A New Feel-Good Shopping Oasis in Paris
On any Paris shop receipt, you’ll read the word merci (thank you). At the new concept store of Marie-France and Bernard Cohen (founders of Bonpoint), the word has additional purpose and meaning when printed out on your purchase record. The place itself is named Merci, and proceeds of every carefully selected, stylish item purchased goes directly to charity. If that sort of good-deed-doing isn’t incentive enough, wait until you see the finery that beckons when you walk into the three-story, haute-bohemian loft-like space in the 11th arrondissement. This is not your typical boutique: It’s more like the most luxurious (and streamlined) flea market you’ve ever canvassed.
On the ground floor is a custom-fragrance station hosted by parfumeur Annick Goutal; a chamber devoted to vintage finery; high-end denim (Acne jeans); lingerie from the best the city has to offer (Sabbia Rose) and some of it commissioned specifically for the store; and clothing by the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Marni, Stella McCartney, Barbara Bui, and Alexis Mabille. Upstairs, you’ll find a petit children’s boutique, a fantastic assortment of home furnishings, including pieces by Paola Navone, Cassini, and, thrown in for good measure, some antiques. Additional dishware and decorative glassware reside on the lower level. Flanking this mini-manse are floral designer Christian Tortu’s flower-filled outpost and the Used Books Café, the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves of which are filled with weathered tomes in all languages that are available to buy or borrow while enjoying a tartine and tea.