Marisa Pena, or the vintage of character


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Marisa Pena created the Boutique Flair No 3 14 years ago in Geneva. The amateur vintage clothes know the address by heart. There are 20 and 90 designer treasures at reasonable prices, and some of the pieces she has redesigned. - Melina Staubitz.

As far back as she can remember, Marisa Pena loved the clothes. Whether in Angola, her native country, when she was a child, or later in Portugal, a country of exile and hospitality, the little girl admired the style of the women of her family, those "aesthetes who had to leave behind their lives but have never lost their elegance ". Because taste has nothing to do with money, but rather with education.

But if his parents had to learn to live without the first, they do not miss the second. They transmit to their daughter both their attraction to beauty and resilience to any test. It is therefore in a difficult context of uprooting and precariousness that Marisa makes her stylistic education.

Self-taught, her perception of clothes is more elaborate in contact with the old films she loves passionately: she spends hours watching the characters from 1920 to 1970, gleaning here and there "pieces of style", as she says, that she mentally associates with one another. Never copy-pasted, therefore, but an aesthetic with multiple influences. And a love for styling: in Portugal, her friends come to ask her for advice, and the girl chooses for them the models they will order to the seamstress.

At 20 years, it is the departure for Switzerland, as an au pair, which concretizes her dreams of travel. When her employee and friend comes back on Wednesday from Plainpalais flea market, Marisa marvels at her finds and begs her to take him to visit this temple with many treasures. Finally comes Saturday and, with him, the stalls of the merchants. Marisa is like a girl in a candy store, and she has been going back ever since. Today, she considers the flea market and the first purchases she made there, "acquisitions by passion, for me, but also clothes too big, that I will not wear," as the starting point of his shop , opened in 2003.

Every piece she sells is a love at first sight, an "amazed purchase". The personal investment shown by Marisa is considerable: for each dress, for each jacket and for each pair of pants, there are hours spent washing, ironing, taking over, pampering. It modernizes, individualizes and brings to its triumph the quality of the vintage, which it admires to the highest point.

The stuffs that go through her hands come out with a bit of her, and in return continue to inhabit it long after they leave. In addition, the satisfaction of having found "the woman who makes the dress", the customer whose personality matches the perfection with the individuality of the garment. Because Marisa does not like to hunt: she loves to dress, advise, accompany women off their beaten track. It is here, in this exchange, that she really feels artist and creative.

In a nutshell, she strives to make buying "an act of pleasure - since nothing is needed". It seems that the magic operates: Flair N ° 3, from the top of its 14 years, relies on a loyal clientele that its founder continues to seduce and amaze. And for good reason: the energy and ambition of the one who proclaims loudly that "we must ask the stars to access the moon" are irresistible - almost as much as the pearls of which abounds her shop.

Flair N ° 3, Rue John Grasset 3, 1205 Geneva.

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HISTORIES - Photo of a jewelry store showing a mannequin watering a garden.HISTORIES - Photo of a white-haired lady by Michèle Bloch-Stuckens.