The Women Behind Instagram's Designer-Vintage Craze


If your Instagram feed looks anything like mine, it’s chock-full of perfect-condition Dior and Chanel kitten heels; archival Versace, Tom Ford for Gucci, and Mugler dresses and jackets; and a kaleidoscope of colorful Fendi Baguette bags. Every week it seems, there are more one-of-one items to indulge in, with drops from all fashion eras and categories arriving on my phone screen like clockwork. In a world where fast fashion continues to reign supreme, no matter how many people claim to have given it all up, my all-vintage Instagram page is an oasis—a place where wanting to add to my wardrobe doesn’t feel bad. And there are three specific IG stores that I hold responsible.

Alexia Ioannou, Mariana Vergara, and Julia Rabinowitsch run the accounts that keep my feed filled with beautiful things, including Elsa Peretti jewelry, feather-trim satin Manolos, and Victorian-era blazers via their respective e-shops: Nou; Merci, C’est Vintage; and The Millennial Decorator. All three women have built something out of nothing—gone off on their own and built not just loyal customer bases but entire communities from the ground up. Together, they’re carving a path for fashion that’s not reliant on new, new, new, but rather everything beautiful that’s already been created and is now waiting for its next home. Read their stories and discover their ever-changing curations below.

A collage of photos of Alexia Ioannou and her brand Nou.

If Alexia Ioannou’s name sounds familiar to you but her vintage brand Nou doesn’t, you probably recognize it from her personal style account, @bohochicken, where she’s garnered 115,000 followers and counting. She founded Nou in 2018 after years spent sending the same disappointing response to those questioning where she got her unique items: “It’s vintage.” “I saw a demand for people wanting vintage from a curiosity regarding my own wardrobe,” she explains. “At its heart, Nou is an outlet for me to share items that are a reflection of my own psyche and genuine interests.” Every one-of-one item sold at the Los Angeles–based store is handpicked based on Ioannou’s own, individual tastes: “Each piece showcases a sliver of my mind,” she says. It just so happens that what piques her interest, piques a lot of people’s interests, a point that’s made even more believable when you look at Ioannou’s rèsumè, which features stints in the marketing departments at Barneys New York (we miss you!) and Mother Denim. She knows what people want to buy, and Nou’s current designer shoe selection can prove it.