Last summer, we met a traveling Frenchman with a curiosity and passion for a Minnesota style found just outside of the Minnetonka backdoor. Bruno Maillols was on a quest to curate a new line of clothing, Minnesota Vintage, made up of vintage and secondhand clothing that embody the Midwestern spirit, and bring it back to share in his native country. He toured some of our favorite vintage shops and shoe stores, and discovered Minnetonka moccasins while doing so. We tracked Bruno down to see how things are going as he spreads the Minnesota and Minnetonka love through Europe.
Q. What is Minnesota Vintage?
A. Minnesota Vintage is a new company that brings Midwest spirit and flavor to Europe through vintage clothing products from Minnesota. We’ve recently launched our Facebook page and are developing our idea of a multi-brand outlet store.
A. I’ve wanted to create a clothing company since graduating college. I worked at American Apparel and learned about retail and fashion. I also became interested in “permanent culture” or sustainable living. This led to the development of Minnesota Vintage. I must thank the Schoeller family for taking such good care of me every time I came to MN searching for clothes.
Q. What interested you about Minnesota culture and fashion?
A. Before coming to Minnesota I didn’t know anything about its culture besides Bob Dylan. I was surprised to learn of the diversity in Minnesota, and as an amateur photographer I value the work of Wing Young Huie, who deals with the wide variety of communities in Minnesota today. Also, I was moved by the pow-wow I attended at the Minneapolis American Indian Center.
Q. When did you first learn about Minnetonka, and how do you think it fits in with your collection?
A. I instantly fell in love with Minnetonka at a store on Lake Street. I had to get myself a pair and was glad after researching to learn that Minnetonka was a Minnesota based company. The combination of the elegance of the mocs and the weathered fabrics of my vintage clothing was simply beautiful and I knew I had to use these for my first photo shoot.
Q. Where are you selling Minnesota Vintage? How has it been received?
A. Minnesota Vintage sells in Perpignan, France in a record shop called Music Action. I am hoping to open up in Montpellier as well. Minnesota Vintage is also available at my online store on etsy.com. So far, the feedback is positive and I am really excited to continue this adventure. Thank you for letting me share this project with you.