Meet The Experts: Retold. Vintage Clothing Expert.

Meet The Experts: Retold. Vintage Clothing Expert.

For Second Hand September we have interviewed 10 experts in the field, delving into the world of vintage and secondhand. Covering categories such such fashion, furniture and watches we spoke with industry leaders about the boom in this ever growing category. Next up is Retold, our vintage clothing expert.

For those that don’t know you, how would you describe yourself and what you do?
A passionate vintage fashion collector and reseller. I'm the proud owner of Retold - a London based vintage studio. Less is definitely more in my eyes and I curate through a minimal aesthetic lens. My background is fashion - prior to launching Retold I spent 15 years  working for Topshop before leaving to spread my entrepreneurial wings. If i'm not out sourcing you can find me chilling in east London with my husband and pup. 

If one million women bought their next item of clothing second-hand instead of new, we would save 56 million kg or carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere.

What was the inspiration behind Retold and how did you develop the brand?

This quote from 1Million Women back in 2018 was the kickstarter to me turning my passion for vintage clothing into a business. I was becoming more aware of the damaging effects of the fashion industry and the immediate connection of how a change in behaviour can have a positive consequence really inspired me to start encouraging more people to love vintage and pre-owned fashion like I did. What started out as a market stall then went onto me having my own website and studio. Retold’s offering now includes bridalwear, consignment, rental and jewellery collaborations. I'm proud to have built a loyal customer base spanning 20 countries and featured in British Vogue’s 9 best online shops, Elle Uk. The Guardian, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and Marie Claire.

Why do you think consumers are gravitating towards pre-owned and vintage?

Definitely people are becoming more aware of the negative and exploitative sides to the fashion industry; both environmentally and socially, so are making more conscious choices when it comes to where they choose to spend their money.

It's also now easier than ever to buy second-hand and there is an abundance of quality clothing out there ready to find new homes. According to the BFC it is estimated we have enough clothing currently in circulation to last 6 generations. Whether it's through apps like Vinted or Depop, charity shops or dedicated curated sellers like myself you can literally find anything to suit your budget or style which I think is attracting a whole new wave of customers. 

Also let's also not forget the joy that finding that vintage and secondhand piece brings. I have always loved it for its uniqueness and individuality. You just can't beat it. 

Tips for buying vintage clothing and how to find the perfect fit.                     

Get familiar with a tape measure and always check measurements if it's a listing online. Size labels have changed dramatically over the years and cannot be relied on so this is the best way to check if an item will work for your sizing and if you can't try it on. Also when it comes to items like tailoring or denim go to a seller that specialises in these pieces. They truly are experts in these items. Always check over the garment fully before committing to purchase to ensure you are happy with the quality. This could also mean checking over photos or asking the seller to send you more pics! 

Authenticity is key when buying designer items. Spend time researching trusted sellers before parting with your money and always read the reviews. 

How does ethics and sustainability affect the way you navigate the brand and how do you implement sustainable practices?

I will always encourage a slow and conscious approach to fashion and consumption. We strive to curate timeless pieces and encourage our customers to avoid a trend led mindset and instead select items that work with their personal style. Circularity has also shaped our business model and customers can both buy and sell through us as well as repurpose our packaging.


How best to care for vintage clothing to make last?

Think seasonally and storage is key! I always recommend using breathable garment bags and boxes and in springtime for example I always clean and then store my knitwear and coats to avoid moths over the summer. Embrace repairing - both Sojo and The Seam offer an incredible service which can help you keep your items in tip top condition and extend their life. 

What trends are you seeing in vintage clothing and how are consumers styling them?

The trench is a timeless piece which you will love for a lifetime and we stock these every year. We are always on the hunt for the classics like Burberry and Aquascutum which are iconic for the trench. Wearing oversized is always a winner but we are also loving the shorter peacoat lengths this season which are perfect for petite frames. We love a vintage blazer and this year's silhouette is even more cinched which we are so excited for. Vintage Mugler and Escada are both amazing labels to find if you love this shape and style. 

Our heart is always for tailoring and pieces from the late 90's and early 2000's are also on our radar. We will be sourcing Joseph, Prada and Calvin Klein for those that love this slim and androgynous silhouette.


Follow Retold on Instagram @retold_vintage
and visit their site here
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