Selfmade Experts: Sofia Bernardin / Re-See

© Collage / Julia Zierer

Sometimes you have to keep a secret to yourself for a while, if not just to enjoy the feeling of having found a little treasure. I’ve long joked with Veronika that under no circumstances do I want to feature my favorite second hand online shop here. But then again, I can’t keep such wonderful things from you: A 70s velvet dress from YSL, the classic Box Bag from Céline or the formerly believed-to-be-lost boots from Balenciaga – it seems that the two women behind ReSee have found via a secret source. Even if I wanted to: I can’t buy out the entire store, it’s just too full of incredible things.

And so one morning via Whatsapp I received a photo of Sofia Bernardin’s business card. Veronika met her the previous evening at a dinner in London and thus this feature came to life. Together with her business partner Sabrina Marshall, Sofia reveals how she became a self-made expert:

 

We were having lunch together at Toraya in Paris, lamenting about great pieces from past seasons that we missed out on and how amazing it would be if there were a curated, trustworthy site where you could find them without having to sift through hours of products. The conversation naturally evolved to, “What if on this same site we could sell our own past pieces.” We all have items that we loved and for a multitude of reasons don’t wear anymore, but who has time to sit and shoot all of their pieces? We wanted to create a modern, curated site for buyers and sellers who love and respect fashion as much we do.

We are constantly inspired by the modern woman, who loves to mix pieces from the past with pieces from today. With so much on offer in today’s marketplace, we really want to focus on individuality and making women feel special. In the beginning we feared that our lack of tech backgrounds would stymie our ability to launch an internet company. In fact, it turned out to be the opposite: our curiosity and excitement about new things allowed us to create a site from the perspective of our buyer. ReSee is not created by a room full of male developers who don’t understand the way women shop, it’s created by women who want to inspire other women. The response from our customers is, without a doubt, our greatest success. Everyday we receive an outpour from happy customers thanking us for our dedication to service and for helping them find that piece that got away! We are lucky to have such great clients with such great eyes for fashion.

The hunt for special pieces was an organic process: It started off with our personal network then spread bouche à oreille. Now we get calls from all over the world from people that love our site and want to sell their collections on ReSee. A vintage piece becomes something special once it follows the rules of modernity. You look at a Yves Saint Laurent piece from the 60s and it is still relevant today. It’s remarkable – and such a testament to how visionary he and some of his contemporaries were. That’s what keeps us inspired. Coming across amazing pieces that left their mark on fashion today: a 70s Yves Saint Laurent cape, an Alaïa dress from the 80s, Helmut Lang of the 90s, Nicolas Ghesquière’s early work at Balenciaga … there is inspiration everywhere!

It is our biggest joy to see our team growing on a daily basis. The two of us as a team provides a great support system in and of ourselves. We are always challenging each other and pushing ourselves to the limits in terms of creativity and feasibility. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and playing off one another’s strengths. Today, our main focus has been on building the ReSee brand, the next five years will be about growth and expansion. Developing our business in a way so that we can best serve our clients. No matter where in the world they are, they demand the best in service, the best in choice and the best in curation!