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Max Mara coat

Chanel pants

Céline sandals

It is actually very hot in Paris, but despite that, my mind has been on coats for the past couple of weeks. I’m planning to launch my vintage coat shop, Mies, during the upcoming autumn and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

I recently picked up this gorgeous, but very worn, Max Mara coat from a lovely old french lady and I was hesitating for a long time if I should include it in the selection or not. But after a careful maintenance I managed to fresh it up and it got me thinking that I got into second-hand business for a reason. I’m very tired of the whole fashion cycle and newness in general. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working – more or less – in retail for almost a decade, but for years I’ve been buying almost exclusively secondhand. And I don’t mind when things have been worn, isn’t that the idea of second-hand? I’ve seen a concerning trend of people buying and selling “vintage” with the description of “brand new, tags on” (I’m also guilty) still convincing themselves being sustainable. If that’s the direction, what happens to the worn clothes at the end?

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Giorgio Armani cashmere coat in ‘Golden Hands’ editorial shot by Albert Watson for Vogue Italia, October 1989

I’ve been working on this exciting project for a while now and finally I’m able to reveal it. I’m launching soon a shop for vintage coats! You can follow more updates and get some inspiration at @mies_vintage instagram account.

Over the years I became quite good hunting vintage pieces, and I think it’s definitely key to a more sustainable wardrobe. And when it comes to coats, maybe it’s a Scandinavian thing, but to me a coat is the most important piece of an outfit most of the year, and with good materials it can last for decades. I wanted to put my skills in use and started to create a beautiful selection of great quality coats for everyone who doesn’t have time, or even access to browse the best vintage boutiques.

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Past years in Paris have really shaped my wardrobe philosophy and I’ve been thinking a lot how to balance sustainable values and the love for fashion. This is a discussion I could go on and on for hours, but in summary; you can admire things without owning them, that’s the beauty of it. Use fashion as a reference or source of inspiration.

I have very small selection of clothes in my closet (moving between Helsinki and Paris might have affected to this plus sharing a studio with my boyfriend). However, nothing beats a fully functional wardrobe and if I really feel like needing something new, I will sell something else before. Everything is being used and maintaining them right will make them last for many years to come. Love your own clothes, not the ones in the store.

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Jacket Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghésquiere

Trousers Chanel

PARIS TIPS – Fashion archives combined with sustainable form of shopping and recyckling results in an obsession for vintage stores. I wanted to share my favourite depot-vente boutiques in Paris, where I can wander for hours feeling the fabrics and admiring the details. From the smallest ones you can find some real treasures and negotiate good deals. If you’re not in Paris, Vestiaire Collective is another good option to escape the current fashion world for a while.

Depot – Vente Deluxe  is my absolute favourite, tiny boutique with very good and well curated selection. Here I found my Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghésquiere wool jacket with the signature round shape and very low price. 2 Bis Rue du Roi de Sicile, 4ème arrondissement

La Boutique de Cara has a selection for a slightly older clientele but best option if you are hunting for well fitted trousers or timeless silk blouses. 80 Rue de Turenne, 3ème arrondissement

Lily Rose Luxury holds the best vintage bags, here you can find everything from Louis Vuitton trunks to Birkins and gorgeus limited edition Chanels. They also know the true value of these bags and prices may go even higher than the original ones. 40 Rue Dauphine, 6ème arrondissement