Photography Lola + Pani. Styling Florence Arnold

Meet three young creatives driving fashion’s circular revolution forward

To celebrate Vestiaire Collective’s ‘Long Live Fashion’ campaign, a designer, model and a stylist discuss the freedom and joy of shopping pre-loved. 

by i-D Staff
|
19 May 2022, 12:34pm

Photography Lola + Pani. Styling Florence Arnold

Long Live Fashion! Even without context, it’s a mantra that we can all live by, that’s for sure. It is, however, also the brand new slogan of fashion’s favourite online resale community. Yes, that’s right: Vestiaire Collective! More than a exclamation of a deep-seated love for fashion, the phrase expresses a need for a collective embrace of circular consumption to preserve fashion’s (and the planet’s!) future – and to relish in the freedom and fun inherent to getting all dressed up!  

That ethos is perhaps best exemplified by the spanking new campaign that the Paris-based company revealed just last month. Starring ‘The Collective’ – a motley crew of five style icon puppets created from pre-loved, featuring everyone from the timelessly chic Miss Classique to the eco-conscious Lady Green; vintage-sleuth Hunter to the entrepreneurial Rich and the grail-hungry Drops – it’s a testament to the diversity of the community that flocks to Vestiaire Collective to buy and sell their favourite fashion pieces – saving approximately 90% of the environmental cost of a new item with each purchase, according to the company’s recent impact report. 

That diversity manifest itself in the real world, too, as you’ll see on meeting Sharkkana, Oisin and Kasper – three young London-based creatives who firmly believe that fashion’s future is circular. Accompanied by an image series shot by Lola + Pani and styled by Florence Arnold – using exclusively secondhand clothing – the trio tell us about what first made them fall for shopping pre-loved, their ultimate Vestiaire Collective finds, and what ‘Long Live Fashion’ means to them.

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Kasper, model and creative

Give us a feel for who you are through your four favourite fashion pieces?
My favourite at the moment is my brown Miu Miu leather handbag. I take it everywhere - it's big so that it fits everything I need for the day and makes every outfit, even if a little shabby, look kind of posh. Other favourites include a beige Trussardi Knit zip-up jumper – it’s one of those items that makes me question how I even managed to get dressed every day before I owned it; My See by Chloe tartan knee-length baggy shorts; Prada wraparound sunnies; and a kids’ Marvel t-shirt with Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy) on it. I wear it both inside out or the right way round – it's just the best fitting t-shirt ever and is making me neglect all my other t-shirts.

What’s your most memorable Vestiaire Collective purchase? Where and when do you wear it most often now?
My brown Miu Miu riding boots. I got these for my birthday outfit last year and wear them every time I need a little extra height. 

What first made you fall in love with pre-loved fashion and why has it remained important to you?
I’ve always bought second hand, I think clothes get better with time, and as they’re worn they take on their own personality. When I’m buying clothes I try to envision myself wearing them in 10-20 years – or I think: “Would my mum have worn this 30 years ago?” I also love the way that worn clothes feel. New clothes make me feel a little uncomfortable - almost as if you need to break them in first. If a brand has something in their current season that I really love, I always search for vintage alternatives and often find a really great piece for much cheaper. 

What would you say to convert a hesitant friend to shopping pre-loved?
Fashion is constantly recycling itself, so why not just recycle clothes? 

Long Live Fashion – what does that mean to you? 
Most of our clothes are going to outlive us, so I always try to be mindful of what I buy and the companies I support. I tend to avoid buying fast fashion and prefer my clothing to last and be more of an investment.

What’s your dream look or piece to be styled in for a shoot?
Ann Demeulemeester knee-high riding boots – I want them soooooooo bad!

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Oisin, stylist and creative

Give us a feel for who you are through your favourite fashion pieces, and tell us how fashion plays a role in your daily life?
While they may not cost a mad amount, I for sure own some items that mean a lot to me. I’m sure, like others will agree, it’s a nice feeling to know you won’t see your garms on other people while out and about. Even if wearing a common brand, having items that feel somewhat personal and unique does great things for your state of mind.

What first made you fall in love with pre-loved fashion and why has it remained important to you?
Second-hand clothing has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. When me and my brother were tiny, Mumsies used to hit up the same three or four charity shops by World’s End on the regular. She still does, actually. Growing up in secondhand clothes, while a bore when you’re six, eventually became interesting with the random and exciting pieces you’d come across. I didn’t realise it properly then, but some garms become mad special to you just because they fit so well – or just because you know that if you lost them, there’s no way you’d be able to find them again.

What would you say to convert a hesitant friend to shopping pre-loved?
Stop being a wasteman. For real - beyond the obvious benefits it has for our planet, it’s great for developing your personal style. I’ve grabbed old jumpers for pennies that now mean so much to me. They also look amazing and fit better than anything you’ll find new in the shops today. I understand why people may be hesitant, though – people can be impatient and it can sometimes take ages finding something nice. But that’s almost why, when you do, the pieces are even more special. 

Long Live Fashion – what does that mean to you? 
Long Live Fashion is like saying Long Live Oxygen, whether you care about it or not, it’s more than likely going to be there.

As a stylist, what potential does pre-loved and vintage fashion offer you that new collections can’t? 
Pre-owned and vintage fashion is essential for my work, because I love to shoot clothing that looks used and well-lived. I love scuffs, holes, discolouration and wear to be included in my images – and it all looks great when matched with a technical ULW Dyneema windbreaker or something like that. It’s important to maintain a balance of new and old with materials too. That’s what brings a sense of character, history and interest to my outfits. I’d find it difficult to create genuine looks without being able to include vintage and pre-loved pieces. 

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Sharkkana, founder and designer of Sharkkini

Give us a feel for who you are through your four favourite fashion pieces, and tell us how fashion plays a role in your daily life?
Any CDG x Nike footwear collab – I love how they elevate classic silhouettes. They have the balance of feeling nostalgic but fresh, as well as feminine but masculine – all at the same time.

The way I dress is an extension of who I am. It shifts slightly day-to-day depending on what mood I’m feeling or what I’m trying to express.

What is it about the experience of selling pieces on Vestiaire Collective that makes it so distinct?
The consumer. It feels like people who use Vestiaire are fashion-forward thinkers. They’re people who are thinking about sustainability, as well as people who are on the hunt for unique pieces.

What first made you fall in love with pre-loved fashion and why has it remained important to you?
Honestly, I first started buying pre-loved fashion because I couldn’t afford to buy new designer items, and I really wanted a nylon Prada bag. This then led to me spending hours researching older collections and seeking more timeless items. I realised the importance of having fewer but better pieces. 

Long Live Fashion – what does that mean to you?
For me, it’s about being conscious about how I shop. I’m very selective. I only like to have things that I know I will have for a long time, hopefully forever.

As a designer, how does your passion for pre-loved and vintage fashion inform your work?
I love looking at older silhouettes and designs that still feel relevant today, and thinking about how I can do the same. One of my main goals with Sharkkini is to make long-lasting pieces that live on beyond trends. 


Credits

Photography LOLA + PANI @ Canvas
Styling Florence Arnold

Senior Creative Yara Heine
Senior Producer Laurene Mpia
Junior Producer Beth Rubery

Hair Michael Harding @ Streeters
Make-up Crystabel @ JWA
Nail technician Lauren Michelle Pires @ Future Rep

Talents: Sharkkana, Oisin Ruben & Kasper @ Storm Managements

Tagged:
vestiaire collective