Last weekend, Impact Style’s Jo Grimwood sat down with Emily, one of the organisers of popular vintage fair Lou Lou’s, to find out all the latest from the award-winning trade show.
Hi Emily! Could you give our readers an overview of Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair?
Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair has been running since about 2008. We do vintage fairs across the country every weekend during peak seasons such as Spring and Autumn. We can be in up to five places each weekend. For example, today we are here and Liverpool; yesterday we were in Newcastle and Hull. We get traders to come from across the country to each venue, bring in their stock and make one big shop.
What is the motivation behind Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair?
Lou saw a gap: she wanted affordable vintage in one place so you don’t have to find where to go. It is quite a niche thing to get into. She did a one-off vintage fair in Sheffield and it went well so she decided to keep going. Now, it is across the country and she has won three awards for Best Vintage Fair in the UK.
“…you can get something that potentially no one has.”
In your opinion, what has caused the rise in popularity of vintage clothing in the last couple of years?
I think it is the uniqueness and the individuality of the pieces; you can get something that potentially no one has. I think it is also the narrative; you can create a whole story from one dress from the 1950s and think of Mad Men. You could take that narrative, bring it into your life and add more to it. You can pass it on to someone else as well, which I think is good. I have quite a romantic view of it but I love it!
What response have you had from your traders?
We have very loyal traders who keep coming back, so we must be doing something right. They are all very passionate about vintage, as are we. We always make sure that it is true vintage so we class that as 1920s to 1980s. We don’t do 1990s.
“We try to go to each place at least twice a year.”
How many cities have you operated in?
To scale, we have been to Dundee and Edinburgh down to Bournemouth and Southampton. It is a wide range; we have been to Swansea and Cardiff, as well as Norwich on the other side of the country.
How often do you tend to return to each city?
It depends on the place. Manchester: we have visited twice this season so four times in this year. In some places, we only visit two or three times but we try to go to each place at least twice a year.
“I think this place [Albert Hall] is quite nice, has a back story and has a vintage feel to it.”
How do you select the cities that you visit? Why was Nottingham chosen to host Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair?
I think Nottingham is good for vintage. You must look at what is there. We like to find a nice and unique venue and I think this place [Albert Hall] is quite nice, has a back story and has a vintage feel to it. We always make sure that each place has the customer base so that we know that people attend the events.
What is your favourite era?
[The] 60s but then I have kind of been wavering towards the 70s recently, with the cropped flares – I love that. I am a bit of a 60s girl; I like French 60s style that you would see on Jane Burkin – I am obsessed with that.
Image Credit: Jo Grimwood