Last week Eleanor gave you a fantastic guide to shopping at all of Paris’s most loved vintage shops.
For the shopper who has seen it all and still wants more, I give you: “Merci”.
Merci is a “concept store” on Boulevard de Beaumarchais, which is just on the outskirts of the Marais, Paris’s main vintage district. When you arrive, you’re offered three alternative entrances: my entrance of choice was through the courtyard, where you are presented by a very cool, very old red Fiat Cinquecento.
Most likely to be frequented by Bobos (that’s Parisian slang for Bohemian people – think London’s Brick Lane, skinny jeans and big glasses kind of types) Merci is a renovated 19th century fabric factory, which oozes so much über cool, that just entering the shop almost gives you with some kind of Parisian street cred, leaving you feeling like a bit like a smug shopper, who has just uncovered a rare hotspot.
I’m still not 100% sure what a concept store really means, but this place has everything you could think of, from stunning jewellery, vintage clothing and an entire floor dedicated to beautiful furniture. There was even a dedicated shoe section, which included a few of our Sarenza favourites including Mellow Yellow. When I was there, the downstairs area was playing host to a modern art exhibition, which included none other than an abstract fish bowl with live fish inside and a home cinema.
All of the prices were arguably more than most vintage shops – with €30 for the average top; however, this is a store with a difference as Merci gives all its profits to their own charity foundation that helps deprived children in Madagascar, so you needn’t feel guilty when parting with your euros!
Merci also has a really cosy café, with book shelves from the ceiling to the floor, which was my favourite part of the store as it is perfect for whiling away a few hours on Saturday afternoon, nursing a large hot chocolate (and a yummy slice of homemade cake) and getting lost in a good book – or one of my favourite Parisian past times: people watching.
For hardcore vintage shoppers and fashionistas alike, it is definitely worth taking a look, even if it’s just to say you’ve seen it. My word of advice would be to take a good book and try some of the delicious homemade orange sponge cake!
111 Boulevard de Beaumarchais