Fashion Stories: Isle
For our latest conscious fashion editorial, we dived into Roman Vardijan’s collection of exquisite vintage finds and designer pieces that he rents out through his legendary Nightboutique.
From Azzedine Alaia’s heyday dresses to 1990’s Chanel jewellery and Lanvin showpieces that never went into production, Nightboutique has become one of Berlin’s best-known secrets in the fashion scene and has helped many stylists and designers develop their unique language. In addition, we believe that Roman’s rental boutique is beautifully in sync with the transformation from a linear to a circular fashion system that will see innovative business models blossom. Rental systems are growing in importance and they drive sustainability – by maintaining the ownership of goods and selling their performance, rather than the goods themselves, a business has an invested interest in working with high-quality goods and maintaining the quality over long periods of time. Of course, we had to ask Roman some questions, and you can find his thoughts on what makes a piece collectible and stand the test of time at the end of this wonderfully quirky fashion story, shot by Ulrike Rindermann and styled by Sophia Schwan.
Q+A with Roman Vardijan, owner and curator of Nightboutique:
Roman, what is your background in fashion?
Years ago, I studied apparel technology. I was fascinated by how many steps it takes to create a single garment. I learned about all aspects of the numerous processes starting with the design, the production process and the marketing.
What inspired you to start Nightboutique?
Nightboutique started in the beginning of the naughties in Berlin’s nightlife. Back then it was a pop-up sale during parties. It was about four years ago, that I decided to stop reselling and to rather start developing a high-fashion styling archive.
How do you decide on what to include in your collection?
I only buy pieces I really love. In that moment of discovery, it doesn’t matter if it’s worth keeping or profitable. I think that’s what makes my collection special.
What brands do you love the most and why?
I love brands and designers that have changed the fashion system and represented youth culture. These brands will always be highly collectible.
What are your most valued vintage pieces and how did you discover them?
Years ago, I found one of the earliest Birkin bags from the 1920’s in an auction house in a small city in Southern Germany. The piece was so rare, that after sending to Hermés in Paris to be restored, I was offered 15,000 Euros to sell it. Of course, I didn’t!
What are some of your most memorable shopping experiences while searching for new additions for Nightboutique?
Almost 10 years ago, I met an old lady who collected fashion for the last 70 years. Her house was stuffed to the brim with gorgeous pieces. Right there, between her dining table and the sideboard, there were ten racks full of Burberry trench coats casually hanging right in my face. Even in her bathroom you could find closets – she had every Chanel and Hermés cruise collection towel from the 1980’s until now. Her garage was packed with motorcycle leather jackets from the 1950’s, barely ever touched. It was mind-blowing. From her, I bought my very first Chanel.
What kind of clients are you renting to?
After years of hunting and collecting, I have a selection of different styles that I am offering to stylists, and I am renting out garments, shoes and accessories to magazines. Very frequently, young designers come for some research and additional inspiration from the past when working on their own new collections.
Considering the environmental impact of the fashion industry, how is Nightboutique delivering a more innovative and sustainable solution?
Investing in good quality and outstanding design makes a collection timeless and contemporary at the same time. Buy better and buy less.
Sophia Schwan @Klaus Stiegemeyer
Hair & Makeup
Laura Rakhman Kidd @Core
All pieces via Nightboutique
One – Dress: Lanvin, Boots: Balanciaga
Two – Hat: Jacquemus, Earring: Prada, Dress: Azzedine Alaia
Three – Full Look: Balenciaga
Four – Dress: Saint Laurent, Socks: Prada, Slides: Céline
Five – Hat: Jacquemus, Earrings: Prada, Dress: Azzedine Alaia
Six – Earrings: Prada, Top: Vintage
Seven – Full Look: Balenciaga
Eight – Dress: Azzedine Alaia
Nine – Earrings: Prada, Top and Trousers: Vintage
Ten – Hat: Jacquemus, Dress: Azzedine Alaia
Eleven – Dress: Saint Laurent, Socks: Prada
Twelve – Earrings: Prada, Top: Vintage
Thirteen – Top and Trousers: Vintage, Earrings: Prada, Slides: Céline