Hello again, Dames & Gents!
As I have been teasing and promising for the last week, here is my new Vintage feature. Having found out a must-visit neighbourhood for Vintage lovers in the Lower Marsh after reading Big Issue, an english charitable magazine to support the homeless with great cultural content, I visited the dreamy Radio Days and interviewed the co-owner Lee. These two partners run a tradicional vintage boutique, catering to a specific audience that is looking for either female and male clothing, millinery, jewellery, houseware or music sheets, postcards and magazines from the 1920s to 1970s, although focusing mostly on the 20s to 40s period. As the vintage market is quite limited in Portugal and it's always different an experience of going into a shop and contacting these little pieces of history in person, I was thrilled and am thankful for the time and help I was granted. So here you have a bit of an insight into my visit to Radio Days and talk with Lee last week! Enjoy.
How did Radio Days and your part in the project come about, and grow into what we now find?
Well, I wasn't involved in the project from the start actually - Chrissie and another partner started the shop the 15th of November 1993, and they used to go to Vintage Fairs and Markets. I had always had a big interest in vintage fashion, lifestyle and culture although I never acted on it, and so I wouldn't come into the picture in 2001. It's actually a funny story; when I met Chrissie through mutual friends, I wired the shop - I am actually a trained electrician - and instantly fell in love with it so I never left, having been here for 9 years already! I stumbled into this, but my mom being a seamstress, growing up I always watched her work and learnt a lot about clothes but also got this taste for other times' fashion.
What's the most important thing to keep in mind, managing your own Vintage Shop, from your experience?
I'll say that Radio Days has to keep up the quality of clothing, something we really emphasise, and meet the costumers' needs and interests in the long run. We often ask our costumers to tell us what they like and try to create a pleasant and personal shopping experience, building a solid relationship with both our costumers and suppliers to have a consistent business that runs smoothly.
What's your view on the current state of the Vintage market, considering the recent trends & globalised online market?
Actually, I think it's good for the vintage business that other shops are rising and evolving since it's become a more general fashion product although it's more difficult to keep up with what the other stores are doing or how they promote their businesses. Still, I believe we cater to a specific public that is loyal and responds to our line of work which is why I find it menacing.
What do you fancy the most about working in Radio Days?
I love that I'm able to play the right music accordingly to the kind of costumers that walk in the shop at different times or the mood of the day - I counteract, for instance if it's raining outside I'll play happier music, or if they're from abroad and I've a piece of music from their country or language I may play it. I really like to welcome costumers and make them feel part of the shop! I aim to make each day and experience in the shop unique.
What are your advice on vintage, and wisdom cupcake on life for my dear readers?
If you're looking to start buying and wearing vintage, do your research! Buying online you should always make sure you've researched enough to be able to tell if it's an authentic piece and what it's condition is, etc and never forget that having feedback from other people who have bought from the same seller in the past. If you can't, or haven't the oportunity, don't buy! It's best to refrain than to end up with an unfit or disappointing item. Always try to make time to go on shops, try the clothes on, know the sizes and sorts of cut & fit (which have changed greatly; i.e. vintage sizes are 2 sizes smaller than current sizes), they're totally different!
To achieve anything in life, you'll need passion just as much as knowledge - you must know how to direct your thrive to keep on track!
Note: This interview was registered by dactilography notes so there may be minor mistakes, although none of the meanings or sentences have been altered from the original. Thank you.
And now, for a sneak peek at what you may find walking into this lovely shop.
Please forgive my camera for its quality and my lack of Photoshop and related skills, none of these have been properly edited!
They read Sailorettes, Love & Rock n' Roll too, down at Radio Days!
Find this pearl from the past in 87 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7AB or at www.radiodaysvintage.co.uk .
I'd also like to stir up a little discussion here;
Do you love vintage or stick to the modern retro?
Do/would you follow a vintage inspired lifestyle and/or dresscode?
What are your favourite eras and styles throughout the 20th Century and why?
Now I'm off to see an art exhibit and a well deserved girl's night out I may write on later. I hope your weekend is enjoyable and that you can visit Radio Days soon - I promise you won't regret it!
Write soon, with love,