Tell us about the new-to-Selfridges vintage sourcing service – what can you help us find?
The idea is that we’ll make your vintage dreams come true. You could have a very specific request – that dress from Gianni Versace 1994 – or it can just be about having an occasion and we propose things. It’s a sourcing service for both specific items or finding something that fits a need. It starts with a form containing all of the information a customer is looking for. We’ll then say yes, we can find something – be it something similar or that exact item – and then we’ll go off and find the piece. When we find it, we’ll let the customer know and we can send it straight to Selfridges, where our in-store couturiers can make any adjustments.
Do you have a standout item that you’ve found for a client? What was it, and how did you find it?
An absolutely stunning John Galliano spring/summer 1995 kimono-inspired coat which was worn by Rihanna in 2019. We also found a prototype of the Alexander McQueen spring/summer 1994 Nihilism collection ‘bumster’ trousers that were worn by Kate Moss on the runway – that was pretty special.
How did you get involved with vintage fashion?
It [started] when I was a teenager – I was 14 years old and I couldn’t stand buying a dress and seeing it on someone else. Vintage helped me wear something different and feel unique. When I was 18, I got the chance to meet one of the biggest vintage experts in the world, Françoise Auguet. She’s an expert on vintage [fashion] from the first half of the 20th century. She taught me everything: from how to put a dress on a hanger, to how not to put a dress on a hanger, to recognising decades.
What sparked you to set up Mon Vintage by Marie Blanchet?
I was shopping in vintage stores and I noticed those shops were getting more and more empty, and I could feel the switch to online. I built Vestiaire Collective’s vintage category [in 2015], which was an amazing experience. After Vestiaire, I got the chance to take over William Vintage [the British vintage brand] and do haute couture and collectible, high-fashion vintage. With COVID, I decided to go out on my own with my colleague Emma. We just decided to challenge ourselves. How do we sell vintage in this new era? How do we make it accessible? The idea of curation, making it personal, following our tastes, and using our global network gave us a new way to access vintage.