Plus Fendi Baguettes, Dior lingerie, Michael Kors-era Celine and more at Esther Archives, an Instagram account and online store
Over the past few seasons, fashion houses have been rummaging through their It-bag archives and reimagining signature pochettes, crossbodies and clutches from the 1990s and early 2000s anew. At Prada, it was the resurgence of its pocone nylon backpack; at Dior, the Saddle Bag, resurrected by both Maria Grazia Chiuri for women and Kim Jones for his first menswear collection for the house. Fendi too embraced the early-00s revival, creating a modern line of Baguettes (the style originally launched in 1997) for both men and women. It is hardly surprising, then, that the desire for vintage iterations of these designs has increased manifold, snapped up on auction and resale sites.
Anaïs Berruet, an ex-designer at Nina Ricci and the founder of online vintage store Esther Archives, knows this better than most. Her Instagram account and online store, named after her great aunt Esther, opened just over a year ago and specialises in sourcing and reselling bags and accessories from this very era. “The pieces go so quickly – I post them on my Instagram stories and I get messages from customers right away. It’s my main way of selling,” she says. Although she is based in Paris in the 19th arrondissement, Berruet scourers the globe to source her wares. “I’ll never source them in bulk, though,” she continues. “I buy individual pieces that really speak to me. Esther Archives is a reflection of my taste. I’m interested in the 1990s-2000s era of fashion: Prada, Fendi, Gaultier, Galliano. There is no business plan – I’m just doing what I like!”
And it’s not just handbags that Esther Archives stocks, either. Berruet has also hand-picked Monica Bellucci-esque Dolce & Gabbana lingerie, bras from Christian Dior, Fendi hair scrunchies, Louis Vuitton sandals, fur-trimmed Jimmy Choos and plenty of Michael Kors-era Celine. “I loved when Phoebe Philo was at Celine, she was a genius,” says Berruet. “But I also loved Michael Kors’ tenure during the 1990s. He arrived, and he changed everything for a fashion house that was basically dying. I think that customers are going to be drawn to the older Celine that I sell, since Hedi Slimane’s latest collection really examined the house’s history before Phoebe.”
“It’s so tempting to keep what I buy for Esther Archives,” laughs Berruet, before we finish chatting over the phone. “But I have to breathe and tell myself ‘come on Anaïs, this is your business, you can’t keep everything to yourself!’”