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How I #MadeIt: Fanny Moizant

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Photographed by Claire Pepper
Vestiaire Collective launched in 2009, improving our wardrobes forever by offering a community platform where members can buy and sell premium, pre-owned designer clothes and accessories. But this is no average online marketplace; Kim Kardashian is a keen customer, tweeting, a fortnight ago (entirely unprompted) about her addiction to the site and last December, Vestiaire held a charity sale, selling off items from the personal wardrobes of Emma Watson, Diane Kruger, Keira Knightley, Chloe Sevigny and Lupita Nyong’o.

With treasures from our favourite brands including YSL, Chloé, Céline and Balenciaga all available for remarkably low prices, it's the one-stop destination for clothaholics. And expectedly, the co-founder, French-born Fanny Moizant, is incredibly chic. We caught up with Moizant at her equally chic West London home to discuss the expansion of the brand, the origins of her love of fashion and the future of the ever-growing business.

Your mother worked in fashion but can you remember when your own love affair with clothing began?
As a teenager, I used to help out on weekends and during the holidays in my mother's boutique and it was probably during that time. I would unpack the new deliveries, see the new stock and try to merchandise it so that it would sell fast. Being at the crossrail of fashion and business was amazing at that age. I absolutely loved it.

You started out as a trade marketer working with big French supermarket chains. How did you transition into fashion?
In my first job I was learning a lot. It was a great school for marketing, especially when you are not in love with the products you market – it forces you to think much more. I knew it was a good learning curve and that one day I would go back to my first love: fashion.

I think it’s good in life to sometimes take a minute. You appreciate it much more after a taking a step back. The transition was quite organic as I stopped working for three years to raise my girls, and then I attended the Institut Français de la Mode Master as I missed that fashion connection a lot. There I felt the need to do something that was my own, having entrepreneurial DNA inherited from my family, the IFM helped ignite that aspect of me that was buried inside.
Photographed by Claire Pepper
What were the greatest lessons you learnt working for John Galliano?
It was a fantastic period, I was fascinated by the creative energy that was spreading around during those moments, everyone was just so passionate about John and the brand, it was infectious.

I remember him arriving in the office with his creative team. After few minutes we could hear super loud music coming from the studio, it was Lauryn Hill and the Fugees, the theme of the next show…

How did Vestiaire become a business and not just an idea?

We came up with the idea for Vestiaire Collective when we spotted an opportunity in the market for a trusted social shopping site where you could buy and sell luxury products.

It was during the recession and some bloggers in Paris were selling last season's pieces on their blog and I just thought ‘this isn’t easy or safe, but it would be great if there was somewhere that was. That was six years ago and now we have over four million members worldwide!

Did you always have plans for it to become a global business?
We started Vestiaire Collective in France without clear international plans. We quickly realised the global potential when spotting a growing and organic demand from countries such as the UK and Germany. From that moment we have focused our energy growing internationally with the opening of our London office in 2012, our Berlin office in 2014, NYC in 2014, and in 2016 it’s Milan.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced with Vestiaire?
The main challenge is definitely moving from a local start up to a global company. Business is very different when you operate in over five countries worldwide. You have so much to learn about each country and its culture and for us, its attitude to pre-owned. I moved to London when we launched in the UK and it made such a difference having part of the company DNA in the country and experiencing first hand its culture.

How has relocating to London changed your view on fashion and your personal style?
I became a fan of London for many different reasons: its energy, positive spirit, creativity and the multicultural aspect. I think you can find all of that in the English style. Women are bolder than in Paris; they dress much more, they wear colours, prints, heels, feminine silhouettes. At first I found it amusing but it actually, little by little, impacted my own style. I am wearing more heels, more skirts, I am not afraid to wear a bright green V-neck jumper… A bit of fresh air for my usually dark and sleek uniform...

What does your day usually entail?
I get up around 6am, my husband leaves for work, I’ll try to do a yoga class before getting my girls up and getting ready for school. I’ll be in the office by 8.30 where I’ll tackle my ever-growing inbox! I’ll speak with the teams in Paris, Germany and later the U.S., the days fly past and before I know it its 7.30pm and I’m home to see my girls: Louise, 10 and Jeanne, 9. I’ll put them to bed and have another work session before switching off for the night.
Which designers are exciting you most right now?
I really love what Julie de Libran is doing at Sonia Rykiel. Also Demna Gvasalia at Vêtements. I tend to buy Christopher Kane or Talitha. Shoe wise I am fan of Franceso Russo and Gianvito Rossi.

The fashion landscape has changed quite significantly since you started out. How do you feel about the state of the industry now? Are you interested in fast fashion?
The industry pace has gone crazy, year after year consumers become drugged by a constant flow of novelties. It’s now all about usage and possession doesn’t count. In that respect it’s smart to use and let go of the pieces that you no longer wear. Re-selling is savvy behaviour.

What are your must have items for SS16?
This season I’m loving the large stripe looks and the “underwear as outwear” trend. I have real dress envy, I’m after simple shapes in pastel and neutral colours, but top of my wish list are the Gucci mules!

Follow Vestiaire Collective on Instagram @VestiaireCo

This week Vestiaire introduces a ‘wear now, pay later’ interest free payment plan. The scheme offers Vestiaire Collective customers the opportunity to spread their payments over 3 months on baskets over £500 and under £15,000 in 3 interest-free installments- paying a third on placement of the order, a third after 30 days and a final third after 60 days.

Photographed by Claire Pepper

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