Atelier Mayer: The Future of Vintage.

Luxury vintage online boutique Atelier Mayer launched last week, bringing vintage into the 21st century.

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Carmen Haid and Alice Kodell tell Dazed about their love of vintage and how it led them to launch Atelier Mayer, a luxury, online vintage boutique.

Dazed Digital: You both seem to have inherited a passion for vintage fashion-who most influenced your style when you were growing up?
Carmen Haid: It was my Grandmother, Madame Mayer, an Austrian Haute Couture Tailor, who founded her business in 1927; our site was inspired by her. I grew up spending summers in her Atelier underneath pinned mannequins, half finished evening gowns and dressing my Barbie with old fabric samples.
Alice Kodell: I was mad about fashion magazines and influenced by models such as Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton and Audrey Hepburn

DD: Can you remember the first vintage piece you ever owned?
CH: A beautiful wooden hand carved umbrella my grandmother gave me from the turn of the century. When you open it up it has red roses inside. Although a museum piece now, I still use it, and it makes me happy to look up at the red roses on grey, rainy days.
AK: I inherited my Grandmother's original Hermes scarves and beautiful, elegant suede gloves that had never been worn. They are so delicate I'm scared to even hold them....

DD: You've shopped at vintage markets, boutiques and archives all over the world; what's your all time favourite vintage find?
CH: A leopard print swing trench coat from the 70s I got for £20 on Portobello Road 10 years ago. Good leopard print never goes out of fashion, spices up any outfit, and comes back again and again in the new seasons.
AK: My best friend revealing to me that Ossie Clark had left her a collection of previously unseen pieces - fabulous samples that never made it into production - some of which we now have on the site.

DD: What makes Atelier Mayer different from other fashion websites?
CH: Atelier-Mayer.com encourages personality, style and re-invention. We recognize tradition and craftsmanship and work globally with the best resources to surprise and personalise with ultimate style and bespoke service. The website also features a number of exclusive, vintage-inspired collaborations with designers and jewellers such as Belmacz, Yong and Saloni Lodha.  In addition, browsers have access to a vast, encyclopaedic volume of information about designers, decades, icons and all relevant fashion exhibitions, specialist sites and published literature, which are linked to aide research and education. The environment is close to our heart so all our packaging is specifically designed using bio-degradable and environmentally friendly textures and we run a carbon-neutral site.
AK: That we make vintage truly modern.

DD: Do you worry about the effect the current economic climate could have on people's willingness to invest in vintage pieces?
CH: The economic climate effects everybody, especially start up businesses. However, every recession opens up opportunities. We have done extensive research that shows people are willing to buy a unique, one-off vintage piece rather than something on the high street or from a designer that has been mass produced. We already have an extensive waiting list of customers who want to get their hands on our carefully selected items, sourced from all over the world. People who buy vintage are interested in good quality clothes, uniqueness and heritage rather than fashion. Fashion comes and Fashion goes; good clothes stay, and are ultimately a great investment.
AK:There is no better time to invest in style pieces that will never go out of fashion. Vintage is basically recycling clothes, so on every level it's clever, cheaper and better for the environment.
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