A rare vintage find is one of a kind. A great vintage piece is also very difficult to find. The new vintage concept site Resee.com here in Paris, founded by fashion insiders Sofia Bernardin (Vogue) and Sabrina Marshall (Self Service) offers a new, exciting, and inspirational way to shop for unique vintage pieces. Fast forwarding fashion collections of the past (90’s Miu Miu, Phoebe Philo’s Chloé) to a new inspiring (shoppable) editorial for the modern girl today. I recently caught up with them for breakfast at the Hotel Daniel to hear about their love of vintage, the Resee story and their favourite Paris spots. I am so excited to share this interview with you…
How did the idea of Resee come about?
Sofia: Sabrina and I have been friends for a while now! And a couple of years back, we were having lunch one day at one of our favourite restaurants here in Paris – Toraya. We were talking about fashion, vintage and the digital world. We felt there was no place on the market where you could find great vintage or second-hand pieces that were also inspirational. We both come from fashion, so we have a huge respect for fashion brands, the houses, and the work they do.
Sabrina: There are the kind of eBay-style sites where you have people photographing their clothes with their phone and posting it for sale. We felt there was no homogeneous feel or inspiring look to these sites. The vintage looked dusty, and the collections were from last season. It just didn’t seem respectful or representative of the fashion houses.
Sofia: We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to do a site where you can inspire people and show them the best of house collections from the past?’. Sabrina has the creative side and I was in fashion on the business side. We merged our experiences and started working on the project. From there, things started to evolve and that’s how Resee started. We launched in October 2013.
How did the love affair with vintage begin for you both?
Sabrina: Personally, I think it stems from how modern women dress. I’m always on the hunt for great vintage finds. I will mix a vintage piece with something new and a great piece from last season. When I was young, I would go into my Grandmother’s closet and take things! I have lots of her pieces. And then, it just became an obsession. It grew into a sense of personal style because if you were just dressing on one note (i.e. the latest season pieces) you’re going to look like everybody else.
We are both passionate about finding these great pieces that really have a soul and a life, and mixing it in a very modern way. Pieces you can wear now like you could thirty years ago. It’s part of our lifestyle. This is fashion today, it’s how our friends dress. They want to find ‘finds’ – something original.
So do you think the secret behind the Resee success is how you source and find unique vintage pieces?
Sabrina: I think it’s years of being in the fashion world. The experience, the relationships, the combined network and knowing the sources.
Sofia: I think now, it’s a little bit more selective. You need to have the relationships with the women who collect these kind of pieces and are willing to part with them. They need to know their pieces will go in a beautiful, dignified way, not thrown into a second hand store to gather dust. They see the site and they are willing to part with them. When clients see what we have on the site, they are contacting us and saying; ‘I have some Nicolas Ghesquiere from one of his first collections at Balenciaga and I would love to have it be part of Resee? And that’s very exciting for us!
I love the look & feel of the site? What’s been your approach?
Sabrina: We want to push the boundaries, we want to be new, inspirational, carefully curated and with a point of view. We really want to show you the best of the best of what we have found. We don’t want our customers to have the impression that they’re sifting through those stuffy second hand stores.
Sofia: We didn’t want a typical e-commerce site. We want to challenge people a little but have really good ergonomics and to make the site very clear. Simple. You know tout de suite where you are and where you want to go.
The style of editorial is so unique and inspirational: where does the inspiration come from?
Sofia: In terms of the inspiration behind the editorial – we really try to focus on certain periods. We are very seventies. We also love the nineties. We are children of the nineties, and that’s our period. Women of the past are also a big inspiration for us and of course there is a Parisian sensibility throughout.
Sabrina: We take a fashion theme from the past that people may not have seen and put a fresh perspective on it. Be it a great model that we love, or those old Miu Miu campaigns of the nineties, they are a great reference point.
Who is the Resee girl?
Modern, independent, with her own style point of view.
Sofia Bernardin at Hotel Daniel
What can she buy on Resee?
We really wanted to make our pieces accessible to all. The idea is that you could go on our site and buy something for the same price as you could buy something in Zara but have a real piece for the same price. In that sense you will find a carefully curated selection of unique pieces: from high-end original YSL mink to designer pieces & accessories for around €150.
Okay a few Paris questions…A favourite place for breakfast?
Sofia: Le Castiglione
Sabrina: Café de Flore
Ladies who lunch, lunch where?
Sabrina: Les Deux Abbeilles
A guilty Parisian pleasure?
Sofia: Lots of champagne and the occasional cigarette
Sabrina: A box of Jean Paul Hévin chocolates
Sofia describe Sabrina’s style in 3 words ?
70s, Minimal, Always Modern
Sabrina describe Sofia’s style in 3 words ?
Feminine, effortlessly elegant, eclectic
A past favourite Parisian fashion collection and why ?
Sofia: Azzedine Alaïa 2012 Haute Couture Show. Intimate setting…A standing ovation…Very moving and an incredible tribute to his lifelong career.
Sabrina: Yohji Yamamto Spring 1999 Collection. It was incredibly poetic and one of the rare collections that successfully embraced art and abstraction whilst remaining inherently feminine.
Best vintage find?
Sofia: Vintage Saint Laurent Ensemble worn by Romy Schneider in Les Choses de la Vie
Sabrina: Anything on RESEE
A secret Parisian boutique or place?
Sofia: Les Photon des Vosges for vintage sunglasses
A style heroine?
Sofia: Jean Seberg in Au Bout du Souffle
Sabrina: Charlotte Rampling and Caroline Bisset Kennedy
Parisian chic is who, or what, and why?
Sofia: Is taking less than 15 minutes to get dressed, effortless
Sabrina: No makeup
Cocktails….where? Followed by dinner at?
Sofia: The original Harry’s Bar (rue Daunou) followed by dinner at Oysters at La Closerie des Lilas
Sabrina: Desperately waiting for the Hemingway Bar to reopen followed by dinner at Lipp.
Can’t leave the house without?
3 French beauty bag essentials?
Sofia: Embryolisse face cream, Guerlain Mascara, A scent by Serge Lutens
Sabrina A good moisturizer, perfume, red lipstick
‘It’s such a perfect day’…your ideal Parisian Sunday…
Sofia: Early morning Bio market, American brunch at Renoma, park Monceau with my son, home cooked dinner
Sabrina: Les Marché Puces, Paul Bert
Discover more from the Resee collection here