I discovered my new favourite shop during a trip to Paris last Easter. After an afternoon marvelling at the paintings and sculptures at the Musée Picasso, I stumbled across Merci. A stunning lifestyle emporium, it was launched a year ago by Marie-France and Bernard Cohen, the couple best-known for creating the chic children’s fashion store Bonpoint more than 30 years ago.
Merci, their new venture, is housed in a vast disused factory in the fashionable Marais district of Paris. Alongside furniture, china and flowers, the shop sells clothes (new and vintage), pictures and Annick Goutal perfume. All the profits go to a children’s charity in Madagascar and there’s even a used-book cafe where you can sit in an old leather armchair, sip an espresso and peruse the books. Bliss – except when I eagerly suggested taking my teenage son there, he was appalled. “It sounds like a ‘do I really need it’ sort of shop,” was his crushing verdict.
My daughter, however, was entranced, especially by the plant-laden bright red Fiat 500 that’s permanently parked in the courtyard (more art installation than car) and the chic brown paper and string they wrap customers’ shopping in.
The fantastic news is that Merci’s now on its way to the UK. It’s opening a pop-up shop at Liberty in London for one month from March 8. There’ll even be an exclusive fashion and homeware range designed by Marie-France using Liberty’s famous florals. I can’t wait!