VR: Your age and occupation?
Maxime: I am 31 and am working full-time on Vulpilist.
Romée: I’m 37 and I am working half time on Vulpilist, half time on Croquis Sartoriaux, and half time as a senior head hunter.
VR: Your educational background?
Maxime: I studied economics at a Prep school and then attended a Business school, majoring in Web Marketing and Luxury management.
Romée: I studied at a military college and then I attended a Business school.
VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your clothing enthusiasm)?
Maxime: I am married. My wife likes when I dress classicaly but not when it’s too much cosplay – I can tell from her face when I wear a fair isle, tweed jacket and a fedora! There are also complains about closet space needed. In that regard, Vulpilist helped me clear some space by selling unworn clothes. The marketplace is a marriage improver in some way!
Romée: I am married and father of 4 kids. To be honest, I usually take off my clothes when arriving home and put a t-shirt and some jeans. Way more safe with kids! They’re all very tolerant with my passion even though my wife is also very happy with Vulpilist, because I can sell stuff that takes up a lot of space.
VR: …and your parents and siblings’ reactions back when you first decided to put your time and effort into style?
Maxime: I began to gain interest when I was a teenager. My family was not surprised as I walked in my grandfather’s footsteps – and he was a luxury fabrics and silk merchant.
Romée: I don’t remember seeing my grandfathers, who were both officers, without a tie, nor my father till he was working, so I can’t say my choice is a revolution. Meanwhile, I’m dressed pretty casually in my family time.
VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides apparel?
Maxime: I am fond of photography, history, cooking and hiking.
Romée: I love drawing, spending time with my family, and I’m also a big fan of football.
A Parisian lapel with pick-stitching and an asola lucida-buttonhole
VR: How did you first become interested in clothes, and when did you turn your eyes towards classic pieces ? Why these instead of high fashion?
Maxime: Family atavism! High fashion always seemed hollow to me in opposition to classical menswear which represented stability and tradition with contemporary twists.
Romée: I’m like Maxime! I’ve never been into fashion, and I don’t know anything about this universe, even though there are some trends in the classic menswear universe. But their durations are way longer. I chose classic menswear naturally, I remember when my parents gave me my first Hermès tie for my 18th birthday and a tweed jacket. I also asked for a tweed jacket for christmas, which was pretty honest.
VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of the classic look — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
Maxime: I began by looking at Scott Schuman’s (The Sartorialist) blog photos in the late 2000s when he was still shooting gentlemen dressed classically. I also read a lot of books – Flusser’s, Roetzel’s and much more about tailoring, shoemaking, etc, which helped me gain both style and knowledge of the craft. In the meantime, I began thrifting for creative and budget reasons (I was still a student). This helped me learn a lot of empirical knowledge about how a garment is made, the techniques used, different styles of tailoring, ranges of ready-to-wear, etc.
Romée: I read many blogs, mainly in French, before buying books. I discovered Maxime this way, as he was running Le Paradigme de l’Elegance, a very famous french blog in the early 2010s, now unfortunately defunct.
VR: Please describe how Vulpilist was born and what goals you set for yourself in the beginning. How has the marketplace been received so far?
Maxime: I ran Le Vestiaire du Renard for 6 years. It was an online thrift shop specialised in classical menswear and accessories. I met Romée when he was one of my first customers and we became friends. When I decided to stop this activity, as I had to move out of Paris, I began to talk with Romée about creating a specialised marketplace as we are both sartorial nerds and huge thrifters, both online and IRL. We observed that there are a lot of generalist marketplaces (Ebay, Vinted, etc) where you could find classical menswear, but there was nothing entirely dedicated to it. We thus decided to create the marketplace we would have wanted for ourselves, entirely menswear-curated, made for enthusiasts by enthusiasts.
We launched on October 1st, 2020 by reaching out to our respecting communities (Vestiaire du Renard for me, Croquis Sartoriaux for Romée). Vulpilist’s reception was excellent, beyond our expectation! Dozens of users talk and exchange everyday, over 1200 clothes and accessories have been listed in 4 months from SuitSupply to bespoke clothes, Meermin to John Lobb. It’s sometimes hard not to buy for ourselves before validating the listings! We are definitely meeting a huge need in the sartorial community and our next step will be to improve the functionalities and look of the website.
VR: Who or what inspires you?
Maxime: My family history. My forefathers were pioneers in Central America in early XXth century, where they were well-known silk and luxury fabrics merchants – their courage, boldness and cleverness never ceases to inspire me. Regarding style, I am inspired by individuals who are well-dressed and yet do not take themselves seriously, such as Luca Rubinacci.
Romée: I’m inspired by the codes of classic menswear that give a sharp structure with many rules, within which you can play once you know them. And playing can mean breaking the rules. So I’m inspired by people who are able to be subtle enough to be borderline without being off the mark. I won’t be able to name anyone in particular, but if you take a look book from the english brand Drake’s, it often corresponds, IMHO, to an intelligent mix of tradition and modernity.
VR: What’s your definition of style?
Maxime: To know the history of garments, to wear them appropriately or with a twist, and always relevantly to the place and people we meet. I consider style as a mean rather than an end.
Romée: I think being stylish is being accurate, and not standing out. If everybody notices your outfit, well, it often means that you may be too « showy ». Style comes through understatement.
VR: Which RTW-companies or tailors are among your favourites — and why?
Maxime: I particularly like Huntsman’s high-rise buttoning style, the pre-2010 bespoke Smalto cut and style, as well as Roman tailoring. Also, I am impressed by Orazio Luciano’s workshop which represents, to me, Neapolitan style and craftsmanship combined with the reliability of an organized structure – a very advanced MTM priced quite decently in regards to quality and end result.
Romée: I don’t have a huge experience in tailoring, unfortunately. If I had to go for a very formal outfit, a Parisian tailor would certainly get my preference. As I’m often dressed more casually (in odd jackets) I really appreciate the softness of Neapolitan tailoring. I have way too many Cesare Attolini cashmere jackets which are so nice to wear in winter, they’re like a second skin. As I said above, I love Drake’s sense of style which is a great source of inspiration for my sketches.
VR: Finally, why should Keikari’s readers visit Vulpilist?
Maxime and Romée: Vulpilist is a secure and smart way to find deals and unique garments. As such, our community is growing fast and more than 1200 garments, footwear and accessories are already for sale from all over the world. Vulpilist is not a random marketplace. We are enthusiasts and designed it for enthusiasts.
We curate every listing to make sure you will find the most relevant garments and accessories which are all filtered by sartorial criteria.
Want to find a size 38 canvassed ready-to-wear suit? Yes, sir. A pair of size 9.5 bespoke oxfords? Of course. A paisley tie or a pocket square printed with animals? Right away.
Furthermore, we take a lot of time to advise our community especially on how to sell faster and buy smarter. As a result, Vulpilist is the place to find and purchase dead stock or second hand classical menswear. Goodbye painful thrifting, hello sartorial grailfinds! It is also the place to find a new owner for your beloved garments and sell them at the price they deserve. Be as cunning as a fox with Vulpilist!