It's great to be inspired by people doing something well somewhere in the world. MERCI is the store in Paris' 3rd arrondissement which everyone is talking about.
Merci was opened last March by Marie-France Cohen and her husband Bernard, the founders of posh French childrens wear label Bonpoint. After selling Bonpoint they were looking for a new creative outlet but as they no longer needed to work for a living, decided to help the people who had worked for them in Madagascar and the profits from Merci go to help a womens co-op there.
Merci incorporates everything Marie-France loves - décor, fashion, flowers and children and has a cafe lined with bookshelves with books in various languages.
A Fiat Cinqucento piled high with furniture is an iconic installation in the courtyard by fabulous English fashion photographer Tim Walker. (Incidentally Tim did work experience with our team at Harpers Bazaar in Sydney in the late 80s, when I was a fledgling art director myself!)