VIP Shopping at Galeries Lafayette

Entering regal department store Galeries Lafayette at 40 Boulevard Haussmann feels much like entering a museum (more on its fascinating history, here). The difference being what’s on display are shoes, bags and a carefully curated selection of designer clothing. Much like a museum the experience can be intimidating. To avoid losing yourself in the racks of ready-to-wear, Galeries Lafayette now offers a VIP shopping experience. Curious to learn more, I decided to head over to my favorite store.

Walking through the majestic space, the first thing that caught my eye was the current art exhibition ‘Le Jour Qui Vient’. Various phrases in both English and French are strewn along the store, ready to catch consumers attention. What’s better than shopping in the midst of art? I also stopped by the Galerie des Galeries for a look at the ‘Africa Now’ expo, ending July 29th. But back to VIP shopping…

I took the escalator to the 5th floor concierge desk, presented my voucher and was led to a private lounge. Here began my VIP shopping experience. I settled in to enjoy the stellar treatment, champagne, and of course the shopping. I had a few key summer essentials in mind.

So what does recently launched Galeries Lafayette’s Parisian VIP shopping experience include exactly? Services that are perfect for a traveler or local with little time on their hands.

  • A dedicated concierge service
  • Fast-track payment and tax refund service
  • Delivery of your in-store purchases to your hotel or residence in Paris
  • Access to Personal Shopper service
  • Complimentary drinks and snacks (Champagne, anyone?)
  • International press
  • Private Wifi
  • Treats from one of their restaurants including Angelina and Vue sur Coupole
  • A Galeries Lafayette tote bag

If you’re still not sure about VIP shopping, I invite you to try it for yourself, and spend a day shopping like a vrai Parisian. You’ll be hooked! I’m offering two VIP passes (valued at 49€ each) for you and a friend. Just follow Galeries Lafayette on Instagram and leave a comment below. Winner announced June 23rd. Bonne chance!

shopping spree

With the holidays upon us, and much shopping to do, the world is scrambling to find just the right gift. Not an easy task! These days the ease of shopping online is alleviating much of the stress of driving in heavy traffic only to wait in long lines. During this chaotic hunt for ‘just the right gift’, we are left wondering whether the recipient will even be grateful for the purchase. I remember many a Christmas receiving gifts that was given simply for the sake of gifting, the unused item often ending up in a box hidden in the basement.

Xmas Paris

Who exactly will be shopping online this year? According to a recent survey the majority of online consumers being 88% in the UK, 86% in the US, 84% in Germany, and 83% in Russia. Why has online shopping become such a trend? For the simple ease and ability to shop anytime & anywhere. Who knew how many people liked to shop in their pajamas!

What makes online shopping so easy, and what I have been using for my business for years, is PayPal. This service allows people to safely send payments without sharing financial information. Already there exist over 132 million active accounts in 190 markets and 26 international currencies.

To assist in your holiday shopping, PayPal has chosen select vendors to help you choose just the right gift, to give or to receive, and all at a discount. No more reindeer sweaters and argyle socks! Watch this video (in French) showing some of the worst gifts people have received… shampoo?!

Here’s the link to your very own shopping spree, from the comfort of your home. Thank you PayPal!


look. read. shop.

One of my favorite shops, which also happens to be in the Northern Marais where I call home, is Ofr., a boutique, bookstore and gallery. Genius! While you are perusing the impressive collection of art and design books, you can stumble into the back gallery and live an art experience. If you are new to Paris, owner Alexandre Thumerelle will guide you, literally, with his very own Guide Paris.

Here too, amidst the fine art photography filled walls,  you can find my hand-printed rive gauche and rive droite bags. A perfect setting for wearable art! And perfect bags to fill with books!

During my last visit I entered the creative vision of artist Jeremy Everett. What exactly did I find?

The American Heritage Dictionary. Unlike I have ever seen it.

Stay tuned for the 15 year Ofr. party on May 20th! And check here for more art events.

the art of the sale

The sales are on in Paris! (Unless you’ve been home in bed with the flu anyone living in Paris is very much aware of this). With the sales comes temptation. Especially considering I live within meters of some of the most fashionable boutiques in Paris. I am basically cornered on all sides. Even below me is a shop which I occasionally mistake for my closet (wishful thinking?). Is it really possible to walk by these windows screaming ‘SOLDES’ and not enter? Not really. And so yesterday I tried my hand at shopping at the height of the sales, which I normally never do, alongside women who are not simply determined but on a mission to buy that one item they simply must possess. The result? I spent about 2 minutes in each shop, namely IroVanessa Bruno, & sita murt/, feeling sudden hot flashes and running out, completely overwhelmed with the limitless selection and almost affordable prices. (I come from NYC, the land of the eternal sale, after all). I tend to favor the sales in weeks 3 and 4 (the sales last FIVE weeks), believing that with fewer options and lower prices (they continue to plummet weekly), I will find that one special item that was hidden in the back, and leave feeling lucky.

That being said, today I went to one of my favorite shops bimba & lola and accidentally bought the last pair or shoes that 3 other women (also with a 39.5 size foot) looked ready to pummel me for. Perhaps better not to wait until week 3, and instead follow temptation and not ignore the big red signs. Or, time to go into hiding. I will make another appearance in the shopping circuit sometime in early February.

If you choose to brave the sales, here are a few January Must Haves from Girls Guide to Paris. And a top 10 list of never-ending Parisian trends from HiP Paris.

And if you choose to hide, or don’t live in Paris, perhaps online shopping will satisfy your craving. One place to begin is the stylish site Je Ne Sais Quoi. (Even the French internet is on sale!)