WE HAD A TALK WITH THE FOUNDER OF A VINTAGE SHOWROOM AND MENSWEAR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. DISCOVER MORE!
How do you manage to adapt your creativity in all your different work projects?
I try to always think who my customer is and what he expects from me. I don’t consider myself as a designer, more like an artistic director helping people with a vision to have coherence between their image and their product. So sometimes I help with the product, sometimes with the image, to create a brand with a coherence. I don’t have an strong aesthetic to defend myself, but I love to help people who has one.
When and why did you decide to dedicate yourself to the Vintage World?
I started at the age of 12 to collect military clothes, I never stopped until now. I decided to quit my job as a professional double bass player to be in the art dealing business because I thought I could never make a living with the vintage. But then I became vintage specialist at RRL and met a lot of people in London and NYC in the vintage dealing vintage and they helped me trust in myself and start a Showroom in Paris, I thank them a lot for that.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Everywhere, in movies, the street, Instagram, my neighbors etc. I am always open and when a big trend arrives, even though I don’t get it I try to understand where it comes from, why all the kids run after it etc. There is always an explanation, and that is what I love about clothing. And in 20 years, this ugly trans will be vintage, and might be integrated in my collection.
What do you think about contemporary fashion?
I am sad they quality of the product is no longer the center of the industry. Before luxury ment luxury: high fashion designer would go to the best ateliers and factories to the beat product they could, with their style, but at least the product was good. Now you see plastic bag at LV or printed sweatshirts at Balenciaga… that makes me sad. Also the rythme of fashion is changing : the Zara team see a show on Vogue Runway, and 7 weeks later you have a copy in store, few months later the collection arrives in store and the people already think it is old fashioned. So it is extremely stressful and difficult to be a creative designer today. I love contemporary fashion because something new and big is coming and I am happy to be able to be a witness of this big thing.
Would you have preferred to live in 1950s?
No, there is no good or bad era in terms of fashion. I only post vintage clothing because it is my job and I love to study it. But I am not a nostalgic (only about the quality though). But for example I don’t understand people buying reproduction of old clothes made by mostly Japanese brands. In the 50s the designers would never have produced a 30s clothing line! Fashion has to move forward and be open. The vintage is only a base to study to produce contemporary clothes.
How did you start to find rare vintage items?
EBay and Etsy like everybody. Then you know a guy who knows a guy etc. Now I almost don’t buy online à prefer fresh clothing from my pickers in the USA.
Do you think that the recycling idea behind Vintage could become the solution to help with the overproduction of fast fashion?
Absolutely. To me the dreamed future would be recycled clothes and creative / interesting/ well made fashion. But the recycling is future for sure. It is not even a question, just a matter of time.
What’s the rarest and most special piece in your collection for you? And what’s your favorite one?
My most special is the one offered by my best friend, a rare WW1 Us Army chore shirt. And my favorite is a multicolored patchwork Abercrombie and Fitch hunting suit.
What would you never wear?
Pourly made and with no history clothing.
First fashion memory.
Buying a Dior by Hedi Slimane Raw denim pants Avenue Montaigne when I was a teenager with money I had from my first gig as a double bass player. It was so good…
Spending time with my wife and baby (and buying vintage on WhatsApp to my partner in the USA).
Photos courtesy of the artist
Interview Elisa Bettella