Elisabeth and I, love design and every aspect of it, including fashion. Needless to say, that’s why we have included editorial posts on style, tips and fashion trends. Today though, we wanted to share with you something much more special; a little insight on an amazing brand: RIEN, a local fashion label created by a woman entrepreneur, Penny Vomva, that has a growing following among women from all over the world. She, just like Elisabeth and I, believes that we must be ourselves. And she aims to create designs that have an individual flair, while she places great emphasis on details that highlight our personality. As a result, her stylish handmade creations have a unique retro vibe with a modern edge to them, but more importantly a timeless quality that makes them true assets. Her designs are the kind that you could wear in your twenties, thirties… or even late sixties. More importantly though, I know that her creations are the kind that can and will be passed on and treasured as classic vintage by the next generation, like my daughter. [I can actually picture her, asking for my RIEN grocery bag and lace skirt for a night out with her girlfriends.] It is creations like these, that cultivate a drive to dress in style, and inspire us to love our uniqueness and help us filter more carefully the ongoing and ever-changing fashion trends. So in the light of a such a view, an empowering brand like this, truly qualifies for the criterion of timelessness. It isn’t just another clothing brand, but one that inspires us to embrace our femininity and build our confidence for years to come.
What does RIEN mean?
The philosophy behind the brand and my motto as a person is: “You do not have to do anything (RIEN) to be in fashion.” [Rien means “nothing” in French]. You do not have to try, for femininity and elegance come from within you. The clothes or accessories are here to help us show our uniqueness and to accompany us at our beautiful moments.
What does your brand stand for?
Every woman should feel beautiful. We are unique and we must be ourselves! Therefore, as a brand we want the woman who chooses us to feel unique, to feel comfortable and beautiful! We believe that the clothes and accessories from older collections can be augmented with those of the new capsule collection and hence, give them a personal flair and a timeless style. No RIEN staple is out of fashion, it just changes style when combined with one of the current collections.
Each capsule collection comes as a continuation of the previous one. But the pieces of the collection can be adapted to different personalities, different needs. Depending on the style of each woman, the end result is different. A RIEN garment or accessory can look rock, romantic or boho and borrows elements from the woman wearing it.
What are your inspiration sources?
I’m generally inspired by music, it helps me to imagine images that I pass onto my creations. Inspiration also comes from travel, dance, as well as all forms of art; basically anything that moves me and creates emotions in me. In the spotlight of my design inspiration lies ALWAYS the woman, and the thought of creating something that she will wear at one of her happy moments; the woman who does not compromise with anything less, while her priority is to meet her needs for timelessness, beauty and luxury.
From the design board to production… tell us about the making process. Where does the production take place?
All the brand’s creations (leather bags, clothes, swimwear) are designed and manufactured in Greece, offering maximum quality combined with a luxurious simplicity and minimalist aesthetics. A strong design identity, timeless design, lines that flatter and highlight the distinct body shape of each woman, selection of the finest skins from all over the world, the finest fabrics and materials and, finally, careful monitoring of each step of this handmade production line are the stages that are religiously followed for the creation of each capsule collection. The result fulfills the desire of a RIEN woman for maximum quality and sophisticated minimalist aesthetics.
I like the fact that you give a woman the power to decide for herself the color and material. How did this come about?
This stems from the fact that I believe a woman needs to follow her intuition, and wear clothes that make her feel beautiful hence, she can use fashion to her favor and without being embroiled in rules and musts. The clothes or the accessories are here to help us show our uniqueness and to accompany us in our beautiful moments. If something makes us feel good, it shows outwards and people pick up on that. Beauty is like a sixth sense that creates a wave of reactions!
How do women react to the options you give them?
When it comes to handbags, women have a material choice (leather or suede) and then there is the choice of the bag’s color from a range of 28 colors. They might have a little difficulty in choosing, but at the end they get something that meets their needs and stands for their personal style!
There are fewer options in clothes, usually 2-4 colors for each design, but still enough choices to opt for what suits them best. There are more degrees of freedom per swimsuit design with 6-7 colors available; that’s plenty of choices for each one to match and express her personality!
What are your greatest challenges in building your brand and promoting it beyond Greek borders?
As far as the production in Greece is concerned, there are plenty of difficulties with regards to the economic crisis and have a lot to do primarily with the production line cost. For starters, you create something at a higher production cost compared to that of another country. But, this initial higher cost makes the end result stand out. This is vital for the RIEN brand. We aim to combine the best quality with luxury. I never thought of going abroad, because I don’t like doing anything lesser in my work. Besides, I can monitor carefully each production stage on a daily basis. I tender to each of my products with love, from the person who helps me in the production till the woman who opts it as an addition to her capsule wardrobe.
As far as the international market is concerned, the brand has been developing constantly over the past years; it has participated in the Prêt-a-Porter Atmosphere in Paris, the 14th Fashion Week in Athens and the Scoop International show in London. The opening of our boutique at Mykonos, in 2013, has also helped the brand in gaining enthusiastic fans from an audience overseas, as well as collaborations with stores in other countries such as Switzerland, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Italy etc.
What is your motto?
My motto as a person is: “You do not have to do anything (RIEN) to be in fashion.” In essence, that’s how I also deal with fashion in my everyday life. I get dressed according to the way I feel, without making a conscious effort. I never prepare ahead what I will wear, simply because I just can’t know how I will feel the moment I have to go somewhere. I let my intuition to lead me.
Your likes and dislikes.
Likes: black color, clothes made with attention to details, leather bags, perfecto jackets, lace, freedom, bohemian way of life
Dislikes: fluo colors, logos everywhere, clothes that look small.
Do you have a favorite product of your brand? One that stands out or means something special to you?
My favorite item is the big grocery clutch! I like the fact that it does not have any metallic accessories; its making quality along with its top-quality material makes it distinctive. It’s the perfect fit to my aesthetics and style, from morning till night.
Clothes or bags? What about shoes?
For each collection, I first draw clothes and then the accessories that complete the picture. For me, clothes are more creative. Making the patterns gives me an incredible sense of creativity and freedom. The clothes create the initial look style i.e. rock, boho, minimal. The bags complete the look.
I would really love to design shoes at some point in the future – one or two designs for each season to complete the collection’s image. I hope I find the time to do it in the future!
What are your plans next? What do you have in store for the future.
During these 7 years, the brand has developed a lot while preserving its identity and values. We want to continue investing in the needs of the RIEN woman and all the while keeping up with the changing times. Hence, our brand, along with the new collection, has completed its site/e-shop redesign, in order to provide a better yet, shopping experience within the brand’s world.
What do you owe your success story to? (Besides the obvious talent)!
Hard work! Talent is very basic, but without daily work and time allocation, talent isn’t enough on its own.
Fast track or slow fashion? Where do you stand?
If I understand the question correctly, fast track can’t be any good! It takes time for a brand to grow properly, and each season we evolve and get better! I want to build this brand properly, so that it can grow at a regular pace.
Slow fashion: if it means good quality and fairness for both consumers and producers, yes that’s me! I want my clients to feel satisfaction. It gives me double satisfaction in what I do! I have excellent quality and manufacturing process, from the details, the raw materials to the final packaging and I don’t make any deductions at any stage of the production line.
How responsive are people to new fashion statements?
Based on the pace of daily routines, quality and comfort should be a priority. In my book, no one should follow every fashion trend if it doesn’t fit his/her personality. I think that applies anywhere. Therefore, I design clothes that are essential in a capsule wardrobe and are adaptive. We don’t create clothes that last for only 6 months and get forgotten after that.
Your best selling product is… and why?
All the RIEN bags, but especially the small soft bag! It’s the signature piece of the brand. It’s a must-have handcrafted bag that combines fashion and luxury from morning to evening! The open zip teeth around the body give a rock chic detail to everyday looks. Why? It makes sense because it meets the needs of every woman for everyday luxury, fits all styles!
I’m sure a lot of you will be captured by the elegant and feminine designs of the RIEN label. Some of you may even notice the meticulous care in the hand-glazed designs. However the way I see it, the greatest strength of this brand is about the options that encourage us to trust our intuition and customize our object of desire into something that we really like and will hold on to forever more. Just like in the fairy tales, but this is for real. That has a very personal add-on value; the freedom, the room and dare I say intoxicating appeal, to make decisions for ourselves by ourselves. Now, that is a very empowering approach that I humbly applaud that served as the biggest motive for wanting to share this insight with all of you.
Dedicated to you with love,
P.S. This is not a sponsored post.