Posts Tagged ‘hermes’

The Indomitable Hermès

June 16, 2011

Hermès emits rays of chic on the rue faubourg Saint-Honoré

The Experienced Travelers know that when life’s trials loom large, a girl needs an article of unparalleled exquisiteness that inspires her to overcome adversity.  We assure you — no accessory rises to the occasion like an Hermès scarf.

From the moment we landed in Paris, there was a giant ET magnet drawing Melinda and me to 24 rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the home of Hermès since 1880.  What began as a harness and saddle workshop in 1832 has become one of the premier luxury brands for silk, leather goods and fragrances.   We took in the rarefied air – a combination of new leather, perfume spritzers and smoldering American Express Centurion cards.

A stairway to heaven for any girl with a sugar daddy

The interior is classic French chic that suggests a Dior-ed Zsa-Zsa Gabor (“Lovely to Look At”, 1958), or my hero Audrey Hepburn as Gigi, *after* the Paris finishing school.  I was completely out of my league, but the polite staff overlooked the obvious and behaved perfectly.

She is laden with bags, and still goes for the scarf!

The scarf counter did a booming business in luscious hand-screened silk squares that made my eyes water.  I admired a scarf ring which would complement the Hermès scarf that Nurse gave me for my 50th birthday.  It was pretty.  It was chic.  It was about $170US. For a scarf ring.  (Nurse : u r at  hermes. so what. get a 2nd mortgage )

But I summoned my strength and passed on the purchase.  Immediately I made a quick ET calculation and converted it to Found Money.  These emotional decisions form the foundation of the ET Found Money strategy, and they build character.

The new Hermes - it's not just about horse motifs anymore

It was just kismet that we found the newest Hermès store in the rue de Sèvres and we had to investigate.  Maybe the aura of wealth would adhere to our ET molecules so we could float through Paris on a wave of privilege.  Well, we didn’t float, but we were completely awed by the modern, sophisticated style of the store.  If Hermès in the Faubourg is headquarters for the doyennes of Paris, then the rue de Sèvres is it’s trendy equivalent.

It's strangely similar to the chair we got at Big Lots - but maybe not.

If you long for an Hermès living room ensemble, or an Hermès tray, set with Hermès china for your breakfast in bed with Hermès tea, this is the location for you.  Though I didn’t find Hermès paper towels it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  I’ll check with Melinda, but I think I recall Hermès cocktail stir sticks for your Hermès martini.   It’s replete with air and light and Found Money of all denominations pouring into cash registers.  They’re all living the Hermès life.

A text message from Command Central (i am hungry. send food pics) jolted us from our dreams of wealth.  We left Hermès for the Cafe Flore to make a dent in that Found Money. Even in the 70-degree sunshine, we spotted Hermès scarves around chic shoulders.  We knew that those ladies would have to never stand down in the face of adversity.

Melinda inaugurates the 14 glasses of wine we relished on that first day in Paris

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Alors, Les Soldes!

January 9, 2011

Les Soldes! A Found Money bonanza. Photo by Heloise Flickr Creative Commons

Now that Christmas is over, Parisians resume daily life, enduring grey January skies in the City of Lights. No French bureaucrat wants a complaining wife and a bored mistress for the duration of the winter.  So, in their capacity as elected officials, they spring to action to create a diversion that will restore domestic equilibrium, attract tourists and bolster the French economy.  Voici Les Soldes

Might the ETs spend Found Money here? Photo by Heurtelions, Wikimedia Commons

The bi-annual Soldes are six-week Government-authorized periods – one in winter and again in summer – when stores across France hold sales with price reductions of up to 80%.  This year the winter event starts on January 12 and continues until 15 February. Prices fall over time – but so does inventory!  Café chatter changes from the usual complaints about taxes to informed discussions on getting into ultra-exclusive events.

The ETs scout the territory. Photo by Andreas Praefcke Wikimedia Commons

Everyone has “Soldes exceptionnels”, from the smallest Left Bank bookstore to world-famous houses on the Avenue Montaigne.  Housewares, accessories, designer suits – it’s all on sale thanks to the French government.  The Experienced Travelers can already feel the kinetic energy of les fashionistas emanating across the Atlantic.  We wondered how Parisians look so chic with prices so high.  Now all is revealed.

The French economy improves by the minute Photo by Gryffindor, Wikipedia Commons

The ETs have a plan in case they land in Paris during the sales.  We’ll scout the inventory, then set GPS coordinates for the items we want.  The goal is to buy during the second markdown to get the best price.  Proper shopping attire is one layer with no hooks, buttons or other time-wasting accoutrements that impede a fast change.

On The Day, we’ll arrive well before opening, employing knees and elbows to reach the racks before the competition.  Nurse is not above using a cane to deter rival shoppers and I can be fleet-of-foot when a jacket depends on it. 

And remember:  if we love it enough to buy it at full price, but we wait and get it at half-off – the difference is Found Money!  So shopping the Soldes is a great use for Found Money and actually *adds* to the FM account as we shop.

Gentlemen: This beautiful Charvet cuff helps justify the investment Photo by Myself, Wikimedia Commons

The Paris Perfect newsletter tells us how to get to events that the ETs can only dream about :

  • Hermès Sale: Jan 20 to 23 at Porte Maillot. The event has become so big that they could not longer hold it in the flagship Faubourg Saint-Honoré Store. Women line up the day before at dawn to make it in for the opening.
  • Chanel Sale: Starts January 6 at 42 Ave Montaigne, 75008 Paris
  • Dior Sale: Jan 9 to 12 from 10 am to 7 pm at Artcurial, Address: 7 rond-point des Champs Elysées. Easy, stroll across the river from the 7th and walk three blocks to the Rond Point intersection. Takes 15 minutes and you can stop for tea at the Four Seasons on your way home!  (Paris Perfect rents beautiful vacation apartments in the 7th.) 

    Trip the light fantastic (or just trip) in these splendid gold shoes that the ETs found near the Palais Royal

And the Paris Office of Tourism is right on top of things:

“Romantic, festive, cultural, as well as sporting, musical and… good food loving! The shopping capital has more than one string to its bow. Everyone will find something they love here and discover lots of exciting things to do. So, you just need the right addresses … Welcome to shoppingbyparis!”

The ETs are excited by shoppingbyparis’ Shopping Guide PDF.  It’s 112 pages of ads and store information.  It’s worth waiting for the download, and it has English translations that will make the $US fly from your designer pocketbook. 

The ETs don't have the bone structrure to shop at Pucci, but perhaps you do? Photo by Deuxl Sarl Wikimedia commons

Working diligently at our research. we found out how to shop Les Soldes from our couch in the US.  About.com thoughtfully links to  1000 Bonnes Affaires and L’internaute so we can shop online from those stores which will ship to the US. 

The ETs aspire to the ranks of the truly gifted, who get in early on the first day, so the best items are hanging in their closets by noon.    If we go into training today, we could be ready to compete in July!


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