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Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche: all about shoes

Paris is always a good idea for many reasons, shopping is certainly one of them. In this respect, the department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are the places to go and see. They are famous worldwide and show up on every travel guides in the section: shopping. They are located  Boulevard Haussmann, “Rive Droite “, as we Parisians  call it.

However, There is a place, a little gem which  (absolutely!!) deserves  a little detour, whether you are a fashion insider, a fashionista or have merely an interest in fashion, tourist or regular…

Ladies (and gentlemen…), welcome to Le Bon Marché Rive gauche. The temple of luxury.

The sign above the department store

The sign above the department store

“Bon marché” is an expression literally meaning  good deal, inexpensive..(well,  you may find out that the prices  are anything but inexpensive…but that is another story…).

A little bit of history though, Le Bon Marché was created in 1852 by Aristide Boucicaut on  the Rive Gauche of the Seine. Visionary man, he created the first department store in the world,  offering a unique experience of shopping  to Parisian ladies. No need to make an appointment at the seamstress which was the usual way back then, women could go there freely to touch fabrics, try on gloves, hats, ready to wear dresses and smell perfumes in the same place and buy  those treasures at fixed prices …Definitely a revolutionary  and modern approach to business, too, with the set up of mail orders, home delivery, sales which turned into an immediate success. Also a philanthropist, he created a pension system and medical care for the women working in his department store. If you are a lover of French literature, you may have heard (read?….;-))  of  “Au bonheur des dames” written  by  the XIXth century  writer Emile Zola, a novel taking place at Le Bon Marché  whose BBC series  “The Paradise” is based upon..

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Today, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche continues this tradition of  luxury and modernity inaugurating the fashion week AW15 with the opening of a whole  footwear arena called “Souliers” with a capital S. With rehabilitated  glass domes and renovated Corinthian columns, the decor speaks grandeur. The offering is eclectic and backed by color inspiration and know-how, from Dior to Jimmy Choo and Valentino, from hand -painted sneakers by Mira Mikati to Sophia Webster’s bird sandals. Beneath the nave of light on the 2nd floor, avant-garde meets tradition plus a number of exclusive labels (Minna Parikka and her bunny-ear sneakers, the winged medusas from Ancient Greek Sandals) and exceptional collaborations. Slippers and sandals continue to scale new heights while high heels are always on top…So, ready for a little visit? Follow this way, please…

Hope you enjoy this little teaser.

Love from Mireille aka Fashionaltitude