A melange of fashion genres

{Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}

At Samaritaine, DFS aims to breaks down the barriers of fashion while creating a unified and constantly evolving collection. The eclectic offer features a carefully curated selection of pieces from renowned luxury brands, quintessential French labels and exclusive pieces from emerging designers. From clothes to shoes and bags, each floor offers an opportunity to explore a different world. We capture that tantalising blend in words and photos.

The Pont-Neuf side of Samaritaine unveils a fascinating universe of fashion that brings together the very high-end with emerging designers on every floor – luxury essentials, designers who show at Fashion Week and more accessible French brands.

The ground floor is all about accessories, offering a dazzling array of bags from the biggest names in leathergoods (Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine and more), each with their own boutique; as well as multi-brand spaces featuring essential French design houses (Jérôme Dreyfuss, Isabel Marant, A.P.C. and others). Newest brands of the season such as Néerlandais, Wandler, Dragon Diffusion, Danse Lente and Vanina’s jewellery are testament to DFS’s determination to surprise and delight the Samaritaine visitor.

The entire first floor is dedicated to women’s fashion, with the assortment ranging from luxury to contemporary brands. The offer revolves around three worlds that demonstrate the Parisian mix-and-match style. Around the Grand Staircase, under the glass roof, the light parquet and custom rugs reflect the world of luxury with a roll-call of famous names such as Dior, Fendi, Gucci and Prada.

Designer labels include Loewe, Dries van Noten, Alexander McQueen, Marni, Chloé, Sacai and Alaïa. These lustrous names are complemented by what DFS dubs “creative, accessible and reassuring fashion (including Sandro and Maje); brands for more pointed silhouettes (Self-Portrait, In The Mood For Love), a classic Parisian look (Rouje) or Scandi-cool (Ganni, Nanushka and Rotate).

An incubator space highlights young talents of the moment (Awake, Petar Petrov, Gauchere or Khaite) to play with the avant-garde. Niche leathergoods featuring artisanal know-how (Maison Moreau, Rosantica), fine jewellery and a selection of headwear such as Maison Michel and Lack of Color complete the varied fashion tapestry.

Shoppers can choose bags from the most illustrious leathergoods names showcased in dedicated boutiques or from well-ranged multi-brand spaces {Photo: We are Contents}

If you’re not admiring the beautiful internal panoramas, the third-floor men’s fashion zone offers an enticingly diverse array of brands, styles and price-points {Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}

The third floor is dedicated to a diverse men’s selection curated from a combo of classics (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and others), to a more luxury streetwear silhouette (Off-White, Balmain and Stone Island) for a curated international look. Large modular sofas bring comfort to the multi-brand space, surrounded by brands such as Acne, Maison Margiela and Thom Browne. Made in France accessories by Bleu de Chauffe; classic chic leathergoods from Smythson; and a selection of footwear ranging from Saint Laurent boots to iconic Alexander McQueen sneakers, and shoes by Balmain, Acne and Balenciaga round out the offer.

One of DFS’s more daring choices (see interview with DFS Group Region President Europe & Middle East Eléonore de Boysson, page 9) was to put the entire shoe offer on the fourth floor. Samaritaine has brought together some 50 women’s brands on a floor bathed in light that filters through the historic glass roof. The big names in luxury footwear (Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin) are there, complemented by more niche houses such as Victoria, Alaïa, The Row and Wandler. Designers including Giannico, By Far, Ganni and Studio Amelia blend with collaborations (Gia x Pernille Teisbaek) and emblematic brands of French know-how (Michel Vivien, Carel, Roger Vivier, Repetto, Isabel Marant, Bobbies and Veja).

{Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}

Visitors entering the glass building on rue de Rivoli will discover a playground of fashion, inviting the visitor to discover the latest trends in urban fashion while enjoying an espresso sipped in front of a variety of street art.

There’s just about everything here from the latest streetwear sweatshirt to a branded coffee; from the new must-have Californian brand T-shirt to custom-made cookies, a pair of limited-edition sneakers, and a unisex watch made in Japan.

Boyy handbags presented in minimalist fashion with the panoramic store surrounds offering a dramatic context {Photo: We are Contents}

“On the Rivoli side, Samaritaine breaks free from traditional department store codes to reimagine urban space as a concept store,” says DFS. “A diverse store within a store, always in motion like its raw industrial decor by ciguë. Fashion, accessories, beauty, catering, watchmaking, art and even hi-tech since Devialet has installed its emblematic Soundbox there, all universes come together in this melange of genres that appeals so widely to Millennials.”

On the fashion front, the ground floor offers an edgy selection of menswear from on-trend designers (JW Anderson, Sunnei, Ambush and more), designers (Marni, Casablanca, Ahluwalia, Juun.J), and the young generation of French creators such as EGONlab.

Stockholm-based ready-to-wear house Acne Studios makes a striking debut with DFS {Photo: Matthieu Salvaing}

The urban streetwear fashion zone features Études, Atelier de Production et de Création (A.P.C.), Maison Kitsuné Loreak Mendian, Ateliers de Nîmes, Drôle de Monsieur, Comme des Garçons and many other edgy labels {Photo: We are Contents}

On the womenswear side, the collections mix Danoises de Rotate loungewear, Ganni and Nanushka capsules, Korean brands (Pushbutton, System), and the ultra-minimalist fashion of The Frankie Shop. On the first floor, streetwear brands such as Billionaire and Carne Bollente, the ethical SHINZO Green sneaker space and Parisian brands like APC, Maison Kitsuné, Études and Atelier de Nîmes juxtapose with unisex outerwear labels including Canada Goose, Northface and Patagonia.

In a decor featuring rough walls with exposed studs and screws, antique statues as mannequins, multi-brand racks, limited-edition pieces, ephemeral spaces and customisation workshops punctuate the space.

Comme des Garçons Black makes a rare French appearance {Photo: We Are Contents}

Other highlights include Comme des Garçons Black (pictured left). Almost unobtainable in France, this unisex line features timeless black designs and limited-edition pieces from designer Rei Kawakubo. The line is available at Samaritaine presented via an exclusive architectural concept. Upstairs also offers a selection of basics from the PLAY line with its popular graphic heart.

The avant-garde Parisian sneaker brand SHINZO Paris has created a space in a department store for the first time.

The innovative concept features 100sq m of exclusive, ethical and responsible sneakers, each one fulfilling one of the brand’s five criteria: local, recycled, vegan, organic or reconditioned to be labeled ‘SHINZO Green’. Several limited editions and previews are also available on the first floor of Rivoli.