Une histoire des grands magasins

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Inspired by the opera and driven by the Paris of the Belle Epoque eager for novelty and a new relationship with things – department stores literally revolutionized the commerce and culture around fashion. This book details this fascinating history that concerns us all.

Author : Whitaker. J

Publisher : Citadelles & Mazenod

Date of Release : Septembre 2011

The department stores’ is one of the major consequences of the industrial revolution in France. It developed rapidly, first in Paris, thanks to the new opportunities offered by mass production, the rise of the middle classes, growing prosperity, the expectations of a public tired of narrowly specialised shops and finally thanks to the accessibility of the city centre offered by Baron Haussmann’s grand boulevards. Thus, these new palaces of commerce were soon built. La Samaritaine, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps ruled the boulevards and made their owners colossally rich. Shopping became an enjoyable occupation rather than a laborious journey. The greatest artists signed posters and advertisements and spectacular window displays attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators during the holiday season. The department stores’ concept quickly spread throughout Europe and Asia, and then to America. These temples of consumption became places where one could fulfil one’s dreams and spend entire days just watching, following fashion shows, having lunch.

Never before has a book been published that is as superbly illustrated as this History of Department Stores, enriched with hundreds of photographs and documents found around the world. Jan Whitaker has brought to life the emotions, pleasures and surprises that these shopping temples have been offering their millions of visitors for over a century.