"Our collections are a reflection of the kaleidoscope of colorful feelings and experiences [we carry with us]": RIANNA + NINA founders, Rianna Kounou and Nina Knaudt, speak to Violet Caldecott about their quest for the extraordinary.



Designs by RIANNA + NINA for Cabana


Design duo, Rianna Kounou and Nina Knaudt, have always been obsessed with vintage fashion. Nina visited design and jewellery exhibitions with her grandmother as a child. As a teenager, rummaging through flea markets for Levi’s 501s, she developed an enduring passion for pre-worn, pre-loved garments, driven by the often intriguing stories of previous owners.

For Rianna, her mother has been her fashion icon for as long as she remembers; she owned a clothing boutique in Athens, as well as a theatre costume rental shop. Surrounded by antique items, one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories, it was hard to resist and the allure of vintage.

Nina went onto train in fashion PR, advising Etro, Max Mara and Cartier amongst others, before completing a Masters at Bocconi in Milan. Rianna was a costume designer for theatre, film and adverts, before starting her own high end fashion boutique ‘Rianna in Berlin.’ When the pair met at a vintage furniture fair in 2014, it was a creative match made in heaven. "We couldn't miss each other because we happened to be the two most vibrantly dressed individuals in the room," Nina says.

"Our curiosity drew us together. Rianna shared with me the story of her vintage store, which she had been running for six years. I was astonished I hadn't come across her store, given my penchant for seeking out vintage treasures whenever I visited a new city. However, it seemed like destiny that we met precisely at that moment."


Designs by RIANNA + NINA for Cabana


What began as a small boutique in Berlin born from a shared love of the unique, RIANNA + NINA quickly established itself as a much-loved and revered force within the world of vintage. Almost ten years after its founding, it has a loyal base of fans and customers from all over the world (it has been worn by Rihanna, Billy Porter, Jared Leto, and Madonna). The duo is proud to have established a community of ‘likeminded people who love color, vintage, craftsmanship and textiles as much as [they] do.’

Their one-of-a-kind pieces cater to those they consider to have ‘a special eye, who are tired of mass market luxury and have a thirst for super extraordinary.’ The brand had been a pioneer of sustainability, long before the movement gained momentum in the fashion industry at-large. Rianna had been upcycling vintage fabrics for 20 years, ever since she discovered a box of silk scarves in a flea market in Athens, which she mixed with table cloths, vintage Kimonos and couture fabrics she found in Paris to make dresses. "She is the most creative person I know, and so full of beautiful ideas, which have kept inspiring me over the past decade," Nina says.

Transcending trends and seasons with their designs, the pair aim to redefine true luxury through meticulous sourcing, production practices, and reclaimed materials; ‘we are not just selling fashion; we are preserving a legacy of enduring luxury.’


Designs by RIANNA + NINA for Cabana


Each piece tells its own story, inspired by literature and travel (Rianna and Nina are both avid readers and travellers), but mostly by the individuality of the people they encounter. "Our collections are a reflection of the kaleidoscope of colorful feelings and experiences I carry within me," says Rianna. "It brings me immense joy to be able to share these inspirations with the world through the fashion and designs we create, allowing each piece to tell a unique story and connect with others on a profound level."

With their distinctive approach to fashion and one-off business model, Rianna & Nina are going from strength to strength. Below they tell us more about their own lives, tastes and inspirations.

Where do you live?

RiannaIn Berlin, with my husband. Our son, Robert, studies art in Hamburg. My home is very personal, full of colors and collections, treasures from around the globe, art and curiosities. It’s 100% the reflection of my personality and of course very much matches the RIANNA + NINA world.

Nina: In Düsseldorf with my husband and our two kids, Heidi and Franz. We live on the border of the city in a little house from 1904 with a big garden where rabbits and sometimes even deers come to say hi. It’s the perfect antidote to my fashion life and a wonderful place for our children. It’s not as colorful as Rianna’s home, but is also a mix of things I brought home from my travels. A brass dolphin lamp from an antique fair in Madrid next to wall plates from Puglia, a Dennis Rodman poster from a collaboration I did with a streetwear magazine 15 years ago above a Dal Vera bamboo sideboard - there is definitely no red thread and I love that.


Designs by Rianna + Nina for Cabana


Your favorite place to travel?

Nina: My favourite travel destination changes with each journey, as I have a profound love for exploring the world. I find it challenging to pick a single favourite place, as I cherish the opportunity to see what the world has to offer. This summer, my family and I went to Portugal for two weeks, and it's a destination that holds a special place in my heart. One of the most memorable travel experiences was our wedding week in Mallorca five years ago. We celebrated with 100 friends and family members who spent a whole week together in various fincas around the island. It was such a special week that I could relive again and again.

Rianna: My house in Greece, which I've been fortunate to call my haven of tranquillity for the past four years. In the years before my annual retreat [there], I used to go on island-hopping adventures throughout the Greek islands in search of my perfect summer getaway. One island that particularly captivated me was Antiparos, a small and charming destination known for its intimate and welcoming atmosphere, as well as its aesthetic appeal. Each year, I would venture to a different Greek island, seeking new experiences and exploring different places.

Your favorite designers?

Nina: Yves Saint Laurent, Miuccia Prada and Ralph Lauren

Rianna: Yves Saint Laurent, Gianfranco Ferre and Elsa Schiaparelli


Cushions by Rianna + Nina for Cabana


Join the Cabana family