In Pursuit of Denim Romance: The Vintage Showroom
A part of what I do as a job has been shopping and hunting clothing pieces all around the world and seeking to re-define what has already been told and lived through mainly pre-owned, mostly mended rare finds.
The fashion industry is witnessing growth in the second hand market which was valued at 24 billion in 2018 is projected to grow to nearly 1,5 times the size of the fast fashion market in the coming 10 years ( according to ThreadUp) Both the resale as well as the subscription fashion market is indicating a change in the consumer behaviour that all the brands and retailers are taking a look at. Vintage needs to be differentiated from 2nd hand especially for the denim and jeans as vintage pieces represent a profound depth of beyond time and collective beauty which defines value.
Being in London gives me the unique opportunity to revisit The Vintage Showroom in Covent Garden and each visit pays off with a great conversation and too many pieces of inspiration. I had met the owners; Doug and Roy many years ago and came to appreciate their vast knowledge and passion for each and every single piece they have in the store. The store conveys an authentic story of “vintage” menswear with benchmark pieces that are 50 years old or older. The Vintage Showroom selection features utility, sportswear, workwear and military clothing and are rare treasures discovered around the world and gives a surprising twist where the lives and the stories of the previous owners of the clothing become a part of the romance. It is like walking through time rather than shopping through racks. That is the collective love-story that certain types of clothing can convey through time and remain to be admired and desired for.
I have to say that the workwear collection has become my favorite and the French Fireman Jacket ( Sapeurs-Pompiers) from the 1900s featured in the “Vintage Menswear” book ( 6th edition) is indigo-dyed linen and possibly had some waterproofing or fire-retardancy coating which in time has given its waxy feel; is one of the finest pieces.
This time, I have invested in double-sided 1950s US army camp trousers in perfect condition and will use this as an inspirational development for denim AW2122 denim collection development. Workwear has always been a part of the denim collections and the rise of the utility is giving the industry another chance to re-invest in the performance oriented modern silhouettes of workwear where fabrics and design of today can collaborate.
I believe that when our clothes are designed with the power of the story as well as with attention to detail that is coming merely from being passionate about clothing and culture, we can still add value to the fashion industry of today.