For today’s interview we reached out to Marie Louise Schultz, the Founder and Creative Director of The Vintage Bar. Marie Louise has always worked in the fashion industry, with a branding and communication background. After questioning her career and the impact of the fashion industry on our planet, she started The Vintage Bar, with the goal of encouraging a more conscious way of consuming fashion.
The Vintage Bar is a marketplace and social hangout that connects buyers and sellers of premium and luxury second hand fashion. By combining digital innovation, data driven technologies and inspirational branding, they take part in making fashion circular. After just four years, The Vintage Bar has become a premier marketplace for pre-owned luxury fashion, making second hand the new normal.
How was the Vintage Bar born?
I am the founder and creative director for The Vintage Bar, which I launched on Instagram at the end of 2017. This happened out of a place where I questioned my whole career in the fashion industry. I am an entrepreneur by heart, so I knew I wanted to start something myself, and I was aware of the impact of the fashion industry on our planet, so it was also important for me to support the sustainable fashion movement. Thus The Vintage Bar was started with a clear mission: to inspire and connect with people and make them inspire and connect with others by showing that secondhand can be as cool as new. The inspiration and inclusion were two core values from the beginning. By creating an inclusive and relatable social hangout, I was hoping to make people join TVB and sustainably participate in fashion by selling and buying secondhand.
You have an impressive collection of items featured in your product list! How do you select which pieces to feature?
To know what is in high demand, we listen to our community. Very early we created a waitlist system where people can subscribe to being notified when we get a specific product back in stock. This has always been a very good indicator for what our community is looking for and what is trending.
Since the beginning we have also been collaborating with the so-called early adopters in fashion, like influencers and the cool girls in school. They influence people with their style, and are participating in setting the agenda for the fashion scene. What is truly important for us is to inspire everyone who wants to be a part of our community, to make them consider a more sustainable buying behaviour - and not just about selling items.
One of the distinguishing features of the Vintage Bar is your Consignment Service, which saves private sellers the hassle of handling the sale themselves. How does that work exactly? And how did you handle the consignment process during Covid?
Our mission is to connect buyers with sellers of premium and luxury secondhand fashion from around the world, with no exclusion. Thus is now also possible for individual people to become sellers on The Vintage Bar’s platform by listing their own designer pieces on the site.
Our platform enables our community to buy and sell from and to like-minded people from around the world that share the same passion for secondhand fashion. People out there are cool, and they can inspire many others with their style. We want to put them in the front row of the fashion scene by representing them on our platform - and making the fashion industry more sustainable with their help.
On top of that we are representing local second hand stores from around the world that we pick by looking at their ability to curate secondhand pieces that our community will love. Their entire product selection is then available for purchase online at TVB. In this way it is possible to be located, for example, in Berlin and shop cool and unique secondhand fashion from a secondhand store in Tokyo.
In this mission of connecting buyers and sellers, we serve as moderator. This is to ensure a positive tone of voice all the way, and even though we are getting bigger, we make a quality control of all products sold by our private community members and professional sellers, before the products are sent to the buyers.
In regards to COVID, our vision has only become stronger. Now more than ever, it is important for us to connect with our community and make them feel inspired. We hope that our community’s experience with us, and with other members from our community really, can do a difference.
As of right now you only have one store in Copenhagen. Are there plans to open more locations around the world?
As a natural part of our DNA, we have decided to keep our showroom in Copenhagen, where it is still possible to visit us. Outside of Copenhagen, both internationally and nationally, we will be focusing on collaborations with local cool stores and creative spaces, where we can meet our community in person.
Words by Mara bande