After selling over 16,000 items and helping fuel the truly-vintage Y2K trend, Isabella Vrana has been hailed by Vogue U.K., Sheesh Magazine and fans alike as the “Champion” and “Queen” of popular Gen-Z resale platform Depop.
The Shelton, England-native, 24, first downloaded Depop when she was around age 17, based on a recommendation from a friend. She was a casual user until she entered college, when selling on Depop became an unofficial part-time job. After graduating in 2019, she aspired to be a buyer or merchandiser despite having studied French and Italian. That’s when she decided to dedicate herself to Depop full-time. She has since hired four people to help.
Vrana spoke with Glossy about her Depop experience, including producing her own designs and hosting pop-ups, and the current trends she sees in the Gen-Z fashion space.
How did you become a seller on Depop?
“I’ve always been into vintage, and there’s a big vintage scene in England. Depop seemed like a cool new way to find vintage clothes. I would sell a few bits and bobs, and then when I was at university, I had a bit more pocket money so I would buy more clothes for myself [than before]. It started as a problem, but turned into something quite positive. I’ve always enjoyed selling and flipping things, so I started selling clothes I didn’t want anymore, and it gradually grew from there.”
You produce your own designs too.
“That was also a very organic and gradual process. The aesthetic of my designs is inspired by the ’90s. My experience with vintage gives me good insight into what sells well, what doesn’t sell well and what fabrics [perform]. When I’m designing, I’m always thinking about making things that will last as long as possible. I design simple, classic pieces — and this year, I started designing my own prints. I enjoy the balance I have right now, because I sell my designs on my website and on my Depop. I’m such a vintage girl, so I can’t see myself giving up the vintage aspect of [my business], because that is just so me and what gives me the most joy.”
How would you describe your fashion aesthetic?
“I love the late ’90s and the very early 2000s. I love early-noughties clubwear and late 1990s office wear. Rachel Green from ‘Friends’ is my fashion icon. I love Phoebe [from ‘Friends’], too. [Characters on] ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘The Sopranos’ are my icons, as well.”
What trends are you seeing among your own Depop customers?
“People are becoming more open to proper late-’90s stuff. Two years ago, you could not sell a boxy pinstripe vintage blazer to save your life. The ’90s aesthetic quickly spread on Pinterest during the Covid-19 lockdown, and people started getting into mini handbags and blazers and sweater vests. The early 2000s has spread like crazy; now most people throw the word Y2K on anything these days. I think we’re losing the true essence of actual early-2000s fashion. I’m seeing a lot of that [style] replicated in fast fashion, which kind of sucks. But at the same time, it’s cool to see that the trends that Depop sellers are pushing are being spread.”
You recently held a pop-up. What’s next for you?
“I held my first self-organized pop-up on Oxford Street at the beginning of May. I shared it with my friend Susa Musa, who is another Depop seller, and then we held another one in July. We had queues around the block for about six hours. We were not expecting it at all, but it was amazing to get to meet people in the flesh. The second time we did it for three days, because we didn’t want people to queue that long again. And we want to do another one for Freshers Week in the fall, which is when first-year [students] are moving into university.”
To see all 13 Gen-Z names changing fashion, click here.