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Since the age of 15 I’ve always had an interest in buying vintage clothing, and loved the nostalgia that wearing certain pieces can bring.
Granted, over the years my style has evolved greatly, but one thing I still invest my energy in is collecting vintage. The main reason is that rifling through carefully sourced pieces, to pull together items which no one else will own, encompasses an almost treasure-hunt-type buzz.
It’s become a booming trade over recent years, with many students and fashionistas alike leading the way in recycled fashion – even inspiring catwalk designers, who gain valuable inspiration from street style.
I recently had the chance to visit the Sheffield leg of The Vintage Kilo Sale, where tonnes of stock are carefully sourced by the event holder and customers are invited to shop per kilo. At A New Shop in Sheffield, each kilo was set at £15. So, depending on the weight of garments, you could find yourself snapping up 4-5 items for £15 – not bad at all!
Having never been to one myself, it was sure to be an unusual experience. The doors to A New Shop opened at 10am and crowds had already formed 15 minutes prior. As soon as I walked in, it was utter pandemonium.
I asked the owner why he thought vintage clothing has rocketed in popularity:
‘In my opinion, today’s clothing is either throw-away – i.e., Primark – or too expensive and lacks any element of design; like designer brands that make standard sweat shirts or £5 pocket jeans just embellished with a logo. Most catwalk fashion is inspired by the street and young kids create their own looks, that is then reinterpreted by designers.’
Within five minutes I had already amassed a huge armful of stock, shopping like these were the last items of clothing on the planet. Let’s just say I got myself involved a little too eagerly, having to stop halfway through, because my arms were buckling under the sheer weight. How could I not get carried away, though, when there were copious rails filled with tees, jackets, jumpers, leathers and many more incredible steals?
I feel I need to point out again just how worthwhile these kilo sales are – they give you the chance to revitalise your wardrobe for minimal expense. Tipping the scales at nearly 10 kilos of stock, I had more than monopolised on the little time I spent in the shop.
Whilst queuing up I still kept adding to my ever-growing booty. At a total of £145, I had managed to bag around 25 pieces, which, on breaking down, meant an average price of £5 per item.
Before I left, I quizzed the brothers who own A New Shop on how trade is going for one of Sheffield’s leaders in vintage clothing.
How did A New Shop start out?
We’ve been trading for three years now – we sell a mix of used/new clothing and footwear. Our inspiration is from youth cultures past and present, we try and retail products at competitive prices.We hope to attract customers of all ages and all walks of life. The barbershop is a new addition to the store, and it carries the theme of tradition and value.
How can we find out when the next kilo sale is?
What sets you apart from other vintage stores in Sheffield?
Our mix of old and new helps us stand out from our competitors and our strong Sheffield heritage products keep our customers loyal.
How often do you receive new stock?
The reason we choose the name is because stock arrives daily and we constantly search for product that sits right in store. It’s evolving constantly.
I love 70s & 90s clothes but of your personal taste, what era do you think produced the best clothes?
My favourite era for fashion would be mid-eighties to early nineties as most designers were more creative, futuristic and, musically, the whole dance/rave seen was the last true youth revolution to date.