The vintage fashion scene is huge however sometimes shopping local for vintage goodies can be a struggle depending on your location. I shop locally at charity shops, vintage markets (mostly small ones held in my area) and the odd vintage shop in surrounding villages as well as high street stores and online. I wanted to share with you a local vintage store that’s only been open in my area for 10 weeks, 'Vintage Treasures' in Basingstoke.
Victoria from VJ Vintage started out running a vintage stall at vintage fairs, festivals and markets before having a shop front and she also started running a vintage festival in Basingstoke at the Proteus Creation Space where she was noticed by Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT). BCoT were looking for a local vintage business to partnership with them to open a new shop in Basingstoke. Working in partnership with BCoT Victoria works full time in the shop with her VJ Vintage brand and she also mentors the students who are working in various retail/business/fashion areas at college. The students may work in the shop; sometimes they may make vintage inspired items or source or repair/upcycle items to sell in the store. Being a partnership working together they came up with the name ‘Vintage Treasures’ and they have been up and running now for 10 weeks.
I wasn’t surprised at all when Victoria told me how well received the shop has been by local people. I myself have been in on a few occasions and found the store well laid out. They stock a great range of items including reproduction clothing, vintage clothing, kids wear, accessories, home ware, shoes, comics and more, great pricing especially for true vintage stock, items you just won’t find anywhere else and provide wonderful service. Being a new store to the area hopefully people will keep going back for more. I think a lot of people who aren't too aware of the vintage fashion scene think of the clothing as occasional wear when really you can wear this style day in, day out!
When talking to Victoria about the best sellers, at the moment it seems to be the vintage inspired andreproduction dresses (ie Collectif, Lindybop, Hellbunny etc) that are selling really well. Everyone is different and for myself personally my purchases at the store have been for true vintage instead of reproduction. I think the reason reproduction is more popular in sales at the moment is because the style would be because its comfortable for people, they know its new, they recognise the brands and it’s a safer options whereas people on the hunt for true vintage are usually a more niche market who are into that scene/style and regularly look for this. Again this is probably linked to people coming in and buying for specific occasions instead of people who choose this style as a fashion choice however I am sure over time and with more and more local involvement people’s perceptions may change, and in turn will now doubt result in people trying other things.
I personally get the impression from media etc that true vintage is very expensive, especially in this country. With the vintage scene becoming more popular, celebrity endorsed and considered 'on trend' I do find the price tags creeping up. I have found that it all depends where you shop. I have found great bargains myself and find that factors such as designer, condition, location of the store or market can affect price. I found the vintage clothing at Vintage Treasures to be affordable. The true vintage dresses sold at Vintage Treasures range from approx £15-£25 and reproduction ranges approx £30-£60 a dress.
It’s great to see that new independent store are opening up and finally coming to my home town.
Victoria is hoping to take VJ Vintage to Retrofest this year which is in Newbury in August, more info here. You can also catch them at the local Proteus Vintage Markets in September and November in Basingstoke.
A huge thanks to Victoria for her time showing me around the store and for the wonderful items I have purchased.