Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Merci, Paris

As if I needed yet another reason to return to Paris, the recent opening of Merci, a charming new large-scale department store in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement, has me ready to throw caution to the wind and hop a plane ASAP. Merci's expansive warehouse space mingles dining, shopping, and lounging areas: it houses a flower shop, an Annick goutal perfumerie [my favorite!], a health-food restaurant, a second-hand book shop, and clothing showrooms featuring designer pieces [by designers such as Stella McCartney and YSL] sold at -- get this -- manufacturer's cost! All of this is punctuated by original art, sculpture, and furniture made specifically for the store. The most impressive thing about the whole endeavor, however, is that after paying overhead, all of the proceeds from Merci go to run a co-op for women in Madagascar. The owners, Marie-France and Bernard Cohen [the founders of the French label Bonpoint], aim to build a workshop for the women, “to give them style and patterns, materials and colors, to help them make items to sell in the markets and then maybe internationally.” Beautiful and ethical? This is an idea I can only hope we will see continue to grow. Merci, Paris!









8 comments:

Poke Salad Annie said...

that sounds marvelous!

Brigid said...

Oh wow! That places sounds fantastic. I've been dreaming of Europe lately, too. I need to save money and go. I miss it. :(

Michelle said...

Oh no, the LAST thing I needed was another reason to long to go back to France!!!

Blood Milk said...

i'm nearly in daily tears that i'm not living in france.

Sam said...

Utter heaven!! *sigh* times a million!

Miss Muller said...

oh if you come to paris, i wanna meet you !

ana b. said...

Oh goodness! I wish I could go back to Paris again. Last time I spent too much time in Printemps and not enough time seeing the beautiful sights. Unfortunately, if I went back I would also probably spend too much time here too :( Now *this* is how you do a mall! French-style complete with boutique perfumier.

Emily said...

That looks like the classiest shopping experience imaginable. I loved Paris for the few days I was there, and if I went back I would wear something nicer than jeans, a fleece jacket and an enormous backpack.