Located in a former monastery, not far from Vienna’s biggest shopping street, lingerie store Amour Fou first opened its doors in 2016. Here at Astrid’s store, you’ll find fairly and sustainably produced underwear and swimwear by a range of small labels. In our interview, the mother of two tells us all about her concept and reveals why she has the best job in the world.
“There’s swimwear – and there’s MYMARINI!”
ASTRID, WHAT MADE YOU OPEN YOUR AMOUR FOU DESSOUS STORE?
To be honest, I didn’t actually know very much about underwear. I studied theatre, film and media studies and was working in a pharmacy. But more than anything, I found bras annoying and uncomfortable. When I came home in the evening, the first thing I would do was take off my bra. But then when a friend took me to a lingerie store in Berlin, I had a real lightbulb moment: underwear can look good and be comfortable at the same time! When I got back to Vienna, I decided to create a place where people would enjoy buying underwear here too.
WHAT SETS YOUR LINGERIE STORE APART FROM OTHERS?
I have a fantastic team and individual consultation is incredibly important to us all. We have an amazing selection of sustainable underwear and swimwear labels that offer products by women for women. Whether seductive and chic or minimalist, delicate, comfortable or powerful – we will find the pieces that make women feel great. We try out all the products we stock in the store ourselves and stand behind the underwear that we sell.
During the lockdown in spring 2020 we also started selling via Instagram – with resounding success. The next step: an online shop! But it’s important to us that we show our product range on real people and not on photoshopped models. Because the products look gorgeous on all different body shapes.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN STOCKING MYMARINI AND WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THE BRAND SO UNIQUE?
I heard about MYMARINI shortly after I opened my store. I was impressed, but the price was a bit off-putting. However, when Mareen sent me a few pieces to try on and I put on a MYMARINI for the first time, I knew that I would never go swimming in anything else ever again.
I always say: there’s swimwear – and there’s MYMARINI! From the fabric that flatters and clings to your curves and holds everything in place to the colours and the design – there's nothing else like it! Mareen has an incredible knack for all of that. And if you’re wearing her designs, it means that even after eating a huge portion of Eiernockerl (the popular Austrian dish of egg dumplings), you can jump into the wave pool with your kids and you’ll still feel great about yourself!
ARE THERE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ON TO OUR READERS?
Don’t be so hard on yourself! It’s not about focusing on your kilos or the flaws you think you might have, but about feeling good in your own skin – that’s something you radiate and that others pick up on. Here’s an example: a young girl and a woman over 50 were trying on the MYMARINI SURFTOP and SURFSHORTS at the same time. When they came out of the changing rooms, I was blown away: the younger woman’s figure was much more in line with the conventional “beauty ideal”, but the older woman felt so comfortable in her own skin and looked absolutely gorgeous in the pieces.
So beauty does come from within after all! And whenever a woman is wearing something that she feels good in, she really starts glowing. I have the most wonderful job in the world because I get to experience that every day!