Vestiaire's French Co-Founder Has the Best Tips for Keeping a Minimal Wardrobe
At Who What Wear Australia, there's nothing we love more than finding a designer piece on sale—better yet when it's vintage or second-hand. And one of our all-time favourite places to do so is Vestiaire Collective.
Since its launch in 2009, the consignment website has consistently been at the top of our online shopping hit list. It's a place where you can find rare designer pieces, or coveted cult items like the Dior Saddlebag—often for a fraction of the original price. In Australia we've been limited to buying only, but the site's latest announcement has just made every local fashion girl's dream come true: Australians can now sell their pre-loved pieces on Vestiaire Collective.
Before you start clearing out your wardrobe, we spoke to site co-founder Fanny Moizant for her selling tips and her advice for keeping a minimal wardrobe. Although Moizant is now based in Hong Kong, she grew up in the south of France and her approach to fashion is definitely influenced by her roots. Her style is the epitome of French minimalism; relaxed, no-fuss, polished.
When we sit down to chat, the simplicity of her outfit is striking. She's wearing a navy cashmere crew-neck sweater, black wide-leg pants, and Balenciaga speed trainers. Moizant has cultivated what she calls a "uniform" of black and navy to take the hassle out of everyday dressing and define her style. Read on, as Moizant discusses the benefits of a minimal wardrobe, and how to know when it's the right time to let go of a treasured piece.
Do you have any tips for detoxing your wardrobe?
A lot! So, the first thing you actually need to do is separate. The way you do it, if it’s the first time, is separate autumn, winter, spring and summer in bulk and go to the one that is in season. Go through your pieces asking yourself a few things—three questions, actually. First, how long has it been since I've worn it? Second, is it still on-trend and desirable? Am I still loving that piece? And then third is, does it still fit me?
Once you go through that, if you check all three boxes you keep the item. If you un-check one box you put it on the side and you know that you need to do something with that item. If it’s a quality item you might resell it or if it’s a cheaper item you can pass onto a friend or donate.
What about you, personally? Do you clear out your wardrobe often?
Yes, every other week! When I lived in London, an editor came to my house to do a feature on my wardrobe. I opened my big cupboard and she was like, “Cool, where is the rest? Show me the rest.” I was like, “What do you mean? There is no rest, that is it”. She was like, “Are you kidding me? That’s all you have?” Basically, she was very surprised by how edited it was. I have my timeless pieces and my staples and then I do recycle a lot—everything else—so I can enjoy pieces for the season and try more trendy, cool and different pieces that I know I’m not going to wear forever. I can have fun with them, but the rest is very edited and they're my classic go-to pieces. And I do apply that one-in, one-out rule to my wardrobe, so when I want to buy something new, I will make sure I’m selling something so I’m not really spending money. I always sell before I buy so it's like cash-positive.
Do you find that it's a bit easier to keep to your personal style as well, once you have an edited wardrobe?
I used to have a really clear uniform in Europe. Now I live in Asia, I’m still discovering it, temperature-wise. But yeah, I’m very edited. It's very easy for me to say yes or no to a trend. When I’m making an impulse buy, I know I will wear the piece for a few times and then get rid of it, because I know myself, I know what suits me; the colours, shapes and so on. I’m not super adventurous with fashion.
I would hate to go through piles of clothes every morning. It has to be efficient and easy. I mean, who has time to go through, "Is it a skirt today? Is it a dress?" I would hate to have to ask myself a question every morning because it might be quite challenging to answer every day. You don’t know what you want. With a uniform, it’s like, “Okay, lets stick to this."
Sometimes I hold on to a piece in the hopes it'll come back into fashion. Do you have any advice for that? How long should you hold onto an item?
Don’t hold onto an item. Let it go. I mean the Dior Saddlebags are a good example. If you had the Saddlebag ten years ago, was it worth keeping for this long, depending on the condition and how you keep it and so on? I would rather sell it. I say sell it when you no longer wear it and you’ll find it again when you really want it back. So, you don’t need to hold it. We need space and clarity in our lives right now, rather than hoarding stuff and feeling heavy.
The second piece I ever sold on Vestiaire was my Saddlebag. A green, tiny one. I sold that at the time for like €50 ($80). No one, at that time ten years ago, no one wanted the Saddlebag. Now you would pay a fortune to get it.
So, you don’t have any emotional connection to your items? You’re not like, “Oh, I wish I had that green Saddlebag back?”
Personally, I have moved on since that bag. I don’t even want to go back to the trend. It was another period of my life and I… No, I don’t hold onto things, even most jewellery. The only things I won’t get rid of are some jewellery pieces that are for me to pass on to my daughters. Because there was a connection, it was for their birth and those pieces are going to go back to them and so on. But fashion-wise I’m happy to move on and experiment a little bit—from navy to black [laughs].
What are your tips on selling on Vestiaire Collective?
If it comes to selling, I would advise going on the app rather than the site, because you can just snap the item with your iPhone. It's super quick and super easy. The trick is, be true to your item, so don’t try to oversell or underestimate your item and put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. Ask yourself how much you would be ready to pay for the item second-hand and with the quality of your item. Then take beautiful pictures and you’re done, it’s almost sold. That’s the beginning of the process, its about getting into the habit of clearing things and sorting things to sell and then once you’re into that it’s super easy.
How do you know which trends will last and which will fade?
It’s a very good question and I think the answer is no one can know. A trend is by essence a mix of a lot of things at the same time that will crystallise and make it a trend. Is it going to be lasting or not? I don’t know. I think its very, very hard to predict and depending on the pure definition of what you call a trend... Is Gucci a trend? The brand has been running for a long time, so do you call it lasting or do you not? Fashion is a circle. It’s a continuous circle, that’s for sure.