Primpied by Luciano Russo
Buy, sell, exchange
For people who have enough style and to spare!
Day by day we gather clothes, bags, foulards, shoes and so on. But then we regularly don’t know what we should wear and are indecisive: should we take out the dog or the latest pair of shoes by Dior that costed the whole salary?
Life, for people who really live it (“devil wears Prada”), consists of pretty difficult choices, for sure more problematic that the latest unconvincing color of Merkel’s suit at the White House.
We are overwhelmed with doubts, wrong sizes, museum pieces, therefore if you need to come out of the tunnel…come in at Bivio.
Because if you are not satisfied and want to make something disappear, as for example the dress you bought for the first date with your boyfriend and even him, begin from your wardrobe. At Bivio (that means Crossroads) the motto is buy, sell, exchange.
Who knows, one of your rejects could be a treasure for another girl (and we are not talking about your boyfriend!).
We have been hosted by Marco Nicolini Profumo, the man Friday (and Saturday) of Hilary Belle Walker -founder of this wonderful entity – and the French and charming Victoire Carli – one of the Bivio’s buyers -.
Bivio, how was it born?
Bivio arises from the awareness of a world in which many clothes are thrown away even if they could give more. Bivio is an opportunity that garments have, they can live twice, three or four lives.
Did the second retail store arise as a need or a challenge?
We opened the second store to give more people the opportunity to follow our path and know us. To be honest we are connected to the idea that Bivio (Crossroads) is the concept but the way is always the same. Two stores, not two different ways. Two really close paths. We believe that nowadays the right way to behave in this field is to put again into the marketplace everything can be reused, loved and readapted.
At the most important life’s crossroads generally there are no road signs: what drove you to be a trend setter swap?
The answer is in the question, we have been created by Hilary who has been living in Italy for 15 years. Secondhand goods are mainly sold as antiques or at flea markets, vintage is synonymous with old. She brought to Italy this new business concept: we tried to give the opportunity to buy an item still fashionable at a fair price and involved more consumers.
How did you meet Hilary?
Our partnership arose in this way: I found a job offer that seemed to be interesting even if the role was inferior than the one I had, there was someone who told about a new entity. Inspiration was based on an American business concept that was ready to open in Milan. I contacted (Hilary) almost for fun and we met at Bar Cuore, that is in front of our headquarters in via Gian Giacomo Mora. And it was love at first sight. This heart never stops beating.
Impulse purchase or excessive one?
I would choose, without a doubt, the excessive one. Many times, people scold me for being so. But maybe I should tell you impulse, just heart and soul.
Who drew up the policy for the perfect purchase?
At Bivio the perfect purchase arises because of an emotion: we haven’t sizes or a clear style and often we are proud to not follow fashion trends. Each purchase at Bivio arises because people go around in the store and understand that’s the item they were looking for. We don’t want to have just one target but we try to include many different clients.
Which is the item you would never buy?
Marco: I can’t tell you, because Bivio really try to buy everything that is still purchasable and usable. I could tell you that I wouldn’t ever buy a low-quality item that doesn’t communicate anything.
Victoire: I’m a buyer and Bivio taught me to NEVER wonder about this topic. I had in mind many ideas about what I didn’t want to buy because I personally didn’t like. But we are a store and since there’s the opportunity to satisfy the needs of different clients, I must follow this criterion: ok, I don’t like it but buy it for them.
Your communication is mainly based on social networks: Instagram and Facebook. How was it born the idea to talk with your potential clients opening a community called Bivio Babes? Who are they?
Marco: We communicate through social networks because nowadays they are the easiest way to reach the audience. So, we tried to create this virtual group called #biviobabes, they are keen on this field as we are, they love the research and in general the fashion industry. They are our suppliers, our clients but also curious people that day by day get close to our world.
Victoire: According to me, #biviobabes are all prospective people that come into the store and that of course wear style every day, in their way, with nonchalance.
Which are the must have items of S/S 2017?
Marco: Must have items are those ones that touch us, so my advice is to put on clothes that, when we open the closet, communicate something.
Victoire: I think that must have items of S/S 2017 are coverups, very large silky dresses, something soft, colorful but always sophisticated.
Does the appearance reflect the being?
Marco: The appearance reflects the being, this is a philosophical question but we are the skin we wear. So yes, it does of course.
Victoire: In Italy, I found a very original sense of appearance, different from the French one. Since the beginning, I noticed the Italians put on everyday – from the morning to the night – some clothes that on the contrary, French people would wear only in the evening. The appearance reflects the being up to a point, there isn’t a permanent answer.
Your closet is full of…
Victoire: My ideal closet is full of kimono jackets.
Do you think that it is better to stand out or follow the style?
Victoire: It’s important to stand out. In Milan, everybody is attracted by fashion world and of course people try to follow the trends. But, according to me, everybody stands out.
What does it mean being fashionable nowadays?
Victoire: In my opinion, being fashionable means to not care about rules that world imposes. It means to feel free to go around dressed according our own taste.