What constitutes a life well lived? Happiness? No regrets? Years of enriching experiences? It means something different to each of us. But for a bag, or any piece of clothing for that matter, it should mean it's been loved, worn, and witness to our antics.

Fashion, after all, is a form of storytelling and our clothes are the vehicles that carry these stories. They comment on the world around us and weave together the tales of those that designed, sewed, and wore them. Since 2009, Vestiaire Collective has championed this thinking and, in doing so, played an instrumental role in reframing how we see pre-loved clothing.

The platform’s overarching mantra “Long live fashion” emphasizes the fact that our clothes live a life of their own, one that we should actively seek to extend together. In its latest campaign, Vestiaire focuses on the people that make up this global community. They might embody different styles and have different relationships with their clothes and with Vestiaire, but are ultimately connected over their love of one item.

To shine a light on these unsung stories, we reached out to London-based fashion lover, Deba, and chronicled the tale of her Paco Rabanne chainmail bag as it passed into the life of Sadiq, a Berlin-based model and passionate vintage shopper.


Deba, 20, London

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as very colorful and eclectic.

How do you feel about buying secondhand?

It's really important, especially with the direction that fashion is heading. We need to cut down on manufacturing, mass production, and mass consumption of clothes. Secondhand is a very good way to do that. I love selling and collecting vintage because I love seeing what other people can do with the clothes that have been in my life, and also to look into my wardrobe and seeing a little collection of stories and memories. That's what clothes are to me; they're stories and memories.

How important is it, to you, to give your clothes a new life?

It’s extremely important because it gives your clothes a lease of new life and, every time you can stop a t-shirt or a pair of jeans going to landfill, it helps the world a little bit. So if that means turning your t-shirt into rags to clean your house or into a new vest, so be it. Everything can have a purpose and that's really important and beautiful.


What do you consider a life well lived?

A life well lived, to me, is having no regrets about the past and being okay to let go and move on. There's so much in the future, but I feel like a lot of us dwindle and focus way too much on what we've done when realistically we can't change that. You need to move forward and let go of things.

What advice would you give to someone searching for their next staple handbag on Vestiaire?

Do not have an image or a specific bag or brand in mind. When you're shopping on secondhand websites in general, you have to go in there with an open mind and be like, "Right, all I know is I want a really fancy tote bag," then you'll probably end up with a really fancy tote bag.

What does the bag mean to you?

The Paco Rabanne bag to me is a statement, an iconic piece of history. It's so well renowned that the other day when I went to a party, the first thing that somebody said to me wasn't: "Hey Deba, I haven't seen you in so long." It was: "Is that the Paco Rabanne chain mailbag?"

What do you hope it'll mean for the next person who buys it?

I hope that they can find as much joy in the bag as I did.


Sadiq, 26, Berlin

How would you describe your style?

If André 3000 and Freddie Mercury had a baby, that would be my style.

How do you feel about buying secondhand?

I think secondhand is the gateway to the future because there's so much pollution in the fashion industry. Just being a part of a movement that helps to reduce that factor goes a long way for me personally.

How often do you use Vestiaire Collective?

I'm a collector, so I'm always buying and selling. Every other week I'm on the app trying to buy new things and sell other items that I feel someone else might love, and it's very effective.

How important is up-cycling to you?

For me, it's a way of life. With how the world is today, we need to think in a bigger scope and of the earth as something we must protect. I'm a huge, huge vintage shopper. The idea of giving an item someone probably loved a new lease of life is amazing. These are items I probably couldn't afford on a normal day, and [with Vestiaire] I'm able to actually acquire a lot of items that I've had listed on my wishlist for a long time.

Do you feel like your clothes and accessories become a part of your life and your experiences?

My clothes and accessories are definitely a part of my experiences. It is evolving as I get old, as well, because you are inspired by so much. I travel a lot and I'm inspired by so many cultures, and so many people I meet in different cities, so it's always changing. But it definitely reflects me and my experiences.

What do you consider a life well lived?

A life well lived is a life where I can wake up in the morning, be happy with what I'm going to do that day — be it work, a hobby, or hanging out with friends — and just generally have a happy outlook on life.

Learn more about Vestiaire Collective here.

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