If Geneva’s Vieille Ville – Old Town – is the Swiss city’s epicentre of art and antiques, then the block around Place du Molard is the web of streets where one wander around the chicest designer boutiques and most directional multibrand stores.
This city is well-stocked with luxury watches and delectable chocolate, but with fashionable garments, shoes and accessories, too, especially on the Rive Gauche, where the Rue du Rhône lies.
Put on your walking shoes, because these are Geneva’s cobblestone we’re exploring here, taking you to the most interesting retail gems between the Rhône and Lake Geneva.
Rue du Vieux-Collège 7
Located in the city’s shopping district, this edgy and eclectic boutique offers a creative mix of global fashion labels like Vivienne Westwood as well as local design talent.
Rue du Perron 10
Opened in 2000 by fashion editor Katharina Sand, this wonderland of designer goods is the perfect place to poke around for European-chic formal haute casual wear.
20 Grand'Rue; 41-22/310-2050
It’s rumoured that it is here, rather than museums or monuments, that is really the best spot to learn about Geneva’s diverse history. At the Librairie, patrons have been known to pick up everything from first edition-printings of Les Misérables to signed Marie Laurencin prints hidden among the store’s many treasures.
Plaine de Plainpalais
Like the Librairie Ancienne, here diligent design hunters and culture vultures can find extraordinary steals among the blankets and tables selling crafts, home goods, and fashion finds.
Place des Augustins 3
This minimally designed boutique stocks a very wearable selection of Swiss fashion brands and jewellery, and the lines of international designers. Often of a subdued style, trek here for soft cashmere and flowy dresses, gold-tone jewels and children’s furniture.
Rue du Marché 34
If you are looking for all of your favourite leading brands in one place, look no further than Bongénie. Think Selfridges but on a smaller scale, this designer clothing Walhalla is a one-stop-shop for head-to-toe shopping.
rue Pierre-Fatio 5
For lovers of history and jewellery alike, an opulent trip into the world of the historic Russian jeweller Fabergé is a must. The Genevan boutique, set in a townhouse that overlooks Le Jardin Anglais, speaks to the imagination through its fusion of heritage and the contemporary stripped-back classicism of much-lauded Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. Using mostly tones of white and beige, with pops of light-hearted colour, Hayon has created a Salon that transcends Fabergé’s aristocratic and elite reputation, turning it elegantly inviting.
Switzerland’s bastion of all things luxury, Geneva is a hotspot of wealthy, cultured cool. Peek in our Travel Journal to discover more about fashion house Bally, glimpse some jaw-dropping jewels by De Grisogono, peer into Rémi Tessier’s Villa du Lac at hidden Genevan design abode, the lakeside and ever so glam La Réserve Hotel and Spa Genève and read about La Réserve owner and keen oenophile, Michel Reybier’s incredible world of luxury wine. For more design guides browse through the White Line Hotel collection, full of under-the-radar guides to all things design in: New York, Paris, Zurich, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Vienna.