Sarah Perez, Rezine

In 2019, Sarah Perez, fashion and beauty blogger, decided to create Rezine, her “eco-responsible luxury-to-wear” brand.

Since its inception, Rezine has aimed to create original pieces with a focus on quality. For Sarah Perez, “a sustainable garment must not only focus on the materials used, it must also be well made so that it can be worn for a long time”.

With slow fashion as a premise, Sarah Perez has managed to create a community that shares the values of her brand Rezine, which has given her the strength to grow her project.

by Carolina Ortiz Jerez
Before creating Rezine, you were more dedicated to the beauty world. What made you switch to fashion?

When I was in fashion school at Istituto Marangoni, I was so focused on the world of fashion that I wanted to take my mind off my studies and make a beauty channel. 

My first passion was really beauty, and then what links me to all this is telling stories. Finally, the product is a bit of an excuse. 

I remember Alix Petit from Heimstone, saying “I’m not crazy about fashion, but I love telling beautiful stories, storytelling, finding the song that goes with the piece, etc…” For me it’s kind of the same thing, I love beauty, the aesthetic side, and for me, beauty and fabric are exactly the same.

What was your motivation to create Rezine?

Rezine was born from a realization. When I had my Youtube channel, I was receiving so many couriers (3 or 4 a day), that I started to think about my environmental impact. Since I had gone to fashion school, I wanted to use my education and visibility to build something more sustainable. 

I realized that when I was looking for a beautiful dress in the shops, I was going to some more expensive brands that didn’t offer more quality, nor a local production place. I thought to myself “where do people go when they want to both, not skip over ethics and style”?

I wanted to create “eco-responsible luxury-wear”, but I wanted Rezine to exist above all by its design.

Since the beginning, Rezine has been promoting eco-responsibility. Could you explain your approach as a brand?

For me, the eco-responsible side must be the driving license of a brand that launches in 2022. It’s just normal to do things the right way, given everything we know about the environment today. I didn’t want to make it a selling point, so I tried to pick my battles. 

My priority is really the social dimension, so my logistics are made by an ESAT (Établissement et Service d’Aide par le Travail). These are people in reintegration and in a handicap situation who make the parcels and I find it great.

We have also set up a bicycle delivery service, which is less expensive than the post office, and the parcels are delivered within 24 hours in Paris or the suburbs.

For the choice of materials, at the beginning I used silk that I bought from Liberty London in destocking, because I didn’t have a printer yet. With time, I wanted to make my own fabrics to enhance my creativity and follow the traceability. 

Now the prints are made exclusively in Lyon. The fabrics take less than 400 kilometers to arrive in Paris and all the production is made in a Parisian workshop. 

In addition, we try to make the most of fabric scraps with which we make scrunchies, small bandanas, etc… But we can always improve.

For my last capsule, Plantasia, I used EcoveroTM, a kind of viscose that consumes 50% less water and has the advantage of being easy to care for and machine washable. And for this summer, I’m going to try hemp and linen, because these materials are produced in France.

What inspires you when you create your collections?

At the beginning, I was inspired by household linen, sheets from my grandmother’s house, and it was difficult to detach myself from the fabric.
Nowadays, I’m inspired by everything I see: an Almodóvar film, a vase or a painting in a museum that will inspire me to make a colour combination. For my latest capsule, Plantasia, I was inspired by a trip to Mount Etna in Sicily, where I saw a vase that had rusted. There was copper and mint in it, and it was a beautiful rusty green.

During the launch of the Summer 2021 collection, you mentioned being a victim of plagiarism. How do you learn to protect yourself?

It’s true that when you’re on social networks, privacy is complicated. I was used to sharing everything with my community and I didn’t think that social networks were a spying tool for some brands. I was a bit naive.

Now I try to share anyway, because I like to show the creative process, but at the last minute. That plagiarism was a blow, but it was also a driving force to boost myself and say “here you go, you’re going to do everything to come out on top”. 

I listened to a podcast that I love, by Pauline Laigneau, founder of the jewelry brand Gemmyo, in which she says that these kinds of situations should make us proud, because it means that we are doing things right.

In the end, it allowed me to find other workshops and other suppliers, so it’s a blessing in disguise.

Since its inception, Rezine has moved from a traditional sales system, with already made inventory, to pre-order purchases. How has your community welcomed this change?

When I started my brand, I was making 10 pieces per design. The stock was limited and it was very frustrating because I didn’t know if my pieces would appeal or not.

Pre-ordering allows me to take fewer risks, because I only produce what is sold. This model also has an ecological side, because my customers think before they buy. They know in advance that their garment will be received in a month, so it contributes to the act of conscious buying.

It’s a process of desirability of the garment that goes well with my economic and environmental model.

For your latest Plantasia capsule, you went even further by using a single print. Why did you make this choice?

At first, I was very afraid to use only one fabric, because if customers didn’t like it, they couldn’t buy anything. It was a risk, but in the end everyone told me that it was very good and that they understood the universe of this collection.

For the new clothing brands, the theme of sizes comes up very often. Is it difficult to offer a wider range of sizes?

At the beginning, with my old workshop I went up to size 48 because it was a small workshop that allowed me to make one or two pieces per size. So if someone ordered a 46, I could do it.

But since I changed my workshop, with a more important production follow-up and quality control, they have minimum quantities.

For my last collection, no one ordered pieces larger than a 42. So I didn’t produce sizes that had no buyers.

For small brands, it’s more of a financial constraint, because beyond size 48, you have to redo the pattern and that has an additional cost.

I think a special “curvy” capsule would be more interesting instead of trying to stretch a piece that won’t fit a 46 or 48 body type at all. It’s a bit hypocritical to want everyone to fit the same style, when they don’t.

But it’s true that Rezine subscribers tell me that they want the communication to be more inclusive.

How do you connect with your community?

I try to be a very participatory brand. Whenever I have a doubt, I ask my community a question in a very open and transparent way.

When I hesitate between two prints, I ask them to vote or to choose the name of a product, for example.

Rezine is really part of their lives and when they buy it is because they want to support me. It’s a bit of a militant and committed act.

How do you see Rezine in ten years?

I would love to have a boutique workshop so that people can come and see the pieces being designed in front of them. To make half-measures, where all women and all morphologies could have their clothes readapted.

Eventually, I would like to put forward the second hand. It’s really a 2022-2023 objective, to be able to collect the Rezine clothes from customers and that they no longer have the mental burden of managing the aftermath. That’s why I work upstream to have durable and good quality clothes.

Where can we buy your collections?

On my website: