“It is heartwarming to see brands not only investing in physical retail, but lovingly restoring historical landmarks in this way.” said Retail Consultant Ian Scott about La Samaritaine. “The attention to detail will leave a mark on shoppers, as much as the products and services they choose inside.”
From Art Nouveau to a new vision of luxury, the newly reopened complex Samaritaine is the new LVMH vision of sustainable luxury.
Refreshing retail hope
Made possible by LVMH through their environmental program LIFE 360, this project brings over 3000 jobs, with 1700 employees bringing the department store to life everyday by ensuring a very memorable and catered experience to each guest. The complex is not just your everyday department store, it also contains a nursery and 96 housing units (operated by Paris Habitat), concept stores, an entire culinary experience through a gallery of restaurants under the building’s iconic Art Nouveau glass roof, and so much more.
The historically accurate restoration and renovation of the iconic property also brings a refreshing retail hope. With in-person shopping opening up and tourism flourishing yet again, this creates an opportunity to share with the world a very iconic piece of French architecture. On top of that, it provides a new, higher level of shopping experience, something that is very much needed after such a long retail drought.
More than ever, this event marks the dynamism of Parisian department stores, which, despite the crisis, have demonstrated an exceptional capacity for resilience and innovation.
This is even more visible when looking at the elegant duality of the indoor shopping spaces. On the Pont-Neuf side, you will find refined, chic, and emerging high-end fashion, while on the Rivoli side caters to Millennials and streetwear, featuring an urban and industrial design.
Let's take a tour
The ground floor of Pont-Neuf is a blend of accessories and luxury leather goods brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Celine with their individual boutiques, and multi-brand open spaces that feature iconic French design houses like Jérôme Dreyfuss, Isabel Marant, etc.
Moving up, the second floor is dedicated to women's luxury fashion, featuring all the staple luxury houses including Dior, Fendi, Gucci, and Prada. It also features an incubator space that focuses on young talents such as Awake, Petar Petrov, Gauchere and Khaite.
The third floor is filled with boutiques featuring watches and jewelry from Tiffany and Chanel to Blancpain and Chaumet. The entire store is also riddled with high end jewelry and watches from Swarovski, APM Monaco, Michael Kors, Swatch,Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier and Bulgari.
The menswear section can be found on the fourth floor and it's a sight to behold. A mixture of classic brands like Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and luxury streetwear from Balmain, Stone Island and Off-White. You can also find a selection of multi-brands filled with Maison Margiela, Acne, Thom Browe, as well as a footwear section featuring Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent.
For women's footwear, the unforgettable names of Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, can all be found on the top floor.
If you're a Millennial or simply enjoy a more alternative fashion style, you should head over to the Rivoli side of the store where you can browse through an entire concept space that brings together fashion, accessories, beauty, watchmaking, art and tech. You will find an array of brands ranging from JW Anderson, Comme Des Garcons, Marni, Casablanca, APC to Maison Kitsuné, Canada Goose, The North Face and Patagonia. La Samaritaine also hosts Europe's largest beauty hall, covering the entire basement which features over 200 brands. This section has also been arranged into the luxury side on the Pont-Neuf and the urban side on Rivoli.
Victoria Dartigues, senior merchandising manager for Fashion and Accessories, said to Vogue that her mission was to create an element of surprise. “We wanted to be international, but also to provoke ‘accidents,’ so that shoppers would always be discovering something new, for example emerging accessories brands tucked alongside more familiar names,” she said. “There’s an eclecticism, a mix and match that’s very modern, and there’s a strong point of view in terms of design with a few new names every season so that fashion lovers can really cultivate their own look.”
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Frederique de Granvilliers