Prada FW08 | Fallen Shadows

Sunday, December 09, 2007

To all Maria Luisa Groupies out there

Since opening her eponymous flagship at 2 rue Cambon in Paris in 1988, Maria Luisa Poumaillou has single-handedly transformed the off-the-radar neighbourhood into an international style Mecca. With four additional shops on the adjacent rue du Mont Thabor (and another in the pipeline), it’s only natural that trendsetters have renamed the street in her honour. Intimate and fine-tuned, each one of her free-standing destinations offers savvy shoppers a no-nonsense selection of the best looks from emerging as well as established designers. “The idea of a large mega-boutique was tempting, but at that time we preferred to focus on smaller places, each with its own identity,” says Poumaillou, who nonetheless plans to open a “big store for women’s collections, to give a complete idea of the modern wardrobe.”Among the first to carry now-iconic names such as Helmut Lang, John Galliano, Martin Margiela and Pierre Hardy, each season she hones her creative choices. “I never buy something I don’t like. My idea of a consumer is a stylish man or woman, very Parisian and at the same time totally international,” says Poumaillou, whose arresting roster includes the rising stars Charles Anastase, Christopher Kane, Haider Ackermann and Marios Schwab. Expanding her “laboratory for young designers” overseas, after opening a first location in Hong Kong in 2004, Poumaillou plans to open two new Maria Luisa boutiques - in New Delhi in late 2007, followed by Doha, Qatar. “India is a country that fascinates me. It can become an addiction. In spite of its poverty, it is one of the most refined countries in the world.”

My Paris City Guide
Q: You’ve got your wardrobe covered in terms of style, but where do you like to shop to outfit your home?
A: The Galerie Kréo, Frette (for bedsheets), Philippe Sinceux, and Yves Gastou Paris has many hidden treasures.
Q: Which unusual destinations (parks, museums, historical sites, etc.) do you recommend to visitors?
A: The Musée de la Vie Romantique, Musée Bourdelle, Musée Gustave Moreau, Musée Nissim de Camondo.
Q: What are your favourite art galleries and museums?
A: The Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée du Quai Branly, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.
Q: What are your favourite perfume boutiques?
A: Frederic Malle, Comme des Garçons, Jar, Serge Lutens.
Q: What inspires you about living in Paris?
A: Everything about living in Paris: the architecture, the harmony, and obviously, the food.
Q: Where do you go to find that special gift for the man or woman who has everything?
A: Assouline, Deyrolles, Hermès, Goyard.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Le Meurice?
A: The location, the view over the Tuileries, the bar and the restaurant.
To any of you who're registered on facebook, you are more than welcome to join group Maria Luisa boutique to show your love to fashion and be her groupies.

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