HBC at this time has only limited information on specific French companies. One French reader has mentioned the "La Redoute" catalog was well known throughhout France. The
clothing offered is a good indicator of styles that were widely worn in France and by French people in overseas locations. The some styles were also widely worn in Belgium. A HBC reader reports that the major French department stores were: Les galeries Lafayette,
Au bon Marché (HBC has noted advertising from this store), La Samaritaine, La belle jardinière, Le Louvre, and Le Printemps. Au Louvre was a large department store in the centre of Paris. It was particularly well regarded for its luxury good. Many Americans shop here when visiting Paris. French readers are encouraged to submit any information they may have of these stores, including any recollections of the clothes pirchased for them from these stores as boys.
The two main French-language catalogs are edited in a 10 km area : "La redoute" in Roubaix (France) and "Les 3 suisses" in Mouscron (Belgium). Both had separate French and Belgian editions. Now, with the euro, as good Europeans they each have only one edition.
We are compiling information on individual French clothing stores.
HBC has noted advertising from this large Paris department store. We are not sure when it was founded, but we have noted advertisments for boys clothing from the early 20th century.
We note that in the 2000s that Cyrillus is one of the major French on-line clothing stores withj extensive offerings of children's clothes for boys and girls. We are not sure when the store was founded. Nor do we know if it began as a brick and motor store or was founded as an on-line retailer. Just like paper catalogs, you can track changes in styles and detailing in the online catalogs. A HBC reader writes, "In boyswear, the informalization process is currently at the point where wearing a shirt with buttons is sufficiently dressy for all but the most solemn occasions. Check out Cyrillus' online
boutique "Enfants élégants". The the boys' clothes start on page 4. Cyrillus no longer sells the H-bar suspender shorts that they
carried in 2002.
Les Galeries Lafayette has been called the Louvre of department stores. It carries over 75,000 brand names, and welcomes (in the loosest sense) the equivalent of the entire population of Paris each month. Concessions run from Yohji Yamamoto to Gap. The menswear department has recently been given a make over and is now one of the largest in Europe. Also look for enormous departments dedicated to lingerie (an entire floor), beauty products, kitchenwares, books, records, home furnishings and even souvenirs. The two sixth floor restaurants offer panoramic views; Café Sushi is in adjoining Lafayette Maison. For many years Galerie Lafayette published a mail order catalog targetting te general public, including both urban and rural consumers. France in the 1930s still had a very subsantial rural population. There was no televison and the national media did not reach the rural population as it does today and rural people often did not get into cities very commonly. Thus rural children and adults did not dress as fashionably as urban families. Many rural families in France used the Galeries Lafayette catalog much like rural Americans used the Sears and Wards catalogs.
We know very little about this store other than it was a large Paris store on the Rue Auber during the 1930s. A 1939 ad offered mens, youth, and boys clothing. The ad showed a sports jacket and long pants for the young man, a knickers suit for the youth or teenager, and a short pants sailor suit for the boy.
u Louvre is a large department store in the centre of Paris. It was particularly well regarded for its luxury good. Many Americans shop here when visiting Paris.
La Redoute is an important Paris dpartment store. The store was especially noted for its mail order catalog. One French reader has mentioned the "La Redoute" catalog was well known throughout France. The clothing offered is a good indicator of styles that were widely worn in France and by French people in overseas locations. The some styles were also widely worn in Belgium. Redoute was especially popular in the 1970s.
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