Q+A: Ariana Boussard-Reifel of Mode Marteau
Mode Marteau is a vintage website and inspiration studio in DUMBO. After years of collecting clothes and compliments, Ariana Boussard-Reifel decided to make her passion official and open a shop to sell the pieces that she found. With an eye for the beautiful and bazaar, Mode Marteau’s vintage selections include artist-made jewelry, tribal textiles and iconic designer fashion that is both timely and timeless. DUMBO BID intern Shaunte Snipes sat down with Ariana Boussard-Reifel to discuss her new showroom in DUMBO and the story behind her successful vintage boutique.
When did Mode Marteau open?
I launched Mode Marteau as an online vintage store almost 2 years ago, but we just opened our showroom in DUMBO 5 months ago. We are primarily a website but we have private shopping parties and are open by appointment. We actually just had our first big seasonal sale in the studio and I was amazed by the enthusiastic turnout.
Mode Marteau is the perfect name for a vintage store. How did you come up with it?
Mode Marteau means the fashion hammer in French. I have a real passion for renovation and grew up building craft houses with my family in Montana. At the same time I’ve nurtured an interest in fashion. So the name is a nod to the 2 sides of myself, but also we want to embrace and empower women to be both masculine and feminine and to do all the things they dream of. Mode Marteau's slug line is from a French poet named Charles Baudelaire who said, "Dress like a bourgeoisie, think like a revolutionary" which perfectly describes our viewpoint.
New York City definitely has a lot of great areas for fashion. Why did you choose to bring your studio to DUMBO?
I'm a sculpture and artist so I definitely wanted an artistic environment. DUMBO fulfilled all of my needs for space, great light and a creative community. I love being here. There is a real sense of engagement and it reminds me of smaller towns where I you can feel a sense of identity with neighbors. People always say hello and introduce me to other people which has helped the business find root. I am about to start a jewelry line and I have already meet other people in the neighborhood to collaborate with. There is just an amazing amount of creative people and businesses in DUMBO!
What brands and designs can individuals look forward to at Mode Marteau?
We sell everything from contemporary items from designers like Isabel Marent and Alexander Wang to iconic fashion from Alexander McQueen, Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta. With a focus on clean minimal design in neutral colors. Somewhat contrarian, we also have a large collection of tribal textiles and ethnically produced designs from around the world. The same blending of periods holds true for our jewelry collection. We have everything from Victorian gold rings to 80s Givenchy costume jewelry to tribal pieces from Nepal and Morocco.
Can you give any information on how Mode Marteau operates?
We have a distinctive vision in the vintage world primarily focusing on the quality of fabrication. We don’t focus on time or place, more on the wearability and beauty of the individual item. We hunt hard to find unique clothing and expressive jewelry which is one of a kind or unique. We are a value lead business and focus on sharing a sustainable lifestyle. There are so many beautiful things out there and wearing vintage is really one of the most ecological decisions you can make. We try to be as environmentally conscious as possible in our actions.
Do you see the store expanding in the future?
Our next move is not to necessarily expand the physical showroom but to expand our vintage jewelry offerings and to launch our own vintage sourced and inspired jewelry line.
You recently had a huge sale at your DUMBO studio. How did it go?
The sale was so much fun! I was shocked by the turnout. Stylists and designers and makers mixed with our best clients. It was such an enjoyable environment to be in. All these women (and a few men) came and everyone was sharing style tips and exchanging numbers. We served sangria and playing music which added to the spirit of the event.
Any other updates or news you would like individuals to know about?
Well there are a few things I would like everyone to know.
- You can email us for private shopping appointments, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mode Marteau will be having another big sale in the near future, so join our email list to be sure to find out about our events.
- We are always looking to buy out collections of interesting jewelry and clothing, so don’t hesitate to email if you think you have something we might love.
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to preview pieces before they go for sale, and for great discounts.