OPINION / Travel

the changing landscape of the champs-elysee

This is a post from my travel blog, Wanderbug. You can read more here: http://genevievewanderbug.wordpress.com

My summer in Paris was beautiful and unforgettable. Having a full month to sink my teeth deeper into all Paris has to offer, building upon my fortnight spent there in January, I noticed more about the culture and the state of Paris that I had not previously noticed as a wide eyed and wonderstruck tourist a few months ago.

The Champs-Elysee is changing. Less and less French fashion houses proudly line the streets and instead are lost in a crowd of American, Spanish, Asian, Swedish, and English brands, the likes of Marks & Spencer, Abercrombie & Fitch, Swatch, H & M to name a few.

It seemed wrong. Sure, it’s a major shopping destination for top brands. But Zara? H & M? A & F?
Chanel & co. are around the corner, but the main street is malnourished in terms of French heritage. Laduree & Cartier are some of the few survivors of the foreign invasion.

A shame really, as “Champs-Elysee” is the go -to definition of French shopping. Internationally renowned, there can be no second Champs-Elysee, wherever the French stores have fled to, it will take decades to build the glittering reputation of this former fashion Mecca.

I bought little on the Champs Elysee, apart from a Laduree recipe book from the flagship Louis Vuitton store ( worth a look for shoppers and window shoppers alike – the store is amazing!). For most of my shopping I went to boutiques in Saint Germain, which still pack a pretty Parisian punch.

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