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Paris Shopping : Designer Outlets
Ah, the thrill of the Designer Label! OK, pay attention, fashion and label victims, here comes the information you're looking for... (and also see our Paris Shopping Advice from the Gurus page).
There are three basic ways to get cut-price designer clothes or other products in Paris:
Les Soldes (The Sales): Huge Discounts Twice a Year
Twice a year, in January or in July, the big department stores slash 50-70% off many designer items, and as a result, other retailers are driven to follow suit (of course, most of them were pretty outrageously priced to start with, but still).
But then as a tourist you can get another 12% tax rebate, so then as you can see things are getting interesting! Of course, it will be the most fashionable (and therefore quickly dating) items you will find on sale, although I have seen some surprisingly classic designs marked down, men's clothes especially.
Purpose-built designer outlet "villages" or complexes seem to be a growing trend in Europe, especially in France and Italy.
La Vallée Village is a "unique outlet shopping village" located only 30 minutes from the centre of Paris, and 5 minutes from the Disney Parks. Over 70 leading ready-to-wear, table ware and luxury labels offer items from their previous season's collections with a minimum of 33% reduction off original recommended price, up to a maximum of 60%. Set in a village-style open-air centre, it has a Welcome Centre, cafés, playground area, tax-free shopping, and free parking.
Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm (7pm during winter) and Sunday from 11am to 7pm.
- Road: Located 5 minutes from Disney Parks (Motorway A4/exit 14)
- Train: RER A station Serris-Montévrain-Val d'Europe. Shuttle bus available from the RER upon request: Tel +00 33 188.8.131.52.01.
- Cityrama shuttle service runs from the centre of Paris to La Vallée Village 3 times a week (every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday).
Departure from the Cityrama agency, place des Pyramides, at 10:15 am and return to Paris at approximately 5:00pm.
Fares: 15€ round trip – adult, 10€ round trip – children, ages 3 to 11. (Free for children under 3)
Reservation required by 5:00pm the day before departure, at the hotel conciergeries or Cityrama agency.
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Dépot-ventes are designer resale shops or consignment stores where you can find all kind of designer products for less than half-price in mint condition, and even brand new.
These shops feed off the fanatically fashionable (or cash-strapped) Parisians who wouldn't be seen dead in last year's styles or wear a party dress more than once. Unlike in the US, people in France would NEVER return something to the store where they were purchased (unless faulty) so the dépot-ventes do great business; the split is usually 50-50 between original owner and shopkeeper.
But NB: as expert shopper Jeanne Feldman points out, not all dépot-ventes are created equal. If you’re short on time, be sure to go with a personal shopper who can ferret out the best deals for you (see our Paris Shopping Advice from the Gurus page).
Resale Designer Clothing Links:
The Paris Tourist Office has some suggestions on Stock shops and designer seconds
Jeanne Feldman suggests a few shops here: A look at resale designer clothing shops
This list is from Jeanne Feldman’s shopping guide, “Best Buys and Bargains in Paris.” For more used clothing plus other stores, you can find the book at WH Smith.
You can also order it from Amazon here:
18, rue du Roi de Sicile, 4th arrondissement,
Métro St. Paul,
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11-1 and 2:30-7
Most of the clothing in this small store has been left by fashion models. So, you can count on the latest styles and “in” designers such as Matsuda, Yamamoto and Michel Klein. There are men’s suits, and women’s separates and jackets.
63, rue Notre Dame des Champs and 15, rue Vavin, 6th arrondissement
Open Tuesday to Friday, 10:30 to 1 and 2 to 7
Two boutiques featuring men’s and women’s designer clothing. The shop on rue Vavin is more youth oriented while the one on rue Notre Dame des Champs is more classic. In one or the other you’ll find clothing by Yves St Laurent along with Agnès B, in additio to Hermès scarves. They mainly have ready to wear, with an occasional true haute couture item.
88-123, rue de la Pompe, 16th arrondissement
Métro Rue de la Pompe
Open Tuesday to Friday 11-7:30, Saturday 10:30-7:30
Welcome to the biggest complex of clothing resale stores in Paris. Founded in 1978 by Nicole Morel, it now takes up practically the entire block! Prices here are high, but the selection and range is unbeatable. Be prepared for a great collection of designer scarves and shawls and a whole rack of Chanel suits. (Don’t worry, the missing buttons have been removed on purpose and will be sewn back on at no extra cost at the time of sale.)
19-33 ave. de Clichy, 17th arrondissement
Open Monday to Saturday, 10-7
It isn’t glamorous; it doesn’t sell designer cloths; it’s in a poor work-a-day neighborhood, and it’s one of the best known stores in Paris for used clothes (used with a capital U). There are piles upon piles and racks upon racks of used clothes spread out over several stores. You simply can’t beat the price. The secret is that they buy used clothing collected by nonprofit associations all over Europe. After being washed ironed and disinfected, the items are then sent to the various stores. So, if you have an eagle eye and are willing to spend some time sifting, bargains (that’s with a capital “B”) can be found.
Next page: Paris Shopping Advice from the Gurus