Giada Barra, life of the two Florentine vintage shops C’est Chic
A paradise for lovers of textiles, silks and secondhand goods
How did your passion for vintage fashion come about?
I started going to second-hand markets in the early 90s when they were still quite niche. I saw the vintage clothing sector as a chance to create, experiment and mostly to have fun while diversifying and cultivating my passions for art, antiques, museums, fashion and commerce. All this led me to open my two boutiques with vintage and pre-loved clothing and items in the heart of Florence.
What do your two boutiques in Via del Parione and Via Maggio specialise in?
Both came into being with a unique concept, somewhere between the scrupulousness of historical research and improvisation. It is an eclectic area, where my passions and work background involving my years of experience as a luxury fashion retailer in both Italy and Asia can be understood.
An item that you were most reluctant to part with?
Each garment I sell is like a separation. I am reassured by the conviction that the choice of that item is generated by the will to re-love it as it is and for the history connected to it. I personally take care of the buying in the two boutiques, doing the meticulous picking. What is there first reflects my personal taste, and then the sales criteria.
The must-haves of a chic girl’s vintage wardrobe?
A silk hat, a rhodoid bag and a piece of jewellery. A 1960s hat can coexist with some ‘80s earrings. It is all about balance.
What about some unmissable spots in Florence for fashion history enthusiasts?
The Stibbert Museum, which is testimony to the evolution of taste and production techniques over time, and the Ferragamo Museum.