Feb 19th, 2018, 11:55 AM

The Best Vintage Finds at Your Fingertips

By Eugenie Stall
Owner, Diane Kari, in the shirt I bought
An innovative and stylish French fashion enthusiast shows us how to navigate vintage shopping in the Digital Age

For years now, I have been following fashion models for inspiration: for fashion, hair, and travel. One day, the French model, Louise Foullain posted “Follow @fripouillevintage” in her Instagram story, and knowing that she always has the coolest looks, I immediately followed the account. Post after post featured unique and beautiful vintage finds, and I knew that I had stumbled upon a hidden gem. Each item was so special – I had to buy something.

I found out that the owner of the account, Diane Kari, is a Parisian born fashionista, who has a specific interest in vintage clothing. Although she is only 25 years old, as a millennial, she realized the power of Instagram and took advantage of the digital medium to showcase her passion for vintage and eye for curation. She created her account “Fripouille Vintage,” which she has transformed into an online boutique. She sells her vintage finds from vintage stores all throughout Paris.

By selling these clothes through the Instagram, she creates a very interactive and personal experience with her clientele. For instance, I noticed that she posted a very cool top, so I immediately DM’d her and received a response in minutes. I was so impressed by her entrepreneurial spirit, I asked her if I could have the opportunity to interview her about her business, and she gladly accepted. We met in Pigalle, where she shared her tips of the trade and brought me my favorite new vintage top.

Q: First of all, tell me a bit about yourself and your interest in fashion.

A: I have always been interested in fashion. When I was 15, I wanted to be a professional fashion photographer. I started to study photography until I got an internship in New York City at a photography agency. When I came back to Paris, I worked for a magazine called Paulette as a production assistant. After this, I was a bit lost and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work in this field, but I didn’t have a precise idea of what I wanted to work as. I had an interview for an internship where I would have been a television casting assistant. I realized after that interview that I was meant to work in the fashion industry and nothing else, I wondered what I was even doing in the TV industry…

Q: What sparked your interest in vintage clothes and shopping vintage?

A: Ever since I was young I liked to search through vintage stores because it always fascinated me to find a unique piece of clothing that you won’t see everyone wearing.

Q: So how did you come up with the idea of starting the account Fripouille Vintage and can you explain the account a little?

A: Well, Fripouille is the name of my cat! Through my personal Instagram account people would often comment asking where my clothes were from, and I would always respond “it’s vintage” because it wasn’t branded clothing and therefore it was unfindable. Then last summer my best friend asked why I don’t just open my own vintage shop? And so it began! I posted three photos of clothes I just found in vintage stores, and it sold very quickly. My account soon had 2000 followers, and I realized that people were really starting to understand the concept of online shopping through Instagram. Now, all I can hope is that it will grow and develop even more because it is truly a passion of mine. I feel like I have finally found something I like to do. I am having fun finding new clothes, and it is always a pleasure when my customers send me pictures wearing the clothes they bought and are satisfied.  

Q: How do you get your models?

A: I have several model friends so I started taking their pictures and now I have requests to take other girls’ photos so I meet new people! It truly is a pleasure!

Q: Your account says WORLDWIDE shipping, what is the furthest you have shipped?

A: The first package I sent was to Philadelphia and the last one was to Singapore. I feel like I am traveling too when I send my clothes all across the world!

After our interview, it was clear that Kari is passionate about her account and devoted to its growth. I was blown away by her professionalism at such a young age, and her story really opened my eyes to the influence and versatility of social media. She showed me how Instagram democratizes the business world and provides the opportunity for anyone to be an entrepreneur - no matter what age or status. Even in the last week, she has received over 200 more followers, bringing her above the 2000 follower threshold she was looking forward to.

I asked her if she could disclose some of her favorite vintage shops in Paris, but she coyly kept quiet, saying that in order to stand out as a shop in the age of online shopping, it is imperative to “go out of the ordinary.”