It was my pleasure to interview the founder of this greatly creative and constructive vegan entrepreneurship. Combining the love for vintage fashion and the importance of not harming animals and the environment, Bertille Vintage & Vegan emerged. I hope you enjoy my interview with its founder, Valentine Fried.
Q- Welcome Valentine! It's great to have you here. Can you tell me about Bertille Vintage & Vegan?
A- Hello Maggie! Thank you for the interview, it's a pleasure. Bertille Vintage & Vegan is a young brand of vintage and vegan clothing. We offer a selection of vintage clothes from the 60's to the 90's. All the pieces are collected one by one with love. We find clothes with a history and without animal materials for a unique and ethical outfit.
Q- Why Vintage & Vegan?
A- Because it's not easy to find clothes that are both unique and have a story behind them, that also don't contain animal materials. Bertille Vintage & Vegan wants to offer an eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion thanks to a refined selection of vintage pieces, found one by one with passion at flea markets and garage sales, all in an affordable price range. Bertille Vintage & Vegan's selection does not include clothes made from animal materials: there is no leather, no wool, no angora, no cashmere, no silk, no fur in any of our pieces.
As a vintage enthusiast for a dozen years, having adopted a vegan lifestyle two years ago, and spending a good part of my free time hunting clothes, I decided to share my finds.
Q- What do you think clothes should be?
A- Beyond their function of covering the body, clothes according to me must allow the person who wears it to feel good in her skin and to have more confidence in it. Whether a garment is comfortable, sexy, basic, colored or other, it can allow the person who wears it to assert her style and thus transmit her energy around her. I also see the garment as a piece of art, which will make the wearer unique. This is also what I like about vintage clothes: trying to find clothes with strong patterns or delicate details, which are part of an era and a given historical and artistic context, and I like to look for clothes as if I were searching for a work of art.
Q- When did your love for vintage fashion originate?
A- I grew up in the countryside near Paris and since I was a little girl I used to participate in flea markets, both as a visitor and as a seller because I already liked selling my clothes! Then in high school I discovered the Parisian thrift shops and I started to dress more and more from this kind of stores, to have today almost only vintage and second hand clothes in my dressing room!
Q- How did Bertille Vintage & Vegan begin?
A- The idea of having my own vintage store was in the back of my mind for a long time. Before this, I was working as a communication manager in a design school but after three years I felt I wanted to have my own business. Four months ago I left that job to finally launch this new project that currently allows me to grow professionally and to have my own shop, but also to combines my passions for vintage clothes and veganism.
Q- Could you tell me about some of your favorite acquired vintage piece?
A- I recently found this handmade 70's short skirt in Paris and fell in love with the pattern! This is really the kind of piece that I love to hunt: both vintage with a strong pattern but also modern because it's easy to wear it in everyday life with a more basic top, for a look that is just as original.
Q- Where can we find your selection of vegan and vintage clothes?
A- The selection of clothes can be found online at Vinted, Imparfaite and CrushON, and soon on the Bertille Vintage & Vegan website, which will be released on October 3rd.
The selection can also be found at events and pop-ups in Paris, France. (The next one: Sacrées Créatrices popup on September 10th and 11th in Saint-Ouen next to Paris).
Q- What's next for Bertille Vintage & Vegan?
A- My wish is to be present in corners and physical shops all over France, and I hope in a few years to have my own shop!
Q- Thank you for your answers! Is there anything else you would like to add?
A- Thank you for your support! I hope this will inspire people who read the interview to get interested in vintage and/or vegan clothing!
Photographs provided by Bertille Vintage & Vegan.
Article by Maggie Stilman.