Being avid vintage fans here at Impact Style, we were ecstatic when we were invited to interview the organiser of Preloved Vintage Kilo, Wayne Stocks, and access rails and rails of retro fashion! Here Wayne tells us about his worldwide travels in search of the perfect garments, and his love of all things old.
Why did you decide to start running vintage kilo sales like this?
We’ve been in vintage for about seven or eight years now and we started putting ten things a week up on eBay, and the business just grew. From that we went into doing vintage fairs, which we did for about five years. After that, we started doing kilo sales, because we could get the clothing en masse at the right rate, which meant we could offer quality stock at a good price. Vintage has always been a passion of mine and Mark’s [Wayne’s husband and business partner] anyway, so it was just a nice thing to move into.
Where do you source your vintage goodies from?
I work with five or six key suppliers worldwide, from the UK to America and Asia. I handpick everything and quality control every piece, which comes back and is quality checked again by the team at the warehouse. That’s every piece, and we’re currently holding about twenty-five tonnes at the warehouse! I think that is what people expect from us and our events now, they expect the quality, and know that it’s been seen, checked, and that it is a sellable and wearable item.
What’s your favourite vintage item?
I use my granddaughter as an excuse to save 1940s and 1950s dresses. She’s only two, and she’s got a collection now of about seven hundred pieces, which are items I’ve just picked up along the way. I have two ultimate favourite pieces. One is a pristine condition fully beaded 1920s flapper dress, and the second is a Victorian ladies evening gown, which I’ve got to say that I didn’t buy, my husband did! I was away overseas on a buying trip, and I came back to him saying ‘Look at these dresses, aren’t they amazing!’ The World War Two ‘40s stuff will always stay in my collection until Bella is old enough, and I keep certain pieces of the 1950s clothing, which we also sell in our shop. I collect designer clothing as well, so I’ve got original pieces from Ossie Clark, Biba, Christian Dior and Chanel.
Can you tell us about your vintage shop?
It’s Mooch Vintage in Sheffield, which we’ve had for about three years now. We were helping a friend out because she was going on maternity leave, and after a year she wanted to go back in her shop, so we sourced our own, which we’ve been in for about two years. I don’t want any more shops, one is enough! You can spread yourself too thinly, and I think if you try and put your presence everywhere you can lose the attention to detail. I was adamant that the shop would be in South Yorkshire as it is both of our hometowns, and we always said we never wanted anything more than just the one.
What is your favourite thing about doing these events?
Obviously I love buying for the business, because I have a shopping addiction! The buying side can also be very frustrating, for example when you’ve been promised certain pieces and it’s a false promise – that can be quite deflating. But the buzz of buying things people really are after and have asked you for on many occasions is amazing. So that’s one element of it. The other is the people. I’ve always worked in a forward-facing service role, so meeting people is something that comes naturally to me. I love it, because you don’t know who is going to walk through the door.
What is it that makes you love vintage so much?
The individuality and the quality, the way things are made and the shapes. I’ve got an absolute addiction to zips and buttons, and the originality of them. I’ve been doing this for years and I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had two of the same thing. That’s what I love about vintage. It gives people the opportunity to express themselves and their individuality. They’re not going to a high street store, and buying what everybody else has got on. I love the people who come and dig and find what suits them, what they want to try and how they want to express themselves through clothes.
Why do you think University of Nottingham students should come to events like this?
Good value for money first of all, and it also ticks the boxes for microfashions. There are certain items that make an appearance every season, every year, and we can sell these items affordably to students. Students also like the relaxedness of the events, as there is no hard sell. You come and spend what you spend. As a business, we don’t say ‘you have to buy a kilo’. If you buy a scarf, it’s not £15, you’ll get charged £1.50. As long as the products and stock are right, people will come and get some bargains.
Can you sum up in three words Preloved Vintage Kilo?
Fantastic, amazing experience!
Preloved Vintage Kilo will return to the Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday 6th May 2017.
Jo Grimwood and Amy Wilcockson
Image Credit: Jo Grimwood