As we know, 'tis the season for SHOPPING. And if there's one thing more interesting than shopping in general, it would have be shopping in a foreign city, and by all accounts, PARIS is not a bad place to start.
The thing is, though shopping in a foreign land sounds glamourous and kind of romantic... in reality it is often fraught with unpredictable perils! Indecipherable public transport maps, random trading hours, crazy cab drivers, disgruntled boyfriends. What you really need is a girl on the ground to show you around. GREAT NEWS, then, that our sassy online chum Michi Girl has recently launched another fabulous book to add to her previous bestselling titles! It's called Le Shop Guide, and it's a personally tried and tested guide to the very best shopping spots in Paris - from flea markets to designer stores, department stores to vintage goods, plus the cutest local cafes and other pitstops en route.
Written by the 'voices' of Michi, Chloe Quigley and Daniel Pollock, Le Shop Guide is as entertaining as is it informative, and is embellished throughout with the beautiful work of one of our fave local illustrators, Kat Macleod, and designed by award winning local book designer Alison Colpoys. Le Shop Guide takes the best of Michi - witty fashion advice, insider shopping tips, and beautiful illustration and design - to a whole new level!
We asked Michi girl co-founder and 'voice' of Michi Chloe Quigley a few questions about the development of this latest book, which has been two years in the making!
Le Shop Guide is (hopefully) all a fashionable girl will need to get her shopping done in Paris. The book is organised into areas, and each area is loosely a day’s worth of shopping. We have included all the best shops in Paris, edited and reviewed (and visited by us!). All the things you need are here – opening hours, Metro stop, web address – for over 100 shops for bags, shoes, flea markets, vintage shops and sweet cafés. Basically all the information you need to be the best-dressed girl back home, and with a bit of luck you’ll have a laugh along the way too!
Oh ages! We planned it in 2011, went to review all the shops we had found in 2012, and finally here it is on the shelves in 2013. The pre-production took a long time. We worked really hard to make the shopping guide work from a logical point of view. We started working in shopping categories (vintage, cheap and chic, that kind of thing), but as we were working it all out we realised we really wanted to shop by area, so we hit Google maps, plotted everything in achievable days and then hit the ground running. The process from sign-off to print was about two years.
We worked with stylists and retail experts in the year prior, and edited and re-edited the list of shops. We had advice from designer friends we knew living in Paris, stylists and photographers we work with, and also some tips from global trend forecasting group WGSN who were a great help to us. By the time we got back to Paris it was literally like Race Around the World. We powered through over 100 shops in 11 days. Daniel took all the photos too – it was a fairly epic fortnight with not a lot of sleep or food, but still, we were in Paris so no complaints! Rather than write in Paris, we recorded voice memos on the phone (so tech!) and came home and relived each shop experience, along with each stupid, funny conversation.
The writing took a few months. Parallel to this, the incredible Kat Macleod did the illustrations and the maps. This is the first book that our graphic design studio Ortolan didn’t actually design, because our studio was just too busy. Instead, Kat worked really closely with Allison Colpoys who designed the book. We knew her work and had been looking for something to work on together for a while, so were thrilled that she was available for this. It was an absolute dream. If you can imagine two of the nicest girls in the world, then times it by ten, Kat and Al would be them. They are so talented and so gorgeous, the whole thing really was a pleasant experience indeed.
Our publisher, Kirsten Abbot, is also a gem and really pushed us in the right direction with this book. Daniel and I have a tendency to be less pragmatic and more 'good times', so Kirsten really steered us on the right path for this book. We are, by nature, quite obtuse… Kirsten is, by nature, usually right! We trust her implicitly.
Le Shop Guide is $39.99 and available in all good bookshops now! You can also buy it online here.