If you love shopping for second-hand clothing, chances are Chercheminippes in the 6tharrondissement probably isn’t on the top of your list because you’ve been told that all the good “fripperies“are in the Marais. But here on Spotted by Locals we like to look outside the box. In fact, Chercheminippes has been selling second-hand items since the 1970s and now has six boutiques, all located on rue du Cherche-midi, each one with its own speciality (women’s clothing, men’s clothing, “couture“, kid’s clothing, accessories, ornaments and antiques).
The business is family-owned and operated by the foundress’ three children. It works as a so-called “dépôt-vente“, a system whereby you drop off the clothes you no longer want, entrusting the sale to Chercheminippes who will take a commission on the final sale’s price. The items are always in pristine conditions and on sale for very reasonable prices (I once scored a pair of brand new Weejuns loafers for half the original price, and I wear them to work nearly every day!)
I am unsure about the origin of the name but I believe it could be a contraction of “Cherche-midi” (the name of the street) and “nippes” (an expression referring to old clothes), as well as a pun on “cherche nippes” (looking for clothes). The one thing that is sure, however, is that in a world where we have grown increasingly conscious of our impact on the planet and seek more and more to buy second-hand, Chercheminippes were definitely pioneers!