Founders Natalie Hartley, a glossy magazine fashion stylist, and Lydia McNeill, a former personal shopper and retailer, discovered a mutual love for vintage fashion when they met at school. McNeill had built up an archive of used clothing over the decades, and Hartley often mixed vintage pieces in his shoots for people like Eshe and the Sunday opening hours. They went into business together in 2020. Their mission is: to make people feel inspired by second-hand clothing, says Hartley. For a certain age group, there was still a stigma surrounding the occasion. Not so much the younger market because Depop is huge for them, but for those who wanted to look good and had money to spend, they thought maybe others would look down on them if they said their outfit was second-hand. We wanted to change that.
They started on Instagram, where Hartley, a fashion influencer with over 16,000 followers, modeled shiny leather jackets, silk shirts and mohair knits. The pieces range from 40 to 350 for a leather jacket. These aren’t the clothes the fashion industry tells you to wear, McNeill says. We find some really weird and wacky stuff and show you how to wear it. If you put a belt with it, twist it, cut it, you can do something cool. There are so many great used clothes out there and we want people to be more adventurous with what they find.
The website launched in June of this year and this month they opened a long-term pop-up on Ladbroke Grove in West London. Menswear is in sight, as is a range of upcycled pieces. Their promise is that the clothes will always arrive in great condition, clean and neatly packaged. As Hartley says: With us what you see in the picture is what you get.
Wuzzy Omiyale, 23, had an unusual awakening to second-hand clothes: first, she had to overcome her shopping addiction. In 2019, after graduating from London College of Fashion, she started shopping for new clothes, more and more things she didn’t need, accumulating debt using buy now, pay off credit programs. later. At the beginning of 2020, she had surrounded herself with so many superfluous clothes, that she could not take any more. She knew she had to change.
Vowing that she wouldn’t buy anything new again, she began to learn about sustainable fashion. Omiyales’ mother and grandmother are tailors and her great-grandmother was a weaver in Nigeria. His research led to an awareness. It’s not just about a durable fabric, but also about the people who make the clothes, she says.
Switching her longtime love of denim to second-hand denim, she began to deconstruct old Levis jeans, using the fabric to make bespoke clothing. The first one she showed to the public, via Instagram, was a bodice. People couldn’t believe it was made from old jeans, she said. I thought, okay, this is one way to bring my sewing style into a whole new world of reshuffle.
Now, through her website, she’s doing bi-weekly drops of one to four styles of reworked jeans, a successful oversized hat, shorts, tops all perfectly fit and priced from 40 to plus. She also takes custom orders. I don’t go out too much of it all at once because the main thing is slow fashion, she says. Eighty percent of clothing goes to landfill. In the future, I would like to have a small factory where designers and customers can send me clothes they don’t want. Much of what we waste can be reused.
Atmosphere: contemporary slow fashion
Insta: @ the.curatory
Jenny Garcia is a former purchasing manager for Topshop, where she worked for 16 years and managed seven purchasing departments.
In 2019, she decided to start her own business and do things differently. She set up an Instagram feed (@jennysuegarcia) with over 10 ways, a style guide to inspire women to make more use of the clothes already in their wardrobes. She realized she could use her buyer’s eye to search for pre-loved pieces to sell to customers who might not have the time or inclination to shop second-hand. The Curatory, a micro Instagram sales site, was born.
My aesthetic isn’t, say, a ’60s or’ 70s look, Garcia says. It’s about dressing in a current way, just not buying again. Stock can include anything from a Burberry trench coat (she sold one in May for 145) to a brown linen Zara sun top. But everything has something special, the fabric or the fit or the brand in particular.
She models and photographs the clothes herself, uploading them when she feels the time is right. Potential buyers can send him a DM if they are interested. There is no emergency. I encourage people to consider and think if they want to buy. And if they want extra measurements and more photos, that’s fine. I like to do that. Selling like that reassures me.
I love fashion and clothing, but I’m very minimalist in my style and couldn’t find this kind of vintage clothing, says Clare Lewis, a former visual sales clerk in retail. I thought, what if there were people like me who would normally go to Arket or & Other Stories? Where do they go for second-hand clothes?
Retold Vintage aims to fill this gap. Launched in 2018 on Instagram, it now has more than 38,000 followers. The clothes are sold via bi-weekly drops on the website. You won’t find 80s frills or 60s pyschedelia here, but you can pick up a cream Escada pantsuit, a lightly striped Marni linen top, or simple gold jewelry in collaboration with @theninesvintage. Brides can also search for pristine second-hand pieces via studio appointments.
For Lewis, selling in this way brought joy to his relationship with fashion. When you work in fast fashion, clothes lose their sparkle, she says. It’s all about sales and volume. But vintage and used, it’s quite the opposite. Clothes are unique pieces and treasures, so there is a real sense of accomplishment when you find something. And on top of that, there is the sustainability aspect. You get similar success to buying new clothes, only better.
Her bridal service by appointment where you could find an ivory babydoll dress by Jil Sander or a cream shirt by Christian Dior, from a collection Lewis has gathered in recent years launched in April of this year. It’s so nice to have people who want to buy vintage and occasion for their wedding day. I feel very honored when they wear something from Retold.
Darling & Vintage
If you want a bold and glamorous unique vintage look for a special occasion, make sure Darling & Vintage is on your radar. Started by fellow former Topshop employee Cassie ONeill, her website and Instagram feed are a source of colorful and eye-catching pieces from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, from psychedelic print lounge coats to candy pink goddess dresses, wide-legged jumpsuits and alluring flowers. summer dresses.
I have worn vintage all my life. I’m a little eccentric and my pieces reflect that, says ONeill. I gravitate towards statement pieces, second-hand clothes. A recent customer bought a stunning 1980s Frank Usher dress with yellow puff sleeves and wore it to Ascot.
Based in Armagh, Northern Ireland, ONeill launched the brand on Instagram in April 2020, when lockdown began. I tried to bring personality to the clothes and posted videos of myself dancing in slow motion, wearing the pieces. People seemed to really care. Today, she has over 10,000 subscribers and has created a website. It also sources individual parts for customers.
She encourages customers to take care of the clothes they buy. This is not to put them in the washing machine on a normal cycle. Lots of clothes from the 1970s are polyester. It must be taken care of so that it does not end up in the landfill. I’m talking about the manual treatment of clothes, the removal of stains. If we take care of the clothes, they can last another 50 years, she says. It was really little fish in a big pond, but if we can go on and build a community of second-hand sellers, we can really give people different ways to shop.
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