In 1865, while Paris was undergoing the reconfiguration masterminded by Baron Haussmann, which resulted in the city’s modern layout, the Grands Magasins du Printemps opened its doors. The revolutionary department store concept was an immediate success. This year, in honour of its 150th anniversary, Printemps invites you to revisit its history and join in with the celebrations while the Paris summer sales are in full swing from June 24th to August 4th.
If the development of the ‘department store’ was an innovation at the time, the Printemps concept of the best way to sell was also new, featuring an attractive and inviting presentation of the goods offered for sale. Additionally, the new idea of cut price sales periods was one of the factors which enabled the store to make a profit even in times of crisis. At the beginning of the 20th century Printemps became, with its magnificent Art Nouveau dome and its lovely terrace commanding a panoramic view of the capital, the quintessential luxury Paris department store. Stylists and designers flocked to unveil their new collections there and some - including Pierre Cardin - organised catwalk parades on the premises. Today, Printemps is considered to be the store for the elegant and modern woman. Branches have opened in the suburbs, the provinces and abroad, and Printemps Haussmann has continued to expand, with its ‘Boutique Blanche’, fashion for men and perfumery.
To celebrate 150 years of Printemps, the iconic Parisian store has a new mascot. Designed by the Japanese artist Hiroshi Yoshii, this adorable hot pink and curvaceous creature topped with a large flower is called, naturally enough, Rose, and she embodies the colour of the moment. A ten minute walk from the Hotel Opera Lafayette will take you to the store to admire the facade adorned with thousands of flowers, some of which light up! And since a birthday is even better when it’s sweet, the famed Maison du Chocolat has set up an outlet in the store for this special occasion and offers the divine cocoa bean in all its finest forms, for a scent and taste delight like no other. Additionally, there’s another 8 gourmet kiosks set up on the Boulevard Haussmann for those who are feeling peckish. Plenty of entertainment is planned at Printemps Haussmann and the other shops belonging to this world-famous brand. Various designers have also got into the spirit of the occasion, so that you will find such irresistible items blooming here as a rose bath sheet, a fabulous evening dress in the same colours and some dizzying heels! In Paris, when the summer sales coincide with a big anniversary, the sky’s the limit!
Le Printemps - see more
PARIS HAUSSMANN - 64, bd Haussmann - Paris 9th district - tel : 0033 1 42 82 50 00
PARIS ITALIE 2 - Shopping mall, 30 avenue d'Italie, Paris 13th district - tel : 0033 1 40 78 17 17
PARIS LOUVRE - 99 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1st district - tel : 0033 1 76 77 41 00
PARIS NATION - 21-25 Cours de Vincennes, Paris 20th district - tel : 0033 1 43 71 12 41
Picture copyright holder: Maureen, on flickr
Hotel Opéra Lafayette, a 3* hotel in Paris between Gare du Nord and Opera area