Virginie de Vinster has ploughed an unusual furrow. She did not go to design school. Neither did she work at the big fashion houses. Her university was Africa, where she worked for 15 years. She learned during her travels through the Sahel, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo and Ghana.
In Africa, Virginie started to observe weavers and dyers. She wandered through the markets and browsed the stalls filled with multicoloured traditional African cloth. She was always amazed by the incredible creativity of the craftsmen and by the urban cultures of West Africa... While travelling through the bush, she experienced high levels of community spirit and a slower pace of life. She also learnt about the power of symbols, conviviality and a different set of values. After leaving Africa, Virginie travelled to India and South-East Asia, Peru and the Andes; there, she observed other crafts, other customs and other people.
These experiences in different parts of the world inspired Virginie to love and support these people who have now become her friends. She wanted to bring them together through their artistic talent. Her skill is to create wonderful combinations of styles and materials and to weave together different cultures through the most simple and natural of objects: clothing. Designed following the completion of a trip, each of her clothing collections is an adventure.
In 2006, Virginie experimented making clothes out of wax fabric, in an attempt to mix the traditional African cloth with more western-style cuts. She enjoyed playing with new colours and creating different clothes. After having mainly used African wax fabric, she decided to customise the French Marcel, a white tank top. She achieved immediate success at a trade fair where her first customers were Japanese buyers... This paved the way for the birth of her eponymous brand: V. de Vinster.
And then this free-spirited girl came back to France. Born in Lille, she chose to come to Bidart five years ago. Why Bidart? Because there is the ocean and surfing. Nothing could be a more natural start to the day for this lover of the outdoors than catching a few waves or doing a yoga routine.