At least four times a year, the actress, model, and modern fashion icon turned entrepreneur Olivia Palermo jets off to Paris to view the latest ready-to-wear and couture collections by designers ranging from big-name fashion houses like Valentino to smaller labels with a cult following such as the Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz. Palermo’s style can be described as casual, chic, and feminine. She has a regular presence sitting front row during shows, snapping photos of some of her favorite runway pieces for her five-million-plus Instagram followers and covers runway recaps and restaurants recommendations on her website.
She typically travels with her husband, former model Johannes Huebl, and also has an entire glam squad behind her in the City of Lights, including Dior makeup ambassador Daniel Martin (also the man behind Meghan Markle’s wedding makeup). As Paris Fashion Week kicks off a new ready-to-wear season, Palermo shares some of her favorite places to eat, stay, and explore in Paris between all the glamorous shows.
What are a few of your favorite restaurants and cafes to visit in Paris?
"Two of my tried-and-true spots in Paris are Balagan for a consistently delicious meal and Kinugawa for fresh sushi. Monsieur Bleu is another favorite of mine and the team behind it just opened Girafe, which has a super chic ambiance. And I never leave a Paris Fashion Week without visiting Le Bristol for lunch."
Where do you find time to shop during Paris Fashion Week?
"I really don’t, as much as I would love to! Luckily, I usually get to visit the city at other points throughout the year where my schedule allows for some shopping."
Name a few of your favorite fashion finds you've ever bought in Paris.
"This is a tough one but a fabulous pair of shoes that I bought from Gianvito Rossi on Avenue Montaigne a few years back comes to mind."
Where do you usually stay in Paris?
"I have stayed at quite a few properties in Paris over the years but always where it is most convenient for me to get to the shows as being close in proximity is key during the crazy PFW schedule. We usually call the Shangri-La or Royal Monceauhome. During Couture this past summer, Johannes and I stayed at The Peninsula for the first time and had the most incredible experience at L’ oiseau Blanc on the rooftop—the combination of food, service, and views cannot be beaten."
What do you love about Paris versus New York, Milan, or London?
"What I love about all of my travels is that each city I visit has its own individuality. From the Haussmannian buildings of Paris to the Georgian neoclassical style of London, I appreciate them all for their distinct architectures and aesthetics."
Are there any unexpected places you love to go in Paris that might be slightly under the radar?
"Johannes introduced me to Atelier du Bracelet Parisien on Place du Marche Saint-Honore. It is very unassuming but has such fun watchstraps of different finishes and fabrications, which, for an accessories lover like myself, is mecca."
What fashion shows are you most looking forward to in Paris this season?
"I always look forward to the Valentino, Giambattista Valli, and Elie Saab shows as, season after season, they never disappoint. I also genuinely look forward to discovering new and emerging designers while I am in Paris. Part of what I do that I love so much is being able to utilize my platform to share up-and-coming talent, and it’s during the international fashion weeks that I generally come across them."
Any favorite beauty destinations such as spas, or makeup artists you usually work with while in Paris?
"My schedule during Paris Fashion Week does not generally allow for trips to the spa but the Guerlain Institut on the iconic Champs-Elysees is a must during any other trip throughout the year. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful glam fam that takes good care of me. Dior beauty ambassador Daniel Martin (who also happens to be a long-time friend) and Chanel beauty ambassador Anthony Francoise are my makeup gurus. Benjamin Pinon has done my hair while I am in Paris for almost ten years. For nails, Sabine at Claude Maxine is my favorite manicurist."
What are a few of your go-to outfits in Paris during September?
"I wouldn’t say I have go-to outfits. I choose what to wear based on what makes me feel like the best version of myself in that moment—and that stands true for every day, not just PFW. But, no matter the city, you can’t go wrong with a very chic black ensemble paired with some strong statement accessories."
What travel essentials do you always bring to Paris no matter what?
"I always travel with my Rimowa suitcases. My Vianel jewelry trays help me stay organized and Diptyque candles make hotels feel more like home. Francesco Russo keeps me on my toes and my Hermès notepad keeps me in check."