Monday, December 04, 2006

2007 Winter SALES

This just in -- the 2007 Winter Sales have been scheduled for January 10th to February 7th. So plan a day off work (or book your plane tickets now!), as there are many bargains to be had. And read on for our tips for doing the soldes.....

The scoop:

When I meet visitors to Paris, they are often searching the city looking for a bargain, disappointed to not see any sale signs in their favorite boutiques. Let me tell you why--in France, by law, sales (“soldes”) are held only twice a year, with one sale period starting in January and the other in July. The government decides when the sales will be held and announces the official dates just days before the sales start. The stores then flutter around getting ready and shopaholics (myself included!) wait with bated breath for the opening day of the sales. Sale prices start at about 25-30% off for the first few days, and grow bigger as the sales go on. By the end of the sales [6 weeks maximum], the reductions can be up to 75% off.

The strategy:

Strategy for the soldes depends on what you are looking for. My advice is that if it is a one of a kind item and you know it is going on sale, snatch it up on the first day, even if it is only 20% off. However, if there are millions of the cashmere sweater you’ve been dreaming of, wait a week and go back to purchase it at a more reduced rate. Essentially, it’s all about the gamble-- and what you are willing to risk.

As for returns, I encourage you to ask before you buy. Although by law shops are supposed to allow you to make an exchange, this policy is not always in practice. If you are not sure about an item, see if the shop will hold it for you for a short period of time while you make your decision.

The snag:

French sales are not limited to just a few items or a few brands; instead the entire outgoing collection is usually on sale. This means that this season’s hottest blouse, pant, shoe, and bag will probably all be on sale, if you still want them at the end of the season. Everything from electronics to shoes to linens and more goes on sale at the same time, so it is easy to get overwhelmed! I try to make a list before hitting the shops to keep from getting sidetracked by flashing signs beckoning me over to a bargain that I don’t need.

The soldes are a great time to pick up classic Parisian pieces that never go out of style, like Longchamp “Le Pliage” bags, a great fitting trench coat, or some Repetto ballerina flats. Longing for a Hermes scarf? Keep your eye out for their sale announcement in Le Figaro or call the store to ask—the sale lasts only a few days and takes place at a special location.

The summary:

The frenzy of French soldes can have you running around town and your credit card might never cool down, but it is a memorable experience. If you happen to miss the sales, don’t worry. Most shops have in-store promotions year round that are almost sales, but not quite. As they cannot technically be called soldes outside of the official periods, these mini sales are often called “promotions” or “fin de series” (“end of series”). Just keep your eye open for bargains, and I know you’ll find plenty of things to make you smile.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

shopping the sales like a pro

6 Tips for Doing the Sales from a Chic Shopper:


1. Hold a stake out: Visit the store before the sale starts, see how many of your beloved item is still in stock, and try to get some information from the vendeuse about its sale price.

2. Avoid the first day: The stores are packed with people and while marathon shopping can be a great sport, shopping the sales on the first day is bound to leave you frustrated.

3. Shop with a friend: She’ll talk you out of that pair of neon green cowboy boots, even if they are 75% off. And you can divide and conquer more territory.

4. Get out of bed: Go first thing in the morning (except on the first day!) to avoid lines or look for special opening hours during the evenings or on weekends.

5. Dress for success: If shopping for clothing, wear layers and clothing that is simple to remove to facilitate trying on.

6. Shop well-armed: Bring multiple forms of payment—credit cards and cash—just in case.

Friday, November 17, 2006

chic comfort


le coq sportif, makers of frenchie sportswear, have inaugurated a new shop in the hip etienne marcel area of paris. be sure to check out the "rue du coq" line, by young graphic designers, which was previously available only in japan....and take them home as a truly original gift.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

vikor + rolf has arrived


i nearly forgot that today was the 'big' day when i happened past my local h&m this morning-- and voila, not only was it open early, but all the fashionistas were snatching up the goods....everything from the wedding dress above to skinny jeans, tuxedos, and slinky undies. if you can't get to h&m, the stuff is already on ebay!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

antik batik designs shoes for andre

also following the trend of hiring big name designers to sell to the masses, French shoe retailer andre has a new line of shoes, boots, and ballerina flats by bourgeois-bohemian creators antik batik. so if you want the look without the pricetag, check out andre...

mark your calenders: viktor & rolf do h&m

following the trend of inviting top designers to stock the shelves of their chic & cheap chain stores, swedish retailers H & M have invited designers Viktor & Rolf to design a line for them, starting november 9th. mark your calenders and set your alarms, as these limited edition designer pieces tend to go quickly, and then you'll be forced to get your goods from those earlybirds selling leftovers on ebay!

semaine de la gout

for all of you foodie fans out there, this week is for you! special "sales" on fixed priced menus are on tap this week as france celebrates food during the semaine de la gout. until oct 22.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

sales at the bon marche

called the TBM sales for "tres bon marche", from october 11th to the 21st. this is a great time to stock up on fall favorites. special sunday hours on october 15th from 10am to 7pm, and open late [until 8pm] on wednesday the 11th and friday the 13th. happy shopping! more details on www.lebonmarche.fr

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the material girl does paris

ahhh, you have got to love the french press. while the american rags only got pics of madonna coming out of her hotel [the crillon], the french press knows where she ate and shopped-- the most important things to do in paris by far! for those madge fans out there: breakfast at hotel costes, dinner at le petrelle in the 9th, and shopping at jp gaultier and chopard, bien sur.

design/furniture sale at Via

if modern furnishings are your thing, be sure not to miss the sale tomorrow at Via. over 70 famous interior designers have created objects especially for this sale, with proceeds going to a charity for women with cancer.

33 avenue Daumesnil, 12th
thursday, sept 12th, 1pm-8pm
tel: 01 45 86 54 50

chic must: louis vuitton city guides


we've already started gathering ideas for a chic christmas list -- and one of our fave gift ideas for the jetsetter on your list is the Louis Vuitton City Guide 2007 set. this year's set is in bright sunny yellow, and features the new additions of cities such as Bologne, Bratislava, Kiev, and Monoco, in addition to the 30 cities already featured. the slim, elegant volumes are easy to pack and give the lowdown on the fashionable spots in the featured cities.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

chic must: sonia rykiel's new magazine


for the second year in a row, the Sonia Rykiel team is putting out a new magazine entitled quoi de neuf ["what's new"], to outline their favorites in cinema, theater, music, moveis, and the like. get your copy at one of the rykiel boutiques along rue de grenelle, rue des saints-peres, or blvd st. germain in the 6th. but hurry! they are only available until october 1th.

Friday, September 01, 2006

special clothing sale-- today!

If you are in Paris at the moment and want to pick up some bargains, check this out. «Vintage Fashion Week-ends» --01 & 02 september, bargains on Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Vivianne Westwood etc., as well as some vintage stuff and young designer creations. Happy hunting!

Espace Kodjo
54 rue Letort 75018 Paris
M° Porte de Clignancourt (ligne 4) / M° Jules Joffrin (ligne 12)
Tél. / Fax : +33(0)1 42 55 81 86
web: kodjo.fr

Thursday, July 06, 2006

csp in the news

today we are featured on delight.com-- check out this fun blog, dedicated to the 'cult of shopping'. and tuesday we film a segment for the travel channel-- oh la la! we'll keep you posted on when chic shopping goes primetime.

other than that, we are slowly perusing the soldes [sales], where the bargains are getting better already and the lines getting shorter. happy shopping!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

black is the new black

well, at least this time we are talking about black in regards to housewares and home decor, which makes it seem a bit more original....

the bon marche is currently having an expo in its store windows along with a sale of black objects for the home, in conjuction with the auction house artcuriel, who will auction off some of the luxe objects on june 28th. stop by and check out the new black and what designers are doing with it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

summer sales!!

this just in--- our ever-faithful checking of the french govt DGCCRF website has paid off-- the sale dates for paris have just been announced-- and they are june 28 to august 5. so set your alarms and mark your calendars for this twice yearly sale event, called the soldes in french. read on for more....

The scoop:

When I meet visitors to Paris, they are often searching the city looking for a bargain, disappointed to not see any sale signs in their favorite boutiques. Let me tell you why--in France, by law, sales (“soldes”) are held only twice a year, with one sale period starting in January and the other in July. The government decides when the sales will be held and announces the official dates just days before the sales start. The stores then flutter around getting ready and shopaholics (myself included!) wait with bated breath for the opening day of the sales. Sale prices start at about 25-30% off for the first few days, and grow bigger as the sales go on. By the end of the sales [6 weeks maximum], the reductions can be up to 75% off.

The strategy:

Strategy for the soldes depends on what you are looking for. My advice is that if it is a one of a kind item and you know it is going on sale, snatch it up on the first day, even if it is only 20% off. However, if there are millions of the cashmere sweater you’ve been dreaming of, wait a week and go back to purchase it at a more reduced rate. Essentially, it’s all about the gamble-- and what you are willing to risk.

As for returns, I encourage you to ask before you buy. Although by law shops are supposed to allow you to make an exchange, this policy is not always in practice. If you are not sure about an item, see if the shop will hold it for you for a short period of time while you make your decision.

The snag:

French sales are not limited to just a few items or a few brands; instead the entire outgoing collection is usually on sale. This means that this season’s hottest blouse, pant, shoe, and bag will probably all be on sale, if you still want them at the end of the season. Everything from electronics to shoes to linens and more goes on sale at the same time, so it is easy to get overwhelmed! I try to make a list before hitting the shops to keep from getting sidetracked by flashing signs beckoning me over to a bargain that I don’t need.

The soldes are a great time to pick up classic Parisian pieces that never go out of style, like Longchamp “Le Pliage” bags, a great fitting trench coat, or some Repetto ballerina flats. Longing for a Hermes scarf? Keep your eye out for their sale announcement in Le Figaro or call the store to ask—the sale lasts only a few days and takes place at a special location.

The summary:

The frenzy of French soldes can have you running around town and your credit card might never cool down, but it is a memorable experience. If you happen to miss the sales, don’t worry. Most shops have in-store promotions year round that are almost sales, but not quite. As they cannot technically be called soldes outside of the official periods, these mini sales are often called “promotions” or “fin de series” (“end of series”). Just keep your eye open for bargains, and I know you’ll find plenty of things to make you smile.

6 Tips for Doing the Sales from a Chic Shopper:


1. Hold a stake out: Visit the store before the sale starts, see how many of your beloved item is still in stock, and try to get some information from the vendeuse about its sale price.

2. Avoid the first day: The stores are packed with people and while marathon shopping can be a great sport, shopping the sales on the first day is bound to leave you frustrated.

3. Shop with a friend: She’ll talk you out of that pair of neon green cowboy boots, even if they are 75% off.

4. Get out of bed: Go first thing in the morning to avoid lines or look for special opening hours during the evenings or on weekends.

5. Dress for success: If shopping for clothing, wear layers and clothing that is simple to remove to facilitate trying on.

6. Shop well-armed: Bring multiple forms of payment—credit cards and cash—just in case.

Friday, June 02, 2006

camping chic at printemps

You have to love the marketing efforts by the grands magasins here in Paris-- they will do anything to come up with a new theme to tempt you back into the store. The latest is "CampinGlamour" (until June 17) at Printemps -- who knew camping could be so chic? Check out campy faves a la francaise such as petanque demonstrations, pastis aperatifs, nail art, and, our fave, tupperware parties (!). There is even a special place to take a refreshing nap, just like when you are camping, or rather, to get your shopping mojo well rested!

Friday, May 26, 2006

makeup misconceptions

After living here for four years, I feel like I've become a keen observer of my native people-- not the French, but the Parisian (or Parisienne, as they call themselves). And more often than not, the Parisian woman shows off her natural elegance, style, that je ne sais quoi, without a proper coiffe nor makeup.

My clients often ask what types of beauty products the French love, what chic secrets they might take back stateside with them, and I'm always reluctant to answer-- because the answer is less is more. The recent NY Times article explains this phenomenon beautifully-- Sans Makeup, S'il Vous Plait. And I noted the same thing last night watching the Festival de Cannes on tv-- it's amazing how much less made-up the French are, compared to the Hollywood starlets. (The exceptions being those actresses who have 'crossed over' into American culture, such as Monica Belluci, etc.)

It seems a bit ironic that the country resposable for giving us Chanel, Guerlain, by Terry, etc. wears less of it than other cultures,but maybe this is how French women keep their mystique....they somehow manage to look sexy without looking perfect....

Monday, May 22, 2006

the may chic beat is here!

want to know more about shopping, etc. in paris? sign up for our newsletter, the chic beat, at
www.chicshoppingparis.com

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

plastic, it's fantasic

The ordinary plastic grocery bag was the inspiration behind contemporary artist Mai Ueda's lastest bag for Celine . Baptized the "Mai Bag for Celine", the bag resembles a plastic bag in shape and weight, but it is made out of an extraordinary material-- laminated kangaroo, in gold, silver, and chocolate leather. The concept was to find the extraordinary in the banal, taking an ordinary sac and making it luxe-- and, I might add, definitely not recycleable. Available for a limited time at Celine shops.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bastille Antique Fair

This twice yearly Antiquite Brocante (antiques fair) straddles both sides of the river at the Place de la Bastille. Not the biggest bargains, but some goodies are sure to be had. And the plus side is that you don't have to trek all the way up to Clingancourt Puces if you are in the mood for treasure hunting.
May 5-14, 11am to 7pm, Place de la Bastille

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

bespangled thongs

with monogramming and personalization still the rage, galeries lafayette joins the club by offering Havaianas thongs that you can slip your pretty little feet into and have an 'original' pair of shoes. pick the color of the sole and straps and add on some sparkle with Swarovski crystals or your initials. et voila, c'est chic! starting may 15th; prices start at 27 euros.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

chic bookmark

In a never-ending quest to find the best souvenirs with that certain 'je ne sais quoi,' we've uncovered the latest from chic silver brand Christofle. A silver-plated 'marque page' [bookmark], engraved with a portion of the Eiffel Tower. At first glance, it looks like a random, graphic pattern, but on closer inspection, it is indeed your favorite monument, complete with an oh-so-french tassle on the top to make the perfect bookmark. All that for only 35euros; available in Sacre-Coeur and Arc d'Triomphe models as well at their boutique at 9 rue Royale, 8th.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"design" flea market sale coming in may


If you haven't checked out the Quartier Montorgeuil, centered around rue Montorgueil in the 2nd, this is a great chance to do so. A funky sale with 20th century modern furniture and accessories will take place May 19-21. Check out the link for more details.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

children's clothing- private sale

this just in-- a vente prive of new desinger anne zoe's children's clothing from march 31- april 1. see link for details:
http://annezoeb.googlepages.com/ventepriv%C3%A9e

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bensimon at Monoprix

Colorful, fun French line Bensimon has a new line out at hypermarche Monoprix. Bright printed clothes for mom, dad, and the kids are for sale, along with a funky line of home decor items-- printed totes, soft coolers, baby bags, and more. Fun gift items such as floral printed mugs and wacky plastic vases printed with goldfish round out the offerings. Go quickly as Bensimon is a favorite of young Parisian families, and the Monoprix line is moins cher than the regular Bensimon line found at its boutiques.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

designer spring sale

Just got an invite for this that I thought I'd pass on to all the Chic Shoppers out there:
Vente de Printemps [Spring Sale], April 1- 9, at the Loft Sevigne, 46 rue de Sevigne, Paris 3rd. No mention of what brands will be on sale, but it does say Big Name brands for women & men, French & Italian labels at exceptional prices.

Friday, March 10, 2006

new Lancel shop on the Champs

After a long closing for renovations, French leather goods brand Lancel has reopened its doors on the Champs-Elysees [no. 127, to be exact]. With a red resin canopy marking its space, the new shop shows off its handbags, leather goods, jewelry and luggage lines and adds to the chic-ifying of the Champs, started by Cartier, Mont Blanc, and the new LV boutique a few years back. Bienvenue!-- We are glad that the Champs is finally living up to its reputation as one of the most famous streets in the world.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

chic must: secretes of paris blog

Talented writer and girl about town Heather Stimmler-Hall, creator of the fab Secrets of Paris website, now also has a blog to keep you up to the minute on just what the name implies-- the ins and outs of behind the scenes Paris. So check out her blog and enjoy!
http://secretesdeparis.blogspirit.com/

Monday, February 27, 2006

chic must: new bonpoint concept store



all the chic mamans et bebes know that bonpoint is the shop for exquisite baby and kids clothing and gifts. the newest boutique, bonpoint concept, is the largest bonpoint to date, with clothing, jewelry and accessories, shoes, a restaurant and a garden all in a must-see mansion/boutique. it is truly lovely, and should be a stop on every jeune mamans trip through paris! at 6 rue de tournon, 6th (call before you go, as it opens to the public later this week.... 01 40 51 98 20)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

marc jacobs comes to paris

as many of you fashionistas know, monsieur jacobs lives in the city of light. well now he officially works here too, opening his first european shop in the lovely palais royale. so stop on buy the christian liagre decorated boutique to see his collections for women, men, home, accessories and perfumes and you might just run into muse sofia coppola or one of the other sweet young things that are drawn to his vintage-inspired confections. 56-62 galerie montpensier in the arcades of the palais royale.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

embroidery class

so you've been to paris a dozen times, seen it all, done it all. or maybe this time you don't want to aquire a new longchamp bag, but would rather aquire a new skill. check out the amazing embroidery classes at ecole lesage. this is the place that does the beautiful hand embroidery on many a couture dress-- and now they'll pass on their craft to you. in as little as 3 hours, the school will teach you how how to weild a needle and some beads to make something 'couture' of your very own.

Monday, February 20, 2006

chic must: picard

there is something soothing walking into an all white store with nothing but freezers-- eerie, i'll admit, but calming too. picard is one of those amazing french concepts that has yet to be exported. the concept is this-- nothing but frozen food. but not just your basic frozen pizza-- picard's pizza has ingredients that you can pronounce and if not all natural, pretty close. but if you don't want pizza, how about duck or tarte tatin or chopped fresh herbs, or, really, almost any french delicacy that you can imagine. but frozen? yes-- and it works. it works so well that it is the skeleton in the closet of many a french dinner party hostess.

it's not only a chic must because it is oh-so-yummy, but the customer service is top notch too. the staff where clean white chefs jackets with neat blue aprons. they bag your groceries for you and they do it with a smile-- not at all like the poor service at big supermarket maven monoprix. so next time you are in paris and you wander by picard, stop in to peruse the offerings. some stuff [cinnamon figue ice cream, for ex.] doesn't need to be cooked at all....

Sunday, February 19, 2006

atelier des chefs

chic shopping paris discussed this hip, new cooking school in our chic beat newsletter months ago, but since then, atelier des chefs has continued to expand. now you can take cooking classes after you have shopped-until-you-drop at the printemps nation location, at galeries lafayette's main store, and at the atelier's own location. so far, it appears that the courses are in french only-- their site used to list english classes as well, but that no longer seems to be listed on their site. [we have contacted them to find out more....] what they do offer is quick, inexpensive cooking classes with a variety of themes.. sign up for a "60' chrono" lunchtime course, cook your meal and eat it, all in under a hour. yum.

update-- the response from atelier des chefs re: classes in english:
We used to offer classes in English but foreign people didn't want them because they wanted to have classes in French as they were in France. So for the moment, we haven't planed to organize again classes in English. But people who do not understand everything in French really can be students here. You should come and try once, to see.

vintage lingerie at printemps

in case your cheri forgot to get you something silky for february 14th, , stop into printemps to check out this sexy limited time 'exposition vente'-- couture vintage lingerie for sale along with new pieces in limited edition. but hurry up-- it's only until march 11th at printemps haussman and nation locations.

Monday, February 06, 2006

discount shopping in paris

discount {or "stock" stores as they call them in french} are the new trend in bargain shopping & more and more shops keep popping up around town-- and all the better for us bargain shoppers... some are clubs that you have to pay a minimal yearly subscription to [www.espacecaterinemax.com, www.showroom-30.com], others are open to everyone [www.lapiscine.fr]- but they all have big name brands with big bargains. such as todds loafers for 130e, prada jeans for 60e, etc. our tip? get on the mailing lists of the ones that interest you to get advance notice of sales on your fave brands....