Fashion

Baraboux's Founder on Sustainability, Archival Finds and Fashion Curation

“I love seeing a piece and knowing where it came from. It creates a bond between me and the item.” — Sarah Faisal

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Baraboux's Founder on Sustainability, Archival Finds and Fashion Curation

“I love seeing a piece and knowing where it came from. It creates a bond between me and the item.” — Sarah Faisal

Nothing says “cool girl” the way archival fashion does. Not only is archival fashion sustainable, but it’s also a culmination of history, fashion and curation. An archival fashion bae knows all about runways past, knows where to shop and, of course, knows how to style old pieces for new style moments.

In celebration of Earth Day and sustainable consumption, we sit down with Sarah Faisal, the founder of East-London based archival shop, Baraboux to chat fashion, curation and more.

With your mother starting the business, what made you want to join and continue it? 

The Baraboux that my mom started ended when she left. So, the intention was always for me to take it and turn it into what I wanted. When my mother was running it, it was a leather goods store, but it was really beautiful because it was so community centered. The leather handbags were named after people in her life and there was always a story behind everything. All of the women and ambassadors of the brand were part of her community and that’s something that I’ve tried to continue with my version of Baraboux.

How did you become so well versed in archival fashion? 

I was lucky because my aunt worked in fashion, so I grew up around a lot of clothes. She’d have lots of fashion books laying around, like the Margiela and Tom Ford one and I’d read those to build a base understanding.

Eventually, I started visual archiving and eventually grew my own personal collection. If you want to start too, I’d recommend really understanding pieces. It’s really exciting for me to see a piece and to know where I’ve seen it and where it came from– it creates a bond between me and the item. That bond and understanding really helps with the larger process.
Barboux, Archival Fashion, London, Sustainability
What drew you to archival fashion and why do you think it is so popular with Gen Z?

Personally, I just was never really attracted to many new things that were coming out. I found so much more intrigue and appeal in older pieces because of the detail and art that’s put into them. Obviously, things are still equally as beautiful now, but there’s something so interesting about the scarcity and the history archival fashion. It appeals to Gen Z because with archival fashion, you’re not buying new and that sustainability aspect is really attractive.
Barboux, Archival Fashion, London, Sustainability
Baraboux has a very strong and specific aesthetic. Can you describe it and why you chose it?

I’ve always described myself as less of an archivist and more of a curator. So having a strong visual aesthetic and having it come through with our showroom, Instagram and website was very key to me.

I don’t even know how I would necessarily describe our look… We have a mixture of a delicacy, but then there’s a lot of hard metals. We definitely lean towards cooler tones, and I draw from a lot of ’90s inspirations but also, designers’ houses, like Tom Ford‘s or Yves Saint Laurent’s house. Because I grew up with these kinds of visuals, these are the ones I naturally gravitate towards and push out there.

What can the everyday fashion lover do to be more sustainable?

There’s just a level of base education you can have. It’s really easy to know where your clothes come from nowadays. You can also do some research when you buy from a brand and look at where your clothes are coming from. Also, turning away from fast fashion is a very easy first step because you can look for inspiration and find something secondhand that looks really similar to something that’s new.
Barboux, Archival Fashion, London, Sustainability
What is your sourcing and curation process?

I do all of our sourcing myself. That looks like me being scouring online and also going to New York, Paris and LA often. There’s also some people whose closest’s I’ll specifically go to. The process is an eclectic mess of my own that may not look sane to a lot of other people, but somehow makes sense to me. I find such a thrill in finding a piece especially when you can personally retrieve it from someone and get the story behind it.

The curation piece is just my eye. There’s such a specific girl I have in mine when I buy, so I’m naturally curating and buying for her.

If you could describe a Baraboux consumer, what would be their vibe?

She’s a city girl. I grew up during the romanticization of journalism culture with shows like Sex in the City, Ugly Betty and all those movies with a girl in her late 20’s and 30’s who was a writer with fabulous friends and the ability to buy cool pieces. Weirdly, that fictional character who’s a mixture of all the media I consume and the people in my life is in my mind when I buy.
Barboux, Archival Fashion, London, Sustainability
What’s next for you and for Baraboux.

We see ourselves as larger than… so it’s not just about the archive for us. We like to host in our space, we like to have up and coming designers work in our space and all of the furniture that’s in space itself, we’ve created for us. I see us maybe leaning into a little bit more of that lifestyle aspect of things and maybe even creating or archiving furniture.

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