Vintage E-tail Spotlight: ReSee Vintage, Paris

All the necessary [vintage] accoutrements for a life well-lived. L to R: Paco Rabanne Haute Couture hat circa 1983; rare NOVA book, published 1993; Miu Miu S/S 11 Capretto booties; Yves Saint Laurent Russian Collection bag, 1976; Yves Saint Laurent earrings; Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière S/S 12 python sandals.

Suffice it to say “curate” is the keyword of our contemporary internet age.  The rise of blogging and its essential counterpart, visual social media- via tumblr, pinterest, and instagram – has provided a ready-made platform for a new generation of tastemakers to share their “edit” on everything from fashion to beauty products, interiors and more, in turn fostering a growth in tightly-edited e-commerce sites that propone a very specific point of view.  Some were early to the trend, backed by celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP comes to mind), while still others have launched more recently by socialite-cum-fashion or film insiders (Vanessa Traina’s The Line, Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey’s Violet Grey).  In the third category, more anonymous figures of exceptional taste are forging new ground – and the vintage world is no exception.

Enter ReSee, a Paris-based vintage e-commerce platform founded by Sofia Bernardin and Sabrina Marshall, veterans of fashion bibles Vogue and Self Service, respectively. Though the site launched in October 2013, it recently hit its stride with a selection of rare out-of-print books and magazines joining the ever-expanding rotation of exceptional designer merchandise, which like any good contemporary counterpart is shop-able by designer, color, size, category and even theme. Click on “Parisienne” and Made in France-only product by the likes of Yves Saint Laurent or Alaïa pops up, alongside hard-to-find titles on francophone cultural icons like Guy Bourdin or Jane Birkin. The scrolling home-page format mimics the user-experience of sites like Pinterest, with product groupings delineated by color.  And perhaps most interesting, most indicative of its zeitgeist-y feel, and what will be, in this writer’s eye, the key to their success: the merchandise spans several eras and levels of vintage, a true reflection of how contemporary women of taste shop [and dress] today.

Especially rare items – like an haute couture hat by Paco Rabanne circa 1983, or a jacket from Raf Simons’ seminal S/S 2000 menswear collection – are highlighted as “The Find,” punctuating the feed alongside more recent – but never pedestrian – wardrobe separates at attainable prices.  Indeed, Sabrina Marshall told W magazine, “We felt there wasn’t a place out there that fused pieces from the past with more current looks in a way that was engaging, inspirational, and authentic.”  We couldn’t agree more.  Goal achieved, and one to add to the shopping bookmarks folder going forward.

Off-kilter designer basics just begging to hang in your wardrobe.  L to R: Comme des Garçons kilt-pants; Pierre Cardin houndstooth dress; Jean Paul Gaultier perfecto jacket; Lanvin jumpsuit; The Row leopard print wrap coat.  All on ReSee.fr, right now.

– Kelly R. Miller

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