I love how retail just finds me sometimes. Last night wandering back to my hotel after a day of shows and showrooms in Paris, I stumbled across the launch party for exciting new lifestyle store Merci. And after writing about it for a piece on Philanthropic Retail for the LS:Nglobal trends website just last week I knew it was going to be good. But in reality it blew me away.
This vast cavernous home of lifestyle retailing is a lesson in exemplary merchandising techniques, curated by the founders of childrenswear brand Bonpoint, it caters to all your lifestyle whims - with a "thank-you" tone to the contributors who have taken part. From designers such as Stella McCartney, YSL, Paul Smith or Isabel Marant, Prairies de Paris and Barbara Bui to a well curated vintage offer, beautiful childrenswear section and "brocante" style furniture display units, this is truly a visionary store. The furniture alone is over a whole floor with layed out "living areas" - a mix of contemporary classics and vintage pieces, from Eindoven graduates to established craftsmen and well known designers. For example, 1950s school desks, designed by Arne Jacobsen and sourced in Finland, sit alongside an exquisite armchair designed by Paola Navone.
Throughout the three floors covering 1500 sq m, exclusive and ‘one-off’ products are juxtaposed with more mainstream lines, while in the main courtyard visitors can find both a florist and a cafe, and next door is the Used Book Cafe and library - where customers can buy second hand books donated by leading writers, literary critics and celebrities.
This carefully curated collection of interiors, childrenswear, haberdashery and fashion, florist and even a literary cafe is also an exercise in giving something back to society; the owners intend to donate all the profits from the store to charity. Merci to everyone involved is the mantra throughout the store.
And with a packed out opening launch night when the catering was in plentiful supply (just like the chic Parisians in attendance) this old wallpaper factory should be a new regular must-visit on the Paris retail scene.
Obviously I took lots of photos so take a look at one of the best new lifestyle stores around here:
|Merci lifestyle store|