(Sustainable) Fashion And Career With Pia Storm
Occupation: Author, public speaker, trade exhibition manager, blogger (Storms Magasin) and a thousand other things. Everything with vintage as a starting point.
First and foremost, Pia, what’s your formal background?
I studied Creative Communication at DMJX and subsequently spent a few years in the ad industry as an Art Director before setting up my own business.
What was your childhood dream job?
Animal caretaker or zoologist! I was always very fond of animals, but also always very into everything creative. Over the years, my dreams shifted towards a clothing designer and art direction.
You may be the owner of Copenhagen’s, if not Denmark’s, biggest treasure trove of vintage items. The most beautiful glitter, the softest tulle. How did your vintage passion take off?
I have always been very into clothing and what it does to people – and had a pretty expansive wardrobe already as a child. When I was a teenager, I started looking for fun and cheap things in the secondhand stores, but my passion for vintage (in my view: clothes and accessories from 1920-1979) only took form in my early twenties, sparked by quite a few different frustrations:
Frustrations over my ‘weird’ body, which didn’t fit into any of the clothes I could find in normal stores (the start 00s weren’t great for those of us with a waist and hips). The frustration of everything (and everyone) looking alike. And mostly in black, grey, beige – argh. The frustration of not being able to afford great design and quality.
What is it that attracts you to these bygone areas?
You have managed to make your passion into a business and a way of earning a living – that has got to be the ultimate goal for a lot of us. How did you succeed?
To me, seeing as I make a living off my daily life and my holidays, it all sort of melts together. So being off and being at work never really are clearly defined. What’s the challenge to you in running a passion and a career as closely? (Lack of space in your wardrobe is the first thing that pops to mind?)
Your blog Storms Magasin is full of #ootd’s, buying tips and vintage clothes for sale. What made you start your blog? And what makes you keep on going?
How would you define your workday to us?
Other than running the blog, you’ve engaged yourself in various vintage events, and talks, just as you’ve written a book AND still succeed in finding one vintage treasure after the other. HOW, first and foremost? – and second, when have you been the most proud of your achievements?
I am always most proud of what I do when I meet people on the other side of the screen. Those who follow along and find value in what I write and talk about – then it feels meaningful. And then I’m proud of having organised Denmark’s first vintage fair, and must honestly admit that I was quite nervous the first time we opened the doors at VEGA and saw a queue stretching all the way down Enghavevej. To succeed with something that was so extensive required lots of blood, sweat and nervous nights. My book is obviously also a baby, which I’m still awfully proud of having produced. Author, really? I had not seen that coming!
Can you pinpoint a moment which was defining for your career? An important decision, an important meeting or something similar?
You mention that your wardrobe is gigantic and full of a lot of lovely and colourful vintage clothes. You must have a lot of favourites, but if you were to name one favourite item in your wardrobe, what would it be? And why?
Choosing vintage and secondhand clothes is quite a vital action if we are to ensure a more sustainable consumption and a smaller climate footprint. How do we get more people to join the movement?
How much space do newly produced goods take up in your wardrobe?
I’ll guess it’s around 20%. I love mixing new and old, but once I dipped my toes in the vintage pot there was no going back, really; it has turned me into quite a quality snob, and so I’ll only acquire new things if they’re really nice and durable. I’ve totally dropped highstreet stores because of their poor quality and vast human as well as environmental problems involved.
What is people’s biggest misconception about vintage clothes?
It obviously does take a bit longer to build up a vintage wardrobe – it’s not just clicking something home from ASOS or Zara. What’s your motivation? Is it the hunt for that special something? Sustainability? Having something that no one else has got?
It’s not wrong to say that you’re quite the expert at finding vintage clothes. What’s your favourite place for buying vintage in Copenhagen?
Oh, that’s the eternally hard question. I’ve found great things in all of the vintage stores in Copenhagen, but probably spent most money at FN92, which has a special place in my heart. This is where I bought my first real vintage dress more than 10 years ago, both of my wedding gowns (for one wedding, though!), and I’ve collaborated with Pauli Tvilling, the store owner, on multiple occasions.
Do you have a little insider tip to what we should be alert to when hunting for vintage? A special designer, a special trending item?
What are your three best pieces of advice for people who are yet to enter the vintage universe?
Be patient. Every item of clothing is unique, why the chances of it fitting you aren’t that big. You’ll have to have lots of time and go through everything.
Try on the clothes. If you’re new in the vintage jungle it can be quite hard to see how the clothes will fit when they’re on the hanger. Often you’ll be positively surprised in terms of the fit once you try them on.
Do you still dream of opening your own vintage shop? Which challenges would it entail?
Looking towards the future, where in your career are you in ten years?
Have no idea. Really. I’ve never had a clearly defined goal with my work life, and I still don’t know where I’m headed. Money, fame or career in itself doesn’t really excite me. I just love being able to work creatively with what I love, surround myself with cool and competent partners and have a multi-facetted and fun daily life. That’s not expecting too much, is it?