Lifestyles Magazine Prague: Vuitton, Hermès and Dior in Prague

Pařízská Street, The New European Destination For Luxury Brand Shopping.

Prague’s charming, tree-lined and oh-so-Parisian Pařížská Street is now set to rival the Avenue Montaigne, Bond Street and Fifth Avenue in the ranks of the world’s greatest luxury brand shopping destinations.

A luxury consumer’s Oz in the land of market munchkins, Pařížská is only the click of very expensive heels away.

Although Prague in general has a little catching up to do with the likes of Milan and Paris in terms of the availability of luxury clothes and accessories, the fact that most of the high-end fashion houses have decided to plump for this thoroughfare of art deco buildings, antique shops and stylish cafés makes the destination of your next shopping trip a foregone conclusion.

The recent arrival of the renowned jeweler and watchmaker Cartier, in a prime position on the corner of Pařížská and the Old Town Square, means a well-heeled fashionista can quite happily pound the cobblestones of this leafy boulevard from one end to the other and back up the other side without encountering a single store that falls below her high expectations. The only real obstacle is the temptation to dash back and forth across the street as another big name catches one’s eye.

Cartier’s red-carpet opening event on September 13th attracted the de la creme of Czech society, who were treated to a live performance by soul diva Jocelyn Brown.

Bernard Fornas, President and CEO of Cartier International and Tom Meggle, Managing Director of Cartier Switzerland and Northern Europe, welcomed around 300 members of the local glitterati and were able to introduce them to some of the finest pieces produced by La Maison Cartier. Guests were able to get a close look at some of the iconic pieces like the Trinity ring and Tank watch from classic Cartier collections, as well as items from creative collections like Caresse d’Orchidées, Panthčre and Himalia. The new store carries a wide range of jewelry and watches to suit all tastes, in platinum, yellow gold, white gold, and pink gold, which has recently been enjoying a comeback in the fashion world.

Step out Cartier’s door and already your attention is seized by that unmistakable intertwined LV logo. After a quick dash across the street, breathe in that intoxicating leather smell and relax. Louis Vuitton chose Prague as the location for its first store in Central and Eastern Europe eight years ago. In February 2006, the boutique then moved a short distance down the road to a completely refurbished location at Pařížská Street No. 13. The current Louis Vuitton store has an area of more than 190 m˛ and it is located on the ground floor of an elegant historical building that was built in 1902.

According to Philippe Schaus, Louis Vuitton’s International Manager, “Prague, which the French surrealist poet Andre Breton called the ‘magical city of Europe,’ has become a vibrant fashion center where clients appreciate the extensive line of Louis Vuitton products – ranging from handbags and leather accessories to footwear and Marc Jacobs sunglasses.” And, it seems, Pařížská is fast becoming the stretch of real estate to be seen on in this vibrant fashion center.

Right next door in Pařížská No. 11, Vuitton’s previous premises now house Burberry’s latest prestigious eastern European outlet. Covering 135 m˛, the design concept of the store is based on the Burberry London flagship store located on New Bond Street. The brand has come a long way since 1856, when Thomas Burberry opened a small outfitter’s shop in Basingstoke in England. Since introducing the hard-wearing, weather-proof fabric known as gabardine in 1880, the brand has dressed everyone from the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Although the shapes of the Burberry Prorsum collection and the Burberry London line currently carried by the store are no doubt inspired by the same practical attire that helped Captain Amundsen become the first man to reach the South Pole in 1911, the focus is now a lot more on high style.

Another few breathless zigzags along the street will bring you to Hermčs, Christian Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dunhill, Hugo Boss, Swarovski, Guess, and several stores that showcase a number of luxury brands. At Pařížská 13, Prada and TOD’S is in stock, while Pařížská 18 offers Sergio Rossi, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. After a day of shopping on Prague’s own upscale yellowbrick road, luxury-brand addicts will know that they’re not in Kansas anymore.

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