Fashion: Peekaboo Vintage

What is style? The eternal conundrum that fashion magazines have been dissecting for years. Yet, there is no definitive answer- it simply boils down to personal preference.

With the internet spawning a new generation of tastemakers, anyone can be a “face” these days. Long gone are the supermodels of the nineties, where Naomi, Christy, Cindy, Elle et al, offered aspirational faces, bodies and lifestyles to inspire the public. Now the rise of Instagram influencers, means anyone with an accumulated number of followers can profess their individual taste.

Thanks to social media anyone can be a model. Size, shape, nationality and gender alignment have opened up a new world for fashion demographics, and how and what we wear is not dictated by what we see only on the catwalks. So it’s no wonder that the buying public are governing what is cool and demanding diversity in their choices. Peekaboo Vintage in London’s flagship Topshop emporium, has always been aware of keeping up with trends, but also aware of disposable shopping.

Topshop approached Peekaboo founder, Emily Bothwell(above), when her stall was on Portobello Market. They wanted to offer their clients something completely different and sustainable within their flagship store, thus providing an alternative outlet for shoppers who want something different to everyone else, but can still buy fashion with a conscience. The pieces Emily sources are unique, exceptionally hard to find but in the best condition, and even though they might be old, they are as good as new.

By encouraging fashionistas to check out a carefully curated vintage originals, Emily wants to highlight the consumers awareness on the impact of disposable shopping, with a mission is to bring back vintage as an ethical shopping choice. Her celebrity clients include Pearl Lowe, Fearne Cotton and Billie Piper, who are pioneers of her hot picks- regularly wearing them in TV and magazine shoots, and are backing the recycling trend.

Having founded her brand on a stall in Portobello Road 1991, it has come on in leaps and bounds. With the Topshop concession opening in 2000 and ASOS Market Place in 2001, Emily has spent almost 22 years creating the most unique and wide range of suppliers and sources, where she chooses her pieces individually and because of their amazing quality and this enables her to pass on a weekly fashion fix to generations of fashionistas.

Nodding at trends, Bothwell has her finger on the pulse of the catwalk collections, and is quick to pick out the highlights of the season; But it is her vision to track down the original article, instead of snapping up an ultra expensive designer piece, that will be dated in six months. It seems like a simple choice. Why buy into a copy, when you purchase the real deal? Help save the planet and buy beautiful preloved pieces that will be uniquely yours.

If you have visions of parading around in a Stevie Nicks style PVC mini skirt, Cher’s crochet waistcoat or a Blondie-sque suede bomber jacket, Peekaboo Vintage is the perfect place to realise your vintage alter ego. And there is nothing more rewarding than tracking down your unique piece of history, knowing that it will be instantly iconic.

Thankfully, today’s shoppers are more savvy in understanding the mechanics behind factory workers, and buying fashion doesn’t have to rely on buying from overworked or exploited staff. Using brains to be on trend is an attractive prospect, and buying vintage is a good place to start.

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