Maria Luisa Poumaillou Olivier Zahm

Maria Luisa Poumaillou

Fashion Consultant, Printemps

Renowned for her alternative, elegant taste, she opened a famous Parisian boutique, now incorporated into department store Printemps, for whom she consults.

See more...

France Retailers

Biography

Maria Luisa Poumaillou has gone from owning one of the most influential fashion boutiques in Paris to transforming venerable department store Printemps into a serious fashion destination, along the way enabling the careers of some of the greatest names in fashion. Now she is on her way to conquer the Chinese market with a slew of new stores and her own fashion brand. 

Born in Venezuela, Maria Luisa grew up attending Saint Laurent couture shows — her mother was a client — and she got married to her first husband in a dress custom-made by Pierre Balmain, a friend of the family. Maria Luisa, as she is universally known, first made her name 25 years ago, when she launched one the most important fashion boutiques in the world (eponymously named Maria Luisa) on the Rue Cambon in Paris. This was later followed by several offshoots around Paris. 

The owner pioneered the high-low mix that is the norm today and was often at hand, helping her customers select among the pieces she had curated from both established designers and young unknown talents. And for a time in the 1990s, Maria Luisa was one of the few places where one could find the designs of Jean Paul Gaultier and Helmut Lang. Unsurprisingly, the original Rue Cambon boutique became a destination for fashion pilgrims from around the world.

Career

  • Printemps
    Printemps

    Fashion Consultant 2010 - Present, Rome, Italy

  • Maria Luisa
    Maria Luisa

    1988 - 2010, Paris, France

Latest news

Featured articles

Sign up for BoF's free agenda-setting daily newsletter, with our must read features and the top fashion business news and analysis of the day.