A lifelong passion for fashion

Details and inspiration she picked up peeking into her maternal grandmother’s wardrobe as a child. A source of good taste and more than a modicum of shrewdness. A passion for tailored quality and custom-made clothes. Not to mention the devotion of the keen-eyed collector. Martina Spagnoli, a woman of the world originally from Livorno, Italy, was once a budding young tennis hopeful. As an undergraduate interested in communications, she earned her BA at Florence’s Polimoda Fashion School, where she majored in Fashion Design, with a minor in Knitwear Design. After graduation, she earned her MA as an Entertainment Industry Stylist at Rome’s IED. Then came freelancing for a number of big-name Italian and international brands. Martina soon began working as assistant costume designer for various film studios in Rome. At the same time, she also worked as personal stylist for several emerging Italian pop music artists. Therein lies her capacity: With the clothes from her well-stocked personal archives, as well as the latest items she finds thanks to her exhaustive research, Martina is able to give birth to all-new stories, characters, identities. Still a young woman, she had yet to discover her third great love: photography. For that, she fell hook, line and sinker. In the blink of an eye, she became a self-taught freelance photographer. Her first work included assignments for Elle, GQ, L’Espresso. Ad campaigns and fashion catalogues. Martina’s conversion was the tale, shot after shot, of her visceral love for fashion and the history of imagery. What really fascinates her is the culture that makes the clothes, a cultural and semiotic space that revolves around those creations, telling their stories as they go. In 2012 Martina and her partner Anna Ka launched Strip Project, an immense digital archive and platform for photography – focused on fashion, advertising and art genres. Strip Project narrates a variegated, mind-boggling mindset that is put in the hands of today’s top pros in the sector – who are subject to Anna and Martina’s highly discerning selection process – and becomes a straightforward, undiluted portrait of the times. Ergo, an important tool for visual analysis and research. Martina also became involved in publishing photography and art books. Recently she founded SoVain, a lifestyle concept featuring online shopping and search. Which is to say, a declaration of love for the world of moda, vintage and iconographic culture of the past. With her sights set clearly upon the future and sustainability. Nostalgia? No way. Vanity? Yeah, maybe a little.

Brand profile

SoVain is a studio brand of vintage delights, second-hand merch and much more. It’s the very first online store that features storytelling as pertains to the world of fashion. We’re talkin' sustainable narcissism, wise passion, and a yearning for beauty. A thoughtful, painstaking look at the past that provides a platform for the present and a springboard toward the future. An archive for research, guardianship for a storehouse of material, consulting, scouting, sales, and recherché clothing rentals. Fruit of the flair and professionalism of Martina Spagnoli – stylist, collector, photographer and publisher – SoVain is a unique container of visions and intuition. SoVain is not only your online hub for vintage clothing and accessories, featuring the biggest names in the fashion system from days gone by. It’s also your container for culture and visual research. Martina Spagnoli’s personal archives are continuously updated and serve as reference points for style departments, film and television costume designers, and personal stylists in charge of coordinating celebrities’ attire. Here’s the thing: Today, vintage isn’t “just” designer this or that from a few decades or seasons back. No, no. It all revolves around a specific past and a treasure trove of emotions. Semantic traces left behind, the history of dress, appropriation of codes. What’s more, today’s vintage is smart and sustainable. It’s part of the fashion revolution that keeps us on our toes when it comes to avoiding waste and gobbling up fast fashion. Instead, the focus is on iconic pieces from big name designers. It’s no coincidence that they’re the ones that wind up worn on red carpets the world over. The fashion choices of millennial divas and time-tested Hollywood stars alike.