Rianna Nektaria Kounou and Nina Kuhn met by chance at a vintage furniture fair in Berlin. Inspired by their shared love for vibrant prints and colorful fabrics, they eventually decided to open a store together and fill it with all their unusual discoveries. One client described their little shop as “a UFO landing in Berlin.” That’s how RIANNA + NINA was born.
They now sell their designs at a number of international retailers, including Moda Operandi, Joyce Hong Kong, KaDeWE Berlin, Browns London and a handful of others that span from Capri to Mykonos. Last year, Vogue Germany named it an exciting emerging label to watch.
All RIANNA + NINA pieces are one-of-a-kind and handmade in Berlin using vintage fabrics and vintage silk scarves. At Berlin Fashion Week in July, they launched their first original print collection called: “It’s all Greek to me!” (Rianna is from Greece).
Scroll down for a taste of the founders’ style, which I personally can’t help but compare to a kaleidoscope turning round and round with all sorts of colors and shapes and patterns and quirks. In other words, they make the art of not blending in look terrifically cool.
“We love meeting at Rianna’s colorful home. This is where it all started: After we met randomly in Berlin four years ago because we were both dressed in head-to-toe color among the black-wearing Berliners, we had many fun Greek dinners together at this colorful place where Rianna lives with her husband and son.
Mondays usually start with a little breakfast while we plan our week and next steps.
Rianna is always wearing her own designed pieces plus tons of jewelry. Some women don’t leave the house without makeup; for her, it’s, necklaces and rings. She finds them on her travels all around the globe and mixes vintage genuine jewelry with other fun pieces.
Nina is wearing one of our signature dresses made of up to 30 different vintage scarves, a traditional Bavarian jacket from a vintage store in Munich, and cherry plastic earrings she just got from her fiancé.”
“We love spending the days together at our atelier. We just moved here three months ago and it already feels like home. Rianna is wearing a dress from our “It’s all Greek to me!” collection and Adidas sneakers. Nina is also wearing a Greek collection dress, with a vintage Chinese coat on top that she got from a vintage store in Copenhagen. Plus Nike sneakers.”
“Around the corner of our atelier is Soda Books, which has an amazing selection of international art, fashion and culture magazines. We love coming here to get inspiration. Rianna is wearing one of her dresses, a vintage coat from Uzbekistan from the 70s, one of our necklaces we make of traditional handmade art pieces from Afghanistan, and an Hermès scarf. Her shoes are Gucci. Nina is wearing an H&M polka dot blouse, jeans from & Other Stories, one of our one-of-a-kind kimonos we make of vintage silk scarves, and an embroidered cardigan she got from a vintage store in Amsterdam. Her shoes are ASOS and the bag is from her grandmother. The ring is her engagement ring, which is a vintage piece from 19th century (she will marry end of December).”
“Another quick meeting at Rianna’s cozy home. Rianna is in her own dress and Nina is wearing a silk dress called The Nina dress (because she loves the easy shape) and a jacket from the 30s that she got at a vintage store in Milan eight years ago. The pearl necklace is from the flea market.”
“It’s Friday evening and we are leaving our atelier together since we have a dinner later on at Pauly Saal, one of Berlin’s delicious hotspots, which also has an amazing bar. Rianna is wearing her own dress, a stole we made for her of vintage scarves, Gucci sneakers and vintage Pucci glasses. The Indian pendant is from Paris. Nina is wearing a sleeping dress from Oscar de la Renta she bought 12 years ago at Bergdorf Goodman, a RIANNA + NINA coat, which is reversible and made of vintage interior fabrics, & Other Stories jeans, ASOS shoes, a plastic basket from the beach in Mallorca, a hat she got from her mum and a vintage chain belt from Chanel, worn as a necklace.”
“Ready for a fun night at Pauly Saal. Rianna is, as always, in head-to-toe RIANNA + NINA. That’s the nice thing about making one-of-a-kinds: We can do what we want and experiment a lot. Nina is wearing a vintage Bogner skirt and animal print top made of pony fur, which she got from Rianna as a present, and a RIANNA + NINA kimono plus no-name earrings from Paris.”
“Luckily, we like each other so much that even spending Saturday together doesn’t feel like work. Rianna is also the owner of the vintage boutique Rianna, which has been a cabinet of wonder in the middle of Berlin since 2009. We spend a lot of time here together, since Nina needs to try on all the new arrivals and it’s also the best source of inspiration for our vintage-oriented designs. Rianna is wearing The Nina dress and a RIANNA + NINA coat made of vintage fabrics plus leopard shoes she just got in New York when we had our pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman in November. Nina is wearing a blouse from the Greek collection, a skirt we found at the flea market in Paris last year, shoes by her favorite Berlin shoe label aeydē, bangles from Siggi Spiegelburg (which are available at Rianna’s boutique) and vintage earrings.”