This men’s clothing and accessories boutique store carries brands from all over the world, though it shows a slight favoritism for those from France, Sweden, and Japan. The store is small, but packed with elegant clothing that adheres to its governing philosophy of “sober originality,” which refers to the style of a city gentleman. If you ask the owner, Mr. Alain himself, he will carefully describe each item in his store, and why he has chosen to sell it. An inspired collection of rucksacks and backpacks from local designers make a visit to Mr. Alain worthwhile.
This lovely small street runs through part of central Lausanne, with Rue de La Paix on the east and Place Saint-François on the west. One of the city’s premier high-end shopping locations, the street is bustling with cafes, shops, alleyways, charming buildings, and cobblestones. It’s a pleasure to walk through and a nice place to rub elbows with locals. Many stores on this street, which is one of the oldest in the city, sell goods from international luxury brands.
Walking into Chocolatier Blondel is a bit like walking into chocolate heaven. The modest store on the bustling Rue de Bourg is flanked by bigger, noisier stores, yet it may be one of the hidden gems in the neighborhood. The shelves of the store are lined with trays upon trays of chocolate treats of various shapes and sizes. These include dark, milk, and white chocolate mixed with nuts, teas, herbs, and dried fruits. The chocolate may be purchased in gift boxes, slabs, or by the pound.
Launched in 1987, Maniak is a cavernous clothing store that carries mostly trendy workwear and costumes and costume accessories. There’s an alternative rock hipster vibe to the place, and it’s just as likely to stock work wear as it is to carry band t–shirts and leather jackets. Think Carhartt and Schott jackets, Dickie’s jeans and shirts, and Freitag shoulder bags. Several rooms are dedicated to costumes, where visitors can find masks, feather boas, faux leather, angels wings, and pretty much anything one would want to create any kind of costume.
Although it may not not look like much, but Place Saint François is the hub of Lausanne. The hippest of cafés here is the Café Romand. You can also the grand Saint François Church. Many street entertainers perform here and students hang out. Every city has one place where everyone inevitably winds up passing through, and this is the one in Lausanne. You will walk through the square on your way to trendy rue de Bourg, Place de la Palud, Place Riponne and all its museums. Good place to be seen.
Manor is one of the main department stores in the center of town. You can find everything here, from clothes to stationary and electronic goods. There is also a general bookshop. In the basement, a supermarket offers a wide range of fresh produce (fish, meat and vegetables), together with all the usual products. There is also a desk called the Ticket Corner, which sells tickets for various shows throughout Switzerland.
Olivier Francois Ausoni has clothing for men, women and children, all of the highest quality. Names such as Tod’s, Céline, Giorgio Armani and Burberry line the shelves of this airy and spacious store. One of the shops caters for the older generations and a little further down the same street you will find clothes for younger people. There really is everything; sequined trousers, swim wear, accessories and shoes. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is cool and calm. A very pleasant place to shop, if you can afford it! Plus, if something doesn't quite fit at first, there is an alteration service to make sure that it will.
Charles-Emile Moinat is an antique dealer and interior design store that has been a family business for several generations. The store, which is inside a pretty building near the waterfront of Lac Lèman, has an impressive collection of antiques including beds, clocks, outdoor furniture, lighting, paintings, mirrors, and many one-of–a-kind items. There a sort of regal elegance to the shop and the aesthetics of the furniture. Visitors are more likely to find a sophisticated 19th Century former family heirloom than a mid-century gem. The store draws antique hunters and designers form Lausanne and abroad, and also offers interior design, carpet and curtain installation, and picture hanging services.
This gallery calls itself a “cultural concept store” that mixes modern design with contemporary art, and carries an impressive collection of 20th Century furniture, lighting, and vintage design. The gallery is a taste-maker in international design, and often a stopover for collectors. Midcentury designs from Europe and the United States seem to dominate the collections, and the gallery is the perfect place to find an Eames or Barcelona chair, Danish tables, or industrial desk lamps. There are also exclusive pieces from top designers, and licensed recreations of 20th Century design icons.