The Guardian – is vintage the most eco way to shop?

Totally delighted to have got my 2 pence worth in for an article on vintage & sustainability for The Guardian.

I’m thrilled to be part of such an important conversation in such a major publication.
Viva la Vintage!

See the full article here!

Like it or loathe it, when Kim Kardashian wears something, people take notice. With the reality TV star wearing secondhand Azzedine Alaïa to Paris fashion week, secondhand Jean Paul Gaultier to a party and a secondhand 1990s Thierry Mugler gown to an award ceremony, it suggests change is afoot. Who would have thought that Kardashian – a woman worth $350m (£270m), who usually wears Balmain and bodycon – would be making a case for sustainable fashion?

As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, they are looking for a more sustainable way to shop. Could buying secondhand be the answer?

Vintage, it seems, is increasingly in vogue across the board, from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who wore 1960s Dior to a christening, to its appearance in British Vogue (the May issue asks: “Does your dress look vintage?”), to high street stores H&M, Arket and & Other Stories announcing they would trial vintage and secondhand clothes sales on their websites. High-end boutique Browns has also just launched the label One Vintage, which uses antique textiles to create new garments. Octavia Bradford, the womenswear buyer for Browns, says: “Sustainability is the loudest conversation in fashion right now.”

A study shows that, last year, 64% of women were willing to buy pre-owned pieces compared with 45% in 2016 – and it is thought that by 2028, 13% of the clothes in women’s wardrobes are likely to be secondhand. Fashion circularity, a new term referring to the recycled life of a garment, is projected to reach $51bn in five years, up from the current $24bn, according to ThredUp’s annual resale report.

The Stellar Boutique Press publicity image
 The Stellar Boutique Photograph: Publicity Image

Stella McClure, the founder of the online shop The Stellar Boutique, has noticed a shift. When she opened 20 years ago “there was still a stigma attached” – conjuring images of the yellow sweat patches and emotional baggage people often associate with used clothing. “But now (thankfully) it is not just acceptable – it’s cool and has completely captured the fashion zeitgeist,” she says.

Vintage has been venturing on to the high street in fits and starts – in 2000, Portobello Road’s Peekaboo Vintage was welcomed into Topshop’s Oxford Circus flagship store. In 2010, Asos launched its Marketplace, which helped to bring vintage wares to a much wider – and crucially, online – audience.

If the trend has waned of late, this has been purely about aesthetics – minimalism replaced boho chic, and modernity was more in demand than 1970s florals. But fashion has shifted. Aside from an increased awareness of sustainability, vintage fashion fits neatly into the wider mood of the Instagram age, where authenticity and originality – not being seen in the same outfit as anyone else – are highly prized. What better way to stand out than to wear clothes few others are likely to own?

Fashion tends to mine the past. But many of today’s most exciting young designers, from punk-revivalist Charles Jeffrey to James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks of Rottingdean Bazaar, are looking to decades before they were born for inspiration. “High-end design teams are referencing past eras,” says Nicky Albrechtsen, the author of Vintage Fashion Complete. She refers to the prairie-style dresses of Erdem and Zimmermann, “reminiscent of the nostalgic fashions of the 70s”, as well as cult brands such as The Vampire’s Wife and Batsheva.

“Seeing such strong references on the catwalk gives confidence to fashionistas to embrace the original dresses and showcase original pieces in a modern way,” says Albrechtsen. According to Scarlet Eden, a vintage buyer at Beyond Retro, if the pieces the high street produces are based on vintage trends: “We’re able to offer customers the original looks.”

Vintage naysayers who may have been put off in the past by thoughts of rummaging around in jumble-sale-like basements may be persuaded by the ability to buy online. “The popularity of online vintage shops is great for those who don’t have access to everything a city such as New York has to offer,” says Gabriel Held, described by Vogue as “Instagram’s most celebrated vintage dealer”.

But it is not all rosy: opening up the market with numerous online shops has meant less quality control. Held sees “a lot of mediocre used clothing being marketed as vintage … Something doesn’t have to be 20 years old to be considered vintage, but, for me, if it’s not true vintage, then it should be something extraordinary.”

This is where the lines blur between secondhand and vintage. For Albrechtsen, vintage means any era up to the early 80s, while Eden and McClure consider it to be clothing that is more than 20 years old. Held says his definition “is not set in stone” – he even has some contemporary pieces in his own archive “that I know will be collectible in 10 years’ time”.

Virginia Bates, whose Notting Hill vintage emporium attracted the likes of Naomi Campbell and Donatella Versace before it closed in 2012, used to stock items from the end of the 19th century. Her definition of vintage runs “up to the 1920s, 30s, a bit of 40s, occasionally 50s … I don’t consider 60s vintage. I would never have sold that because I was there, I was wearing it.” But, as she says: “With another generation coming up, the 60s is the equivalent of what I thought of as antique when I opened my shop.”

Vintage 1970s Brown Tooled Floral Leather Shoulder Bag from Peekaboo Vintage
Vintage 1970s Brown Tooled Floral Leather Shoulder Bag from Peekaboo Vintage
Photograph: Asos Marketplace

Albrechtsen says: “Many professionals now include any [era]-defining garments – by which I mean iconic or clever designs.” This is where the resurgence and reverence of certain 90s styles comes in, arguably spearheaded by cult Peckham shop Wavey Garms. “Nineties sportswear is,” according to Albrechtsen, “very clever in terms of design … so it still works now.” Little surprise, then, that it has filtered down to more mainstream vintage outlets – Beyond Retro, for example, is always well-stocked with Champion sweatshirts.

The flames of this “less vintage vintage” are also being fanned by the rise of resale sites. According to the ThredUp 2019 resale report, resale has grown 21 times faster than apparel retail in the past three years. These luxury sites offer a glimmer of hope to those seeking a more affordable way to buy into designer fashion.

Not content to sit back and watch others profit from their vintage items, some luxury labels are relaunching decades-old designs from their own archives. Last year, for instance, Dior brought back its saddle bag because of the attention it was getting in the vintage fashion market. In February, Fendi brought back its Carrie Bradshaw-approved baguette bag from 1999 – luxury resale website Vestiaire Collective had seen a 558% increase in sales of the bag since January last year. “Every brand is currently developing a point-of-view on how to coexist with secondhand,” ThredUp cofounder and chief executive James Reinhart recently told the Business of Fashion.

Of course, for some, buying vintage will never feel quite right. “It’s really not my bag,” says Bates. There are obvious pitfalls – sizing isn’t uniform, and, she says: “You have to be so careful to look for holes and moths and rips.”

But being able to call a 90s hoodie, a Dior bag from the 00s, or a dress first worn by Naomi Campbell in 1996 “vintage”, might just help to keep the appeal going. As Bates puts it: “At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter … the most important thing is that it’s recycled – it encourages people not to go out and buy more.”

A little love from the Evening Standard!

Totally delighed to be featured in the Evening Standard’s choice of best online vintage shop! Thanks Evening Standard you’ve always been my favourite too 😉 And here’s the article…

Alongside this boutique’s vintage offering that comprises of bohemian clothing, jewellery, bags and belts, there is also the added option to have your jacket customised, choosing your own style, slogan and effect.

 

See the full article here

 

 

Second to ASOS? That’s us!

We were delighted to be second to ASOS in Marie Claire’s online vintage stores countdown.

Here are the highlights:

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Or how to look like Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and co.

Mixing vintage with high-street clothing is the key to being trendy without looking too try-hard, just ask Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller and Kate Moss.

But vintage shopping isn’t easy, you can easily spend hours in a store and walk out with nothing – which is why online shopping is the answer.

We’ve rounded up the best online vintage clothing stores for you, whether you’re after a vintage Chanel 2.55 bag, or the perfect retro band t-shirt.

2. The Stellar Boutique
You are very safe in Stella’s hands. Having worked at Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and own a stall at Portobello Market (Kate Moss and Stella McCartney were regulars, FYI), she set up The Stellar Boutique. It’s bursting with one-off gems from designers and artists from all over the world. Warning: you will lose hours of your life pouring over Stella’s cleverly curated collections.

Read the full article here

Casting our vintage net

This was a lovely surprise for us; a mention in German magazine Maxima’s website.

Great to see us reaching vintage fans from far and wide!

Just incase your German is a bit rusty, here’s the translation:

“Prior to starting her online career, the operator of this store worked for Levi’s and Topshop and had her own booth on London’s famous Portobello Market, which was often visited by Kate Moss and Stella McCartney. A very good address to pimp your own wardrobe with vintage treasures! You can search for a decade or a category. Since this is more about style than labels, the prices are also cheap. We are in love with this Seventies skirt!”

Read the full article here

We’ve been listed within the top 5 online vintage shops!

We’re over the moon to be listed number 5 by The Odyssey in their online vintage places to buy countdown. We’re up there with Beyond Retro and ASOS Marketplace. Woo!

Here’s the article highlights:

Vintage! Some people love it, some hate it, others use it as costumes, whatever you’re lifestyle, it’s time to bring back the good ole silhouettes of the past. Everything comes back into fashion right!?

Vintage clothing has recently become a huge trend as the “hipster” phenomena has swept our nation, our eateries and especially our closets. Something about the pre-owned clothing brings about a melancholy, retrospective celebration of our past fashions, stapling a whole new uniform for our generation–20 something, college students. Possibly the greatest benefit from vintage is the price! If you are like me and always trying to keep up with the trends–vintage is a great alternative and in turn gives you a look no one else can replicate–not just keeping up with the trends but one-upping them. For example I didn’t want to be the billionth girl to order the original Adidas superstars, so instead I shopped Asos Marketplace and found some dope grey and white vintage ones and for half the price! This then sparked a conversation with my mom about how she remembered buy her first pair of Adidas in the early 80’s, connecting generations in style. Still if “old” clothes aren’t in the cards for you, they still make the BEST costumes. For my sorority girls, bid day is coming up and no better accessory than a neon windbreaker or some sick hightop trainers. Socials, game days, everyday, you name it and there is some piece of the past that can really enhance your style and outfit. Here are some of the top places I have scoped out to buy vintage, some just around the corner for my fellow bulldawgs!

Online Shopping for those girls a little too tired to leave the comfort of their bed! Shopping online definitely has it perks, just have to super careful about the sizing and quality of what you are buying into! The money signs indicate the price scale showing where to splurge and where to find great deals.

1. Asos Marketplace $

2. Spanish Moss $$

3. Beyond Retro, London $

4. Nasty Gal $$$

5. The Stellar Boutique $

6. Etsy Boutiques – Surprisingly the BEST vintage clothes on Etsy, my favorite shop being ShopExile, a vintage boutique out of LA.

 

Read the full article here

Yup, we’ll happily accept top 50 online shops! Thanks ‘Independent’

Not gonna lie… I was pretty chuffed to discover The Stellar Boutique has been chosen for the 50 best online shops by the independent! Here’s what they had to say…

vintage

The Stellar Boutique, Thestellarboutique.com

Having worked in the fashion industry for 10 years for brands like Topshop, Marks and Spencer and Levi Strauss, founder Stella knows her stuff. Teeming with one-off gems from designers all over the globe the website sells everything from clothing to jewellery and even has its own blog.

Read the full article here

In Vogue!!

We’re pretty delighted to have be chosen as one of the best online vintage shops by, none other than the classic fashion bible, British Vogue! Yep, Vogue rates us as one of the top online vintage boutiques and if Vogue says so then it must be true!

Stella Vogue 1Stella Vogue 2

Smock To Frock blog

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Be Iinspired by Vintage Bohemian

Strut back into the 1960’s to 1970’s, take off your heels, throw on some flat sandles and be inspired by hippy bohemian vintage. The style thats inspired by Gypsy, African, Indian and Native American traditional dress and tribal symbols.

The laid back look of Boho style gives you permission to layer up or layer down for Summer or Winter weather. Its all about accessories like; feathers, headbands, bangles, beads, hoop earrings and tassles. Mixing colours and clashing patterns. They all help in aiding the look of of a Bohemian princess.
opt-boho-wedding-dress
The great thing about dressing the Bohemian way is that you can take your simple, oversized maxi dress you never wear out, add a knitted waist-coat with tassles, some hoop earings, layers of bangles and you’ve got the look quicker than any other “get the look” style.

Great vintage sites to get inspiration are;

Thanks to Smock To Frock for you’re fab post!

Domestic Sluttery blog

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The UK’s best online vintage fashion shops

I’m possibly at my happiest when searching through a rail of vintage dresses. However, I get frustrated by how poor vintage shopping online can be: too many bad pictures, too many items badly labelled. Over years of searching, I’ve around 15 different boutiques I come back to time and time again. Want to experiment with vintage? Trust me: try these shops first.
The Stellar Boutique has something of a bohemian edge. The photographs of its vintage stock – dating from the 1940s through to the 1990s – are a lesson in how to make vintage look contemporary. I love the colours of this 50s shirt dress: I’d quite like her yellow converse and basket too.

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Big thanks to Domestic Sluttery blog for your glowing review