Shopping insolite – Secret shopping spot
And although I do love the comfort of browsing from home, online shopping can make deciding so much more difficult since I can’t really try things on, and see how they look on my waistline. I have sent jeans back to Yoox three times in a row before obtaining the perfect fit… it can take weeks on end!
I suppose there is always the option of a personal shopper, but then for what I have to pay her (or him), I am short that much cash for the actual shopping! That defeats the purpose.
She’s an Italian in Paris… You know how for the Americans, anything French seems to be considered a super desirable luxury item? Well for the French, anything Italian is soooo chic, bella bella! …
So this Italienne, Miki, has her own personal store in her Parisian, rue Saint Honoré apartement. Et donc, instead of shopping from the comfort of your home, you can shop from the comfort of hers! This is the first fabulous thing about this experience (because it is an experience). She has a spacious room at your disposal with place to relax, spread out, put your purse down, kick off your heels, change clothes (or if you’re a little shy you can ask to use the bathroom, but it’s France, so no one really minds if you strip to your pantyhose in front of them…nudity…pffft! that was a pseudo-novelty in the 1920’s maybe!). The mirror sits at the far end of the room inbetween two white-linen-veiled windows, so you get the maximum daylight to admire your frocks.
The second thing that I love about this? The time. You get to make an appointment, which means you have time set aside for you (and your friends that you’ll bring of course), and you are not rushed by retail sales people who can’t be bothered to deal with your indecisiveness, your search for the right size, and the fact that they are always out of the color you want. Miki will give her expert opinion about what looks lovely on you and what brings out your best features, but she’s not a hard-sales type of lady. You feel really as if you are at your girlfriend’s house and you get to raid her amazing closet!
Miki knows hospitality too. She welcomes you, as a host would, with tea and treats to nibble, which is a wonderful way of putting you at ease, making you feel comfortable and allowing you to stay longer. Refreshments make any event better. And the shopping session becomes more of a hanging out with friends experience (expecially if you bring more friends along too), than just plain old shopping. You chat about clothes, current events, designers, diets, whatever! Shopping at Miki’s could never be boring and is a thousand times more fun than dragging yourself through the herds at the Galleries Lafayette!
And then of course, there’s the clothes! Much of her items are from Italian designers, but she mixes in a few French designers as well, and the prices are sweet. MaxMara, Aviu, Grazia Bagnaresi, Blumarine, Etro, Malloni, Marni, Missoni, Miu Miu, Moschino, Prada, Quodlibet, Rick Owens, Tibi, Valentino…. they ooze out of the room with racks full of sumptuous fabrics that slide onto your skin like they have been begging you to wear them for ever and ever. And just as she has an entire room dedicated to trying the clothes on, relaxing and prancing in front of the mirror, so does she also have a room just for browsing through racks of clothing. And entire room the size of my bedroom full of frocks! Brand name, well-made, quality designer clothes, that you can wear for years to come.
Miki hand picks all the items she sells, in Italy mostly. She keeps frequent and loyal customers in mind when she selects them and she will offer hemming services as well if needed.
I walked away with a gorgeous red attention-getting cocktail dress from Costume Nationale for a steal at 70 euro, a bunny-soft chocloate cashmere cowl-neck cap-sleeve sweater for 40 euro, and a beautiful plum Grazia Bagnaresi piece that is so chic yet as comfy as pj’s, for 90 euro. What’s not to love!
I invite you to contact Miki, who is available every day by appointment only. Contact her in advance : firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know I sent you and please DO tell me what treasures you found!