Meet Georgia Cherrie and Paris Mitchell, the stylish duo behind The Mercantile, aka our new favourite online vintage store.
We sat down with Georgia and Paris to discuss the inspiration behind their online store and uncover their most memorable fashion moments, which includes being featured in US Vogue.
Where did you get the idea to start The Mercantile?
We have always loved vintage. Paris’ mum has the most beautiful collection of old pieces and from a young age we would raid her wardrobe so I guess our love and appreciation for vintage started there. The Mercantile itself began in early 2015 – we were both back in New Zealand after living overseas [Georgia just finished a fashion marketing and communications course at Barcelona’s prestigious European Institute of Design and Paris had been working as the assistant to the design director at US Vogue in New York] and felt inspired to start something together. A simple idea to visit LA and source vintage developed into what The Mercantile is today: an editorialized e-commerce store with vintage, our in-house label Paris Georgia basics, and a portfolio of designer brands.
What did you think was missing from the online marketplace?
We both felt as though the online retail market was missing soul. So many retailers just seem to focus on product shots and back to front imagery; we wanted to create something with more of an editorialized feel that gave women a subject to focus on rather than just an object.
How do you think The Mercantile differs from other online stores?
I like to think our values set us apart from most. There is definitely a growing trend in conscious retailers so I wouldn’t say we are the only ones but it definitely defines us. The Mercantile is for an honest woman who desires an honest product and we carry these values through everything we do from our sourcing to imagery to packaging.
What is the design aesthetic behind Paris Georgia basics?
Paris Georgia basics is all about essential items and our aesthetic follows this ethos. We design with comfort and fit in mind and choose to wok with fine fabrics that essentially complement a woman’s figure.
Where do you source your vintage products?
We primarily source from California; it’s the city that shaped what The Mercantile is and it’s where it all started for us. Although we are looking to expand our sourcing network… Japan is top of our list!
You recently opened your own showroom – how did you style this space?
It’s an eclectic mix of us; a combination of both old and new pieces. It’s The Mercantile in a room – marble, antique objects, Italian chairs and lots of clothes! We’re almost there and can’t wait to launch our appointment-only shopping, coming very soon. All updates will be announced on our Instagram – @TheMercantileStore.
Who would be your dream person to style?
Maryam Nassir Zadeh! She is our absolute dream woman and crazily enough she is one of our biggest customers. Maryam and her store/showroom MNZ in New York has always been an inspiration to The Mercantile, which I guess in turn drew her to us. She is the most talented, inspiring woman! We are very excited to be stocking her MNZ shoe range, coming to The Mercantile very soon!
What is the one thing you think every woman should own/have?
A subscription to The Gentlewoman magazine, and FQ of course!
Where are your favourite places to shop?
Paris: Dover Street Market, Maryam Nassir Zedeh and The Mercantile.
Georgia: Acne and vintage and antiques shops.
Are you inspired by any blogs or Instagram accounts when it comes to style, lifestyle, interiors? Who are your Instagram crushes?
The Mercantile has drawn us to so many clever and inspiring people. Lauren Faye of C_l_O comes to mind, she has been such an inspiration and support to The Mercantile.
What was your last purchase?
MNZ shoes – for the store and ourselves of course!
What is the one item you are currently coveting?
With the opening of our new showroom we are highly obsessed with our new marble desks and onyx jewellery display.
What advice would you give to people trying to break into the fashion industry?
Commit to your idea – own it, and you will be surprised at the snowball effect it has.
What is the future of The Mercantile store?
We have just opened a showroom in Ponsonby so the immediate next step is personal shopping appointments for our customers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book!
Words: Nathalie Owen
Photos: The Mercantile