While the Champs-Élysées might be home to the big chains, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the surrounding neighbourhood features just about every big-name fashion house, and in many cases, is the location for the company’s flagship store. You can be sure that any well-dressed Parisian has got a few boutiques on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré somewhere in their little black book.
Extending west from the rue Saint Honoré, which eventually runs all the way to the very centre of Paris at Châtelet, the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré runs parallel to the Champs-Élysées in the chic eighth arrondissement. It might lack some of the grandeur of Paris’ wide, imposing boulevards, but the intimacy of a smaller, quieter setting, more than makes up for it.
Shops worth a visit include the flagship Lanvin store (at 22, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré since 1889) and Hermès (just next at number 24 since 1880). Other big names located on the same street or nearby include Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Colette. Most of the shops specialise in haute-couture fashion (with price tags to match) but you can also pick up designer homeware, accessories and perfume.
If your budget can only stretch to window-shopping, then there are some slihtly more affordable shopping destinations within a few minutes’ walk, either on the Champs-Élysées to the south or the further north in Paris’ famous department stores, the grands magasins.
Finally, if you thought the occasionally heavy police presence was there to keep an eye on the priceless jewelry and haute couture for sale, then think again. Their job is to guard the Élysée palace, home to the French President, which is at number 55. The upper stretches are also home to the US, UK and Japanese embassies, so none of their ambassadors should have any trouble finding anything to wear for their next diplomatic reception.