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The Fashion Insider Diary: Vivien Tang

The vintage store owner, fashion designer and Depop maestro gives us the low down on her personal style and how this shapes her business 

The Fashion Insider Diary: Vivien Tang
Lauren Ramsay
Online Writer
16 March 2024
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Sometimes, attempting to sell clothes we no longer require in our wardrobes can feel like a slog. But Vivien Tang has such an eye for finding items that people desperately want to get their hands on, she has sold over 7k listings to date on Depop and accumulated over 73k followers, earning her the prestigious title of one of the circular fashion platform's top sellers.

Setting up her Depop shop at the age of 16 for fun to sell items from her wardrobe and pieces found in £1 vintage sales, has led Vivian to: starting an official vintage shopping page @viviensvintage, opening her own vintage store on Brick Lane in November 2023, and launching her brand Vivi Wei, creating ethically made designs from recyclable fabric. 

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Her eye for scoping out vintage pieces that people want to purchase is impressive. Her secret? it's not following trends, or replicating high street styles, but embracing individuality: "I love some trends and have taken inspiration from them," she tells Hello! Fashion, "but they have become a part of my style rather than a part of throwaway culture."

"I think that’s reflected in what I source and sell on Depop and in my store, and that’s what sets me apart. I just go with what I like at that moment in time and not try to put it into one box."

Vivian takes us through her go-to outfits for different events, her styling tips and proves why comfort truly is key...

Date night

I had a dinner date planned at a wine bar with live music. I wanted to feel elegant so made sure I chose quite feminine pieces.

This high neck, slightly sheer ruffle top paired with a simple flowy monochrome polka dot midi skirt has the perfect figure-hugging silhouette to make me feel confident.

A day of meetings

On this day I had so many meetings all around London, so I wanted to keep it comfortable and chic. I went for a vintage Cop Copine wrap fleece jumper that has a really sturdy, unique fit to it.

I paired it with a grey pleated skirt from Comptoir des Cotonniers, and a baby blue underlayer to match my socks. I love pairing baby blue and black/grey.

Drinks with the girls

Me and my girls went to a restaurant with a very low-lit, cosy atmosphere. I love wearing baby pink at the moment, so I wore this lace bandeau from a vintage Italian luxury brand SUGGEST, and the Deba skirt in onyx from Peachy Den.

A chic Sunday stroll

I still love to wear skirts, even on casual days. I went for a double chequered look, with my second-hand green button-up jacket and maxi skirt, styled with my ballet flats from Camper - suitable shoes for a long walk.

An evening soirée

I had a brand launch party with a formal dress code, so I wanted to dress up. As always, my pieces were second-hand.

I paired this beautiful grey lace overlay skirt with a dark grey corset top and black lace kitten heels. I love to play with different textures of pieces, and I hardly see lace shoes so I had to grab them!

The Fashion Insider Low-Down:

Can you describe your personal style in a few words? How does it reflect your role in the fashion industry?

My personal style has evolved massively over the past year. I feel I have matured and ‘grown up’ a lot and this is reflected in my style. I'd describe my style as elevated minimalistic; I always tend to go for feminine silhouettes and outfits that are quite smart, but always comfortable.

What's your go-to outfit for a busy day of fashion events and meetings? How do you balance comfort and style?

Comfort is key for a busy day. I like to stick to something very simple and chic to keep it stylish. My go-to is a grey skirt over grey suit trousers, black Mary Janes, a structured jumper, and an oversized black blazer coat. It’s so simple and comfortable, guaranteed to make you look put together all day.

What are your go-to brands?

Unsurprisingly I shop second-hand from my own vintage store and the pieces I find don’t always have brand labels, but I love Cop Copine, Blanc Nature, old Diesel, Sarah Pacini and Comptoir des Cotonniers.

Do you have any fashion icons or inspirations that influence your style choices? How do they inspire you?

I don’t follow a certain individual style too closely, but I love creating moodboards for different seasons, as well as scrolling Depop and seeing what’s trending. I like to recreate outfits or use different ways of styling from multiple photos put together. Some people I love to look at for inspiration however are Maina Suarez, Ruby Lynn, Deba Hekmat, Iris Law and Amy Pham Thi.

Weekdays can be hectic. What's your weekday workwear wardrobe like, and how does it differ from your weekend attire?

On weekdays I’m either in my office by myself or in my store in Brick Lane. If I’m in my office I’m by myself, so go very casual, a pair of straight-leg jeans with a cardigan and trainers. If I’m at Brick Lane or if its the weekend, I love to dress up and make myself feel cute. I nearly always do this by wearing a skirt, whatever the weather - super simple but effective.

Accessories can make or break an outfit. What are your must-have accessories, and how do you use them to elevate your look?

I wear very minimal jewellery - gold in the summer when I have a tan and silver in the winter. I love to wear a simple bangle/arm cuff, some very thin hoop earrings and a small necklace. I think it depends on the person if they suit a lot of jewellery. 

I love to elevate my looks with different handbags, too. I recently became obsessed with bags and how much they can change a look, from casual to evening wear. It’s so fun to change up your bags when they range in textures and detailing - look for buckles, beading or grommets.

In the fashion world, trends are constantly evolving. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, and do you incorporate them into your wardrobe?

I’ve learnt how to dress for myself and what comes naturally to me rather than follow trends too closely. I love some trends and have taken inspiration from them, such as balletcore and office siren, but I think they have become a part of my style rather than a part of throwaway culture. I think that’s reflected in what I source and sell on Depop and in my store, and that’s what sets me apart - I just go with what I like at that moment in time and not try to put it into one box. 

Many people admire the way fashion insiders put together outfits effortlessly. Can you share some of your styling tips for mixing and matching pieces?

I always work around one piece first depending on how much I want to wear that specific skirt/top that day.  If I want to try something new, I’ll try to recreate a look first and then swap pieces in and out depending on how it relates to my style. As I tend to go for a minimalistic look, I don’t like to mix and match textures or colours too much. It just depends on what you feel comfortable and confident with the most.

Fashion insiders often attend high-profile events and parties. What's your strategy for creating memorable looks for evening parties?

I try not to steer too far away from what I feel comfortable in. It’s good to try something new and take yourself out of your comfort zone, but that should be done in baby steps.

I also think that having a memorable look doesn’t always mean it needs to be the most ‘out there’ - confidence is key, and will be reflected in how you are remembered. Personally, I would go for something black or dark grey as I know I feel the best in those colours.

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