Welcome to the holy grail of vintage fashion finds, where the likes of Versace, Fendi, Gaultier and one of the largest vintage Moschino collections are sourced and stockpiled to create a one stop vintage shop.
Founded in 2013 as an eBay store, IRVRSBL is establishing itself as a international hub for vintage shopping; boasting a wild collection of archaic one-off, statement designer garments. Specialising in the more crazy collectible, rare items including a Gianni Versace velvet jacket owned by the Met Museum and a Mugler rainbow jacket from the Kyoto Costume Institute’s collection takes IRVRSBL on a whole ‘nother level of online vintage shopping. With a refined eye and love for bold, incredible prints, curator Clare Ferra is unapologetic when it comes to throwing it back to the ambitious era when designer clothing pushed boundaries.
We talk to the vintage lover about her colourfully curated e-shop.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Ferra: I run IRVRSBL, which is a designer vintage store. Prior to that I was a video editor, and prior to that I went to art school. Even though I don’t have any experience in the worlds of business or fashion, opening the store was quite a natural progression for me because I try to take a more curatorial approach to running the store. We prioritise having an aesthetically driven store over what’s practical and our bottom dollar. It seems counter intuitive but it’s what works best for us!
IRVRSBL is unique for its quirky collections
At IRVRSBL, we specialise in rare, designer vintage. We specialise in pieces by designer greats from the 80’s and 90’s, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Gianni Versace and Franco Moschino. We have a very specific aesthetic - it’s a bit Ab Fab, a bit 90’s supermodel, with some avant garde designs thrown in for good mix. Think lots of logos, colour and incredible prints.
How did you come up with this concept?
I’ve been collecting vintage since my early teens. At that time it wasn’t such a done thing, so op shops weren’t picked clean like they are today. As time went on my tastes increasingly discerning, and I found myself forking out most of my hard earned dough on designer pieces. Buying rare vintage is like doing crack and I’m still addicted to the thrill of the find. After fine tuning my skills for so long I realised I had quite the knack for it, and it would be a great idea to capitalise on. The concept was to make a vintage store solely based on the most incredible, rarest and unattainable pieces. Rather than have a ‘bygone era’ look and feel, we aim to be more fashion-forward.
What do you look for in particular when curating products for your e-shop?
The process is quite intuitive but there are some things I always look for. I am always on the lookout for pieces that are iconic to that year or collection. For instance we just acquired a Chanel bra suit from S/S 1994 which was a key piece. It was worn in several colourways on the runway and was worn by Linda Evangelista in the campaign images. Generally I look for pieces that have a sense of novelty or something really interesting about it. I’m looking for the crazier and more collectible pieces, rather than a classic black dress or pair of tailored pants.
Who or what inspires you?
Loads of things! I take inspiration from photography, art, design and music. Right now I’m loving mid 90’s Chanel, Irving Penn’s campaign images for Issey Miyake, Memphis design and 90’s supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri.
What’s your favourite pieces that you’ve found?
It changes often since I’m constantly buying more. But right now I’d have to say it is a Gianni Versace S/S 1991 Warhol print skirt suit, and the matching long sleeved dress which I just purchased recently. The same suit was actually owned by Elizabeth Taylor and auctioned off at her estate sale a while back.
What’s next for IRVRSBL?
Expect a lot more museum pieces, as we’ll be going in that direction more in the future. More vintage Chanel too. We’re collaborating with some incredibly talented people too which is quite exciting.
Discover IRVRSBL's vintage collection here