The eye must travel: Paris when it sizzles

Marianne Ibrahim, the Franco-Somali artist, has not planned to expand outside her original location in Chicago, as she has focused on artists from the African diaspora, including Ghanaian-born star Amwako Bwafa. “During the pandemic, I had a strong desire to be in Paris,” she explains, so she opened an outpost on Rue Matignon. “The city is experiencing a revival,” she says. “It’s like the Roaring Twenties.” Indeed, world-class hotels have opened, innovative chefs are revitalizing the culinary scene, and the Bourse de Commerce, home of François Pinault’s massive art collection, and new galleries, has turned Paris into a capital of contemporary art.


Bvlgari Hotel Paris, The Penthouse

The rooftop garden of the Bvlgari Hotel Paris.


Bulgari recently opened its seventh hotel. The design of the 76-room, 1970s office building on Tony George V Street pays homage to both French art (Lalique etched glass, Pierre Frey floor treatments) and Italian craftsmanship (Murano glass lighting). Inspired by the ancient Roman baths, the hotel’s spa features a mosaic pool made of gold and malachite. Not to be outdone, at Cheval Blanc Paris, located in the historic Samaritaine multi-section complex, architect Peter Marino enlisted more than 600 craftsmen to create the apotheosis of French luxury. The 72 rooms and suites are filled with art, objects, and furniture from masters like Charlotte Perriand, Claude, François-Xavier Lalanne, and Frank Gehry. There are four restaurants as well as an indoor infinity pool.


Dish at Jean Imbert Restaurant or Plaza Athenee

A dish at Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée.

Bobby Allen

Jean Imbert opened his eponymous Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée in January, transforming a foundation run by Alain Ducasse for years. There, he pays homage to France’s rich culinary history, serving classics like canard à la bigarade and vol-au-vent. At the Granite, in Les Halles, Valence alum Tom Meyer focuses on ambitious seasonal cooking—like Mesquer roasted pigeon with green cardamom—while adhering to zero-waste and plastic-free principles. Mory Sacko blends the best ingredients and techniques of French, Japanese and African cuisine (such as Breton lobster in tomato miso) at MoSuke, his small space near Montparnasse train station. Tapisserie, a new bakery by the team behind foodie favorites Septime and Clamato, serves French classics: galettes, choux, and a variety of pies.

look and shop

Tapisserie, Paris, ItagraBenjamin Schmuk

Specialty Goods at Tapicere Bakery.

Benjamin Schmack / Babesiri Courtesy

Together with Ibrahim, a host of forces in the art world took root in Paris, including Massimo Di Carlo, who opened Pièce Unique, a small storefront in the Marais that offers a solo work at a time. Pieter Marino’s groundbreaking five-story Dior design may not be an art gallery, but it does include an indoor museum, a restaurant (managed by the aforementioned Imbert), three gardens, and a hotel suite. It may just be the ultimate retail therapy.

Cheval Blanc Paris, Dior Spa

Alexandre Tabeste

Dior 30 Montaigne

The museum is in Dior’s flagship on rue Montaigne.


open image: Round Stock Exchange.

This article originally appeared in the May 2022 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, available on newsstands May 3.

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