests among its clientele… the Rothschild, the countess of Pourtales, Galouste Gulbenkian, the arch-duke Michel in exile from Russia, Anna Goud, Boni of Castellane. 

In 120 years, the Ritz attracted many high profile clients; overcome by its service, restaurant and its impressively beautiful suites. And when we examine the history of Paris, it is often the Ritz which is observed at the centre of the city! Soothed by the magic of its muffled décor, Cole Porter could spend hour after hour seated at the piano – it is said that he composed Begin the Beguine at this exact spot. King Alphonse XIII of Spain sampled Dom Pérignon alongside cognac and strawberries in the fine surroundings of the Ritz. Coco Chanel spent the last 40 years of her life there.

“When I dream of an afternoon in paradise, it always takes place in the Ritz Hotel in Paris” wrote Ernest Hemmingway many years ago. He celebrated the liberation of 1944 in the bar which is now named after him. And the walls of the Ritz now have so many more stories to tell. “The Ritz kept its style, simultaneously luxurious and intimate. It is a palace and a fantasy, a hotel which is known across the world and undoubtedly a trendsetter” remarks Stéphane Aubert, the manager associated with Artcurial for sales “There was… the Ritz Paris” which was held last April. We roamed around the grounds as is done in a palace in French taste – we travelled across time, transported by the magnificence of a place of dreams, always there to protect the treasure of the past century! 


The “Magic Top” Yule Log at the Shangri-La Hotel


The holidays are fast approaching, and with them come Christmastime treats aplenty. The Shangri-La Hotel has announced its newest production with head pastry chef Michaël Bartocetti – the idea: bring out an exquisite iced dessert. This is a yule log, but a yule log that takes on the shape and motions of a top. As fun as it is tasty, this object inspires and regales the senses. Once in movement, the yule log is sure to cause a stir – this Magic Top is a nod to traditional Christmas ornaments and is sure to dress the most beautiful holiday tables with elegance.

The Magic Top reveals a number of superimposed layers. Head pastry chef Michaël Bartocetti imagined it as a game of flavors and textures that mixes the softness of a Papau/New Guinea Madong chocolate mousse, the crunchiness of a hazelnut praline, and a creamy gianduja with a gingerbread cookie. The treat is perched on a hazelnut crunch with sea salt covered by a delicate layer of Caribbean 66% chocolate. By digging into his childhood memories, the Shangri-La’s head pastry chef brings the world one of the most coveted desserts of the holidays.

This time, once the upper part of the yule log has been devoured, eaters will be getting a special surprise. Its base, imagined as a delicious refined mix of dried fruits and nuts, is able to be shared. This work of tasting art will be available at the restaurant La Bauhinia from December 5 to the 25, 2017. A lucky few will be able to taste it with sheer delight.

Flocons de Sel Hotel, Mégève


Megève looks out over a breathtaking landscape. This village is tucked in the Savoie, in the Mont Blanc range at the heart of the Alps. Here, there is a building that has preserved all the charm that made this village renowned for being one of the most beautiful ski stations in the world. The setting is indeed ideal for Flocons de Sel hotel. Luxury and comfort are the key words here, in this building that’s ideal for lovers of winter sports – right next to some of the Alps’ most beautiful skiable domains, you can’t get any better than this when it comes to hitting the slopes.

But what can be found inside Flocons de Sel is luxury and authenticity, alongside the toned-down comfort of nine rooms, suites, and private chalets. The hotel’s spa is delightful in and of itself: a cocoon of well-being with an indoor pool, sauna, and outdoor Nordic bath, it offers a sweeping view of the mountains. In the heights of Megève, you’re sure to be swept off your feet. Nothing can compare to the restaurant though, the only one in the region to have received three Michelin stars.

Flocons de Sel’s restaurant is a pure homage to the mountains. It’s also an unforgettable culinary journey, composed around very personal dishes and regional products that are cooked with creativity like none other. The chef is Emmanuel Renaut, owner of the sublime hotel along with his wife Kristine, turning it into a nook as simple as it is distinguished. On Sunday, March 5th, Emmanuel Renaut brought together fellow chefs Yannick Alléno and René Meilleur, all of them old friends, to share their talent and creativity during an impromptu evening. A menu entitled “À la découverte des Flocons de Sel” came out of this collaboration; it’s a nine-star collaboration at that, since each of these chefs, guided by their art of offering an interpretation of mountainous cuisine, is triple starred. This simple pleasure could only be anchored in the timelessness of Savoyard conviviality.

Anne-Sophie Pic’s Blue Lobster


In 1973, Anne-Sophie Pic was worried, demanding, and constantly seeking the best when the death of her father, chef Jacques Pic, left her running the kitchens. This fragility of a self-taught artist has allowed her to endlessly reevaluate herself. The meeting of her husband also proved to be a fortuitous one: at his side, Anne-Sophie Pic imagined her eponymous restaurant as a timeless, intimate, and cozy bubble that would open up to the gardens. “A gourmet restaurant has to tell a true story, the story of a place, of a dish, of a chef,” once said Anne-Sophie Pic. That’s why the space is organized around a crystal chandelier that separates the room into three separate spaces, each illuminated in turn by huge windows. But Pic’s touch resides in her choice of quality products: from Emerald coast shells to Velay sweetbread, her culinary ecstasy comes together around blue lobster, berries, and celery. “I created the berry lobster 10 years ago and it quickly became our signature dish. Back then, I imagined uniting the tartness of woodland strawberry, raspberry, and blackcurrant with the spiciness of pepper and the vivacity of celery.”

Three stars in the Michelin Guide later, Anne-Sophie Pic is now offering a reinterpretation of this borderline iconic lobster. A tasteful translation of her culinary evolution, it’s the result of a minute work with sauces. The chef is seeking ever more harmony, down to the very last note of the sauces. Stripped of butter and oil to concoct something closer to nature, Anne-Sophie Pic takes interest in the vivacity and quintessence of each taste. For this lobster, she imagined a berry dashi. Dashi is a broth of kombu algae and dried shavings of bonito, the base of Japanese cuisine. On the plate, the lobster rests on a bed of fresh red fruits, beets accompanied by chutney, and berry dashi. The taste experience mixes the smoky taste of the dashi and the tart flavor of the fruits, taken to the next level by the sourness of the barberry… It’s an explosion of flavor that plays with bitterness, tartness, and smokiness. This is a precious platter, but Anne-Sophie Pic also joins the cohort of great chefs that have embarked on off-label cuisine, like Paul Bocuse or Sébastien Bras. With her Daily Pic, the chef brings the idea of a “gourmet cafeteria” to Valence, France with a prime location at 3 Place Championnet.

The Louis Vuitton Store, a Symbolic Display


“Stores will become museums” – this premonition comes from the Nostradamus of art and pop culture, Andy Warhol. When you see the marvel that is the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Elysées, it’s obvious that he wasn’t too far off. London, New York, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and a number of others… while the trunkmaker is eminently present on the four corners of the planet with 346 stores, it’s in Paris, the label’s home turf, that the whole world can truly behold their multiple talents. Louis Vuitton is a special brand, over a hundred years old and always where you least expect them. With a limitless and trans-disciplinary creativity, Louis Vuitton set up shop at 101 Avenue des Champs-Elysées – with a massive renovation in 2005. The result is just as impressive: a cathedral of Vuitton, spread out over 1,800 m2. Eric Carlson and Peter Morino built a 4-level space on a single floor, made of soft ramps and a sharp game of mirrors that literally turns clients’ heads. Every weekend, a long queue of curious clientele from around the world forms in front of the store’s front doors – in a twist of historical irony, it ends up in front of the store’s 1914 location at 70 Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

But the 101 flagship is by no means stuck in the past. Offering everything from leathergoods to jewelry, ready-to-wear, Vuitton stationery, and a book store, the space is conceived with avant-garde architecture that offers an almost unlimited line of products. Louis Vuitton’s ties with the art world have never seemed as strong as they are today. Art is completely anchored in the architecture of this shop of wonders: Olafur Eliasson and his ‘Loss of Senses’ elevator, James Turell and his modular and bright sculptures, Tim White-Sobieski and his spectacular 20-meter “mobile stairway” with vast fiber optic panels… Everything seems to be in perfect harmony with the Vuitton universe within which the Monogram, sometimes a logo and sometimes a canvas, occupies the place of honor. The trunk becomes an architectural fabric here changing along with the desires of the day.

At 101 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, you can sit at the Bag Bar, or see an exhibit in the cultural expression space. “This house on the Champs-Elysées is a pole of attraction,” observed ex-president Yves Carcelle. “Louis Vuitton has always been located at the height of creation. This house is still at the head of fashion more than a century later thanks to a valuation of our heritage while we continue to anticipate coming trends,” highlights Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s current president/director general. It’s true that there is no store quite like this one: a flagship that’s overflowing with creativity, offering much more than just a place to get your hands on Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest pieces, it delivers an experience that’s completely out of the ordinary.