The boutiques on Avenue Montaigne

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avenue Montaigne

The most illustrious fashion designers are made in Paris. And the most select luxury off-the-rack and designer clothes are found on Avenue Montaigne.

 

The history of the grand couturier avenue

The long avenue (673 yards) in the 8th district starts at Rond-Point des Champs Élysées and marks the limits of the Golden Triangle. The famous luxury avenue has not always had the prestine reputation it enjoys today. It used to be nicknamed Widows’ Alley due to the single women who often went there in search of nocturnal company. It was a rough area at the time on the outskirts of the city and very badly lit at night. For example, the crown jewels (stolen in 1792) were found buried at the foot of one of the Elm trees in the alley. It was redesigned by architecte Hector-Martin Lefuel in 1850 to accommodate the Palais des Beaux-Arts for the World Fair. It was then renamed Avenue Montaigne in tribute to French author Michel Eyquem de Montaigne and gradually became more and more well-known. Rich Parisians had luxury houses and private residences built there, followed by corporate head offices, banks and sewing workshops. After the Liberation of Paris, the avenue started attracting high-end designer fashion making it the most elegant avenue in the capital.

 

From Avenue des Champs-Elysées to Avenue Montaigne

Avenue Montaigne is less touristic and busy and far more select than the Champs-Elysées around the corner. The most prestigious names in French designer fashion all have outlets on the avenue, including Christian Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Prada, Gucci, Chloé, Céline, Bvlgari, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, Versace and Louis Vuitton of course!

In addition to all the elegant boutiques, stunning architecture stands out, such the private residences belonging to the Baron of Dampierre at No. 7 or the Countess of Durfort at No.9 (Chateaubriand’s great niece).