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New Yorker by choice, Parisian at heart.
- You call yourself a New Yorker by choice, but you say you left your heart in Paris. What does each of these cities mean to you? Which do you like most?
New York is a city that evokes extreme feelings more than any other: either you fall in love with it at first sight or else you can hardly stand it. In my case, it was love: so strong that it turned my world heard over heels. For New York, I left my job, my then-boyfriend and my plans. I’ve been here over eight years now and there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t discovered something new here. New York has an unparalleled energy: It motivates you and stimulates you into action, because everyone lives in top gear and struggles to realize their dream. It’s a city in which cultures from all over the world blend together and in which everyone can feel that he or she belongs. Paris, for its part, is a city with a soul and an amazing history. Here, more than in any other place on earth, walking along its charming streets, I realize that I am smiling to myself. It is a city to which I feel I belong, which inspires me tremendously both visually and intellectually, in which my senses are heightened to the maximum. I absorb literally everything, starting with the magnificent architecture, the music, the museums and the window displays and ending with the nonchalant style of its residents. It’s a city in which, unlike New York’s hustle-bustle, I like to stop and even get myself lost, uncovering charming corners, cafes, bookstores and antique fairs. In Paris, I also like to hunt down vintage finds; it’s primarily here that I stock my virtual boutique The Vintage Riot.
- What differences do you see in the fashion sense of these two cities? What sensibilities shape it? How is the conscience of consumers shaped?
New York and Paris are two different aesthetic worlds. In Paris, vintage has reigned supreme for many years and wearing name-brand, logo-bearing designer clothes has become unfashionable. Parisian women cleverly break with classic style, including exceptional accessories, investing in original jewelry and cult handbags. Many stylish Parisians buy their clothes in second-hand shops and at antique fairs, because they want to look unique. I admire them for their naturalness, their freedom and even nonchalance in dressing themselves and their remarkable self-assurance. They will go out without makeup and in a long red dress with sequins to meet their friends in a local bar.
On the other hand, women in New York, who are always in a hurry, are more practical. They prefer a sporty elegance and wear so-called day-to-night outfits, which are suitable at any time or on any occasion day or night, starting with work, through lunch with as friend and ending with an evening date. They often carry in their capacious bags, in addition to gym clothes, high heels to change into, since only slip-ons or running shoes will do when running for a subway. I also think that New York women are more likely to follow seasonal trends and to lay out far too much money for that purpose.
- You;ve opened a boutique for vintage fashion, The Vintage Riot. What prompted you to do that? Why is vintage enjoying a renaissance?
For as long as I can remember, even when I was a girl, I loved vintage and chose for myself unusual and bold looks, such as jackets with stiffened shoulders. In Poland, I began buying pearls on vintage websites. But my first encounter with genuine vintage took place when I was living in London, from which I returned with an entirely new style and a new wardrobe. I will never forget when, living in Milan, I appeared at a Vivianne Westwood show dressed in a total vintage look (which was my normal look) and I couldn’t get away from the photographers who chased me down the street trying to find out ‘whom are you wearing?”. Then my outfit appeared on the main page of Style.com as a trendy inspiration
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