12 experiences to discover Samaritaine

DFS describes La Samaritaine as “the temple of Parisian lifestyle”, an all-in-one shopping location in an unforgettable setting which combines contemporary architecture and design with Art Deco and Art Nouveaux.

  • Assouline published a book to mark the Samaritaine’s reopening. Illustrated with striking photographs, Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf juxtaposes French artisanal savoir faire and fashion with elements of Parisian history and anecdotes of the store’s founders. It highlights the evolution of this iconic department store in the heart of the City of Light, considering its history and DNA as well as its exciting 21st century rebirth.
  • Historian Maud Hacker has imagined four themed Parisian walks which incorporate the city’s romance, monuments, art and festivities. The walks all depart from Samaritaine, with the programme. There is even a 75-minute tour path to follow within the store to discover its history.
  • Discover and treat yourself to a work of art in the Perrotin gallery on the Samaritaine’s Rivoli side. The 200sq m space features well-known artists including Xavier Veilhan, Takashi Murakami, Paola Pivi, Johan Creten as well as Elmgreen & Dragset. Just next door, a Perrotin pop-up, which is exclusive to Samaritaine, offers a selection of products including art books, limited-edition art works, artists’ T-shirts and other gifts. On leaving the pop-up, visitors are encouraged to virtually interact with the featured artists.
  • Visitors can relive the restoration of the Samaritaine through a selection of photographs throughout the Pont-Neuf building. The project showcases the immense efforts of the artisans and workmen who worked on Samaritaine’s rebirth.

This exclusive apartment-like space was created by the Aterlieramo agency to offer an inherent and intimate sense of Paris {Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}

  • Samaritaine also offers the opportunity to ‘live’ in a Parisian apartment, an exclusive space that has been restyled by the Aterlieramo agency to spotlight outstanding woodwork, ceiling details and antique furniture. Eight works created by five artists for the LVMH Métiers d’Art artist in residence programme are being featured at various exhibitions in 2021. This is the space where customers are invited for private shopping sprees, with proposals tailor-made to suit individual tastes and wishes. The apartment also hosts collaborations with prestigious brands for product launches, presentations of exclusive collections and private meetings.
  • The Factory is an evolving space developed to honour the ‘young guard’ of the creative scene. On the Rivoli side, the large concrete walls running from the ground floor to the first floor act as blank canvases for guest artists to create on-site works. It is essentially a platform that is intended to reflect the expressive, creative spirit of the new building. For the opening, three young urban art talents were given carte blanche to produce works to be discovered in 2021. Antonin Hako (@antonin.hako), a French painter with a passion for urban art, imagined paintings on hanging fabric that reveal a colourful ballroom scene while Parisian artist Antwan Horfee (@haunnted_horfee) envisioned a piece that is both dense and colourful. Horfee’s eccentric airbrush graffiti can be found worldwide. Pablo Tomek (@pablotomek) is the third featured painter. He is known for using graffiti as a form of abstract expressionist art to transform stark construction sites.

The Parisian setting is ideal for collaborations with prestigious brands to present launches and exclusive collections {Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}

  • Visitors are also offered the opportunity to cuddle a gorilla, in a reenactment of the store’s iconic advertisement which had King Kong climbing the Samaritaine façade. Access to the 3-D studio is free; photos and mini-video souvenirs are available to share on social media.
  • Samaritaine has four proposals, which combine beauty, gastronomy and fashion, to ensure its customers a ‘head to toe’ experience. Guests are accompanied by professionals on an à la carte day which is fashioned according to their wishes.
  • Samaritaine offers its guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in augmented reality. Landscape artist Daniel van der Noon has set up his materials in the heart of the Pont-Neuf building to live-draw the surrounding architecture. Limited-edition posters are available and customers are encouraged to download an app to virtually stroll down the grand staircase and discover his drawings.
  • Customers can add a personal touch to drinks purchases. Small workshops dedicated to personalising or adding a location to, for example a Veuve Cliquot Arrow box or a Hennessy decanter, are found on selected floors.

LVMH Champagne house Veuve Clicquot is showcased in suitably sparkling style {Photo: Ajouts}

  • In collaboration with Polaroid, Samaritaine also caters for keen photographers. Professional photographers have recommended best shooting angles, which are clearly marked throughout the store. Workshops are also available for those wishing to learn tips from the experts.
  • An underground passage from the Place du Louvre takes visitors from the parking lot directly into the Samaritaine beauty space in the basement. The 100m moving walkway not only saves visitors walking the streets but also introduces them to the history of Samaritaine and the surrounding city via large screens.

The Aterlieramo agency has used a combination of intricate woodwork, ceiling mouldings and antique furniture to imagine the exclusive Parisian apartment space. Eight works created by five artists for LVMH Métiers d’Art are being shown here in 2021. {Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}