Sunday, March 4, 2012

News Flash - C'est La Vie Consignment Boutique

So what is consignment?  You bring your unwanted but fashionable clothing to the store and the consignee will go through your items and choose what they feel will be appropriate for their customer.  The store staff will price the items and sell them in their store and you split the profits.

I've been consigning with C'est La Vie Consignment Boutique for years and have developed a friendship with boutique owner, Faustine Faure.  I'm such a frequent customer that she knows my consignment number by heart.  Her store is a mix of vintage items and more contemporary pieces that you would see in H&M, Aritzia, and Club Monaco. 

Here's a great example of mixing vintage and modern pieces.  This look would probably cost at least $500 brand new.  But the tank top is by a local designer and was priced at $25.  I was just crazy about this skirt but it was too small for me and it pained me to know that I had to pass up the great deal.  This skirt is only $25!  I threw in some pretty accessories to complete this spring look.  The green 80's style belt was only $14 and the vintage patent leather heels are $30.  A complete head to toe look for under $100. 

The second look is something I bought a couple of years ago.  I got the red H&M polo for $7 and the 80's linen skirt was about $25.

So here's an example of my recent experience with consignment.  I popped by C'est La Vie and checked my account and I had $30 to pick up.  The beautiful poncho was only $45 dollars and since I do consignment with C'est La Vie I get an additional 10% off.  So this poncho cost me $10!  Love it!

Faustine and I sat down together to chat and chow down on dim sum.  I picked her brain about vintage, fashion eras, and the consignment business.

Tell me about C'est La Vie Consignment boutique:
People always think that C'est La Vie only sells vintage but it’s a mixture of both old and new.  But I do love the quality and uniqueness of vintage.  For the price that you pay for vintage you can wear something that inspires the top designers like Louis Vuitton.  I really do try to keep my store affordable.  I have some designer jeans that sell for $250 dollars if they are brand new and I price them at about $30 - $50.  I know that it's tough for the people who bring them in but I have to be priced well so people can afford them and they understand that.
Some new and contemporary looks:  1.  Talula Babaton suit (2 pc) - $50  2. Talula Babaton dress - $40  3.  Costume Nationale jacket - $45
How did C’est La Vie get started?
Luscious mink, rich leather gloves, and the most fabulous hat

I was always doing it in France and worked in vintage shops.  When I came to Vancouver I discovered this different type of consignment.  In France consignment shops are more conservative and less fun.  So when I saw the consignment stores in Vancouver I fell in love; it’s very different.  But I was only a consignor and brought my clothes in for the store to sell and I only wanted to do it as a hobby.
Then my daughter was born and I took a break for 3 years.  My mom was the one who pushed me to open my own store.  I had saved some money so I didn’t have to work and focused on raising my daughter.  Then I looked and saw that still I had 10K and I got a loan on top of that.  I chose Main Street even though there were already so many stores. 
I’ve been thinking about opening a second store and Gastown has been appealing.   I love the old style with the bricks.  I’ve often thought about going to Toronto or France.
What’s your favourite era?
Well, I really like mixing things from different eras and different styles so I don’t have a favourite period.  But I love certain things from each.  I love the fabrics from the 40's and the shape of the jackets; the curves just have a beautiful way of accentuating the body.  But I love the 70’s hippie flow and I love things like platform shoes.  From the 60’s, I really get into the tougher looks with the belts and motorcycle style.

So your boutique is bright and pink with a late 60’s to 70’s vibe.  Does your home have a similar look?
Yes, I think so.  My home decor is very 70’s and the walls are bright orange with accents of green.  At the time I started the shop, I really liked pink and orange together.  It’s funny because pink isn’t even my favourite colour.  But the colours popped into my head and I just stuck to that idea and went with it.  I think it’s fresh, bubbly, and it reminds me of the colours that you see in the clothing from India.
I see some fashion icons on C’est La Vie’s walls such as Jerry Hall and Twiggy.  Who has influenced you?
I grew up in fashion because my mom was a fashion designer and I was always around it.  I went to runway shows and flea markets at such a young age.  I was always reading fashion magazines.  My mother was a designer for many different brands.  It has been so important in influencing and inspiring my fashion and style background.
It's always a pleasure to learn about what drives people and what their passions are.  For Faustine, it's fashion and mixing different styles of clothing together from different eras and create a look that's unique and personal.
You can also find pieces from C'est La Vie at local vintage clothing sale events such as The Chosen Ones that is held at the Waldorf Hotel and The Beggar's Banquet (blog post in the future!) in Gastown.

Here's a couple of my favourite pieces that I've bought over the years from C'est La Vie:
1.  Two piece vintage wool dress with cropped jacket - $50   2.  Talula Babaton silk dress - $35 (regular over $150)  3.  Vintage wool crepe dress - $35
Take a stroll into C'est La Vie to see what surprises they have waiting for you.  They're located in the trendy Main Street neighborhood.

Open 7 days a week 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
3247 Main St.
Vancouver, BC
Consignment terms and conditions

You might also be interested in:
Laura of "On the Racks"
Roselle and Fabulous Neil from Filmgo

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