3 vintage womenswear labels to watch
Who doesn't like to wear vintage fashion from time to time and stand out with bell-bottoms, colourful patterns, bright colours or unusual cuts? However, when buying real vintage pieces, one often runs the risk of getting high-quality but environmentally harmful items made of materials such as synthetic fibres, leather or even real fur. Contemporary, vintage-inspired brands are the answer as they are committed to vintage fashion as well as sustainability.
The three womenswear labels presented here are just such brands, which are inspired by the fashion of the 20s to 70s - be it through tailoring, styles, colours, prints or patterns. What is important to all of them is that they produce long-lasting fashion that is made under fair and environmentally friendly conditions. The search for new materials and packaging is equally important. Worth supporting, we think.
Founded in London in 2002, womenwear label Traffic People was born out of a love for vintage fashion from the '20s, '30s, '50s and '70s, taking inspiration from style icons such as Lauren Bacall, Anita Pallenberg, Ava Gardner and Bianca Jagger.
“Our small in-house design team works to create contemporary, edgy and creative styling with the Traffic People Girl at the heart of everything we produce. Cleverly cut pieces in fabulously unique quality fabrics with delectable detailing and prints, ensures our range has unique exclusivity to the brand that sets us apart from other independent labels,” says Traffic People of its style.
Accordingly, the label focuses on smaller collections, sometimes producing only 50 pieces of a particular style. Prices range from around 60 euros (around 50 pounds/65 US dollars) for a top to around 150 euros (125 pounds/160 US dollars) for a jumpsuit and 260 euros (around 215 pounds/280 US dollars) for a dress.
Traffic People prefers durable pieces and is working on using recycled polyester in its collections starting from next year. In addition, the brand has partnered with Tribe and each purchase protects five trees in the rainforest. The label also supports various charities and is working on more eco-friendly packaging.
Traffic People began by supplying select independent boutiques throughout the UK and a network of carefully chosen wholesalers that supply stores across Europe. Today, the brand can be found in hundreds of stores around the world, as well as popular fashion online retailers such as About You, Harvey Nichols, Wolf and Badger and Zalando.
Amsterdam-based womenswear label King Louie aims to spread freedom, optimism and individuality with its vintage-inspired clothing. Each new collection therefore starts with vintage fashion prints and patterns that the design team finds and adds to its in-house archive every year.
“King Louie is quirky. And we’re proud of that.We walk our own way. In everything we do. We are colourful, even if the whole world is black and white. We are cheerful, also when nobody else is. We are crazy about prints, even if the rest prefers plain. Not because we want to be different. But because that is just who we are,” describes the label itself.
King Louie is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and manufactures around 70 percent of all articles in factories in Turkey and the remaining 30 percent in China. In addition to items made from Tencel, Lenzing Ecovero and recycled polyester, the label also offers those made from cotton, 75 percent of which is made from organic cotton and 50 percent from environmentally friendly materials. However, all items are made without hazardous chemicals.
Last year, the label offered its first circular garments made from recycled King Louie items. Prices range from 14 euros (around 11.6 pounds) for accessories to 60 euros (50 pounds) for a top and 120 (around 100 pounds) euros for a jumpsuit or dress.
Vintage aficionados Ann Berlips and George Cramer started the label in Amsterdam in the early 1980s. It now has four stores of its own, including two in Amsterdam, one in Lelystad, the Netherlands, and one in Geneva, and is available at select retailers in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, and the UK.
Mademoiselle YéYé is a sustainable, vintage-inspired womenswear label from Stuttgart, Germany, dedicated to the style of the 50s, 60s and 70s. It offers dresses, tops, knitwear, pants, jumpsuits, skirts and jackets, as well as accessories like belts, hats and socks that are feminine, vegan and fair fashion.
“The now well-known vintage movement started in England in the 90s, caused by the desire to slow down the ever-faster lifestyle and to devote oneself again to old values. Young people in particular decided against standardised fashion and increasingly wore old vintage clothes and dresses consciously,” explains Mademoiselle YéYé the emergence of the desire for vintage on its website.
The label produces its clothes in Turkey and uses materials such as cotton, synthetic fibres and viscose. It was founded by the two designers Kai Alt and Florence Shirazi in Stuttgart in 2012 and currently operates two brick-and-mortar stores - one in Berlin and one in Stuttgart, plus its own online store. The name comes from a genre of French pop music of the 60s, which is derived from the English exclamation “yeah”.
The Berlin store is located in the Schöneberg district at Akazienstraße 26 and offers the current YéYé collection as well as selected pieces from Amsterdam-based label King Louie (see above), London brand Traffic People (see above), Danish brand Danefae and other labels. These are also available at the Stuttgart store. Prices range from around 15 euros for socks (around 12.50 pounds) to 35 euros (around 29 pounds) for a top and 125 euros (around 100 pounds) for a maxi dress.