A Closer Look at The Vintage Showroom | A Continuous Lean.

A Closer Look at The Vintage Showroom

Feb 24th, 2010 | Categories: London, Vintage | by Michael Williams

A selection of photos from The Vintage Showroom in London. The company operates by appointment only, as it is mainly used by designers for “inspiration” and whatnot. If you live in NYC (and are a designer) or a vintage obsessive, The Vintage Showroom operates much like Melet Mercantile or Strong Arm Clothing Supply. Also, if you live in Boston you should know Bobby from Boston, which is more of a public store front than these others. Being that the The Vintage Showroom mainly serves industry people, the prices are not cheap. The prices are also what they are because the proprietors spend a lot of time and money sourcing the stuff. There is also a store front that is open to the public near Covent Garden if you want to check that out.

It was nice to be in a vintage store that wasn’t entirely American stuff (which is much of what I see). It was also nice to see an Ursula Suit in real life. Thanks again to Doug for the hospitality. Next time you head to London make a detour to The Vintage Showroom, you won’t be disappointed.

Comments: 23

23 Comments to “A Closer Look at The Vintage Showroom”

  1. A Treasury of...
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 3:46 PM

    Lucky Brits.

    It seems like mining all-American workwear brands is reaching its climax, so maybe digging up classic UK brands is the next inspiring frontier to investigate!

  2. Ali
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 6:08 PM

    Where the hell is this in Covent Garden and why have I never come across it! Just about to Google it. Looks tops.

  3. Ali
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 6:09 PM

    Earlham Street. Well I never!

  4. Andrea
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 9:31 PM

    Sort of intrigued by the stacks of fair isles. Wonder if U.S. men would be comfortable with that much pattern and color.

  5. Ulysses
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 11:00 PM

    This place is whatever; you can get all that gear on ebay for way less.

  6. Michael Williams
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 11:02 PM

    You can cut a hole in a blanket and wear that, for way less. That might have other applications too.

  7. Teppei
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 1:22 AM

    Wow. Just, wow.

  8. MT
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 4:53 AM

    Those shearling jackets!

  9. yuko
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 12:05 PM

    i love hearing about these ‘hidden’ place…

    so curious what you would think of all the stores in tokyo… have you been?

  10. David Himel
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 2:14 PM

    It is enjoyable to hear your readers poopoo very serious people who buy sell and collect vintage clothing. I suppose if you flew to China you could also buy many clothing brands “for waaay less” . That is infantile commentary. Design, collecting and understanding clothing is serious business. The only reason to read this blog is to learn and pay attention…ebay is a bottom tier sales platform for smaller vintage dealers to reach out to top players and the public and sell their goods. Perhaps there are some “deals” on ebay for second tier pieces but I can guarantee that unique clothing items, and groups of unique items “are not cheap” and in fact to see anyone accumulate a grand collection to help designers and those seeking knowledge is a valuable resource. To poopoo that is to spit on fashion in its entirety and not worthy of this blog

    David Himel

  11. thiswastomorrow
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 4:06 PM

    David, you wouldn’t happen to be a designer would you?

  12. Ali Bagshaw
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 8:40 AM

    Good on you David!

  13. MR.DIXON
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 2:37 PM

    David I agree with you on not bashing someone’s hard work and effort to put together a great collection for serious buyers and sellers to view…but i think your a little off when you speak of ebay…actually for the 13yrs Ive been in the business I have met some of thee biggest and most established and yes very serious and passionate vintage clothes dealers,to put people who aspire to do what makes sense to them..[buy low sell high]..on a low tier is a insult to so many people,I dont think you meant any harm….now lets talk about that China comment..it’s not a good comparison because your using China as a scapegoat for poorly made products for a cheaper cost whereas ebay will and does offer some of the greatest vintage clothes you will ever see,it’s very important for ebay to exist,excuse me for my quick lack of humbleness but I do ebay and its great..I started out just buying for a Japanese dealer and in time got more involved with dealers in my town..and then ebay was something I did with some of the more affordable finds..the engineer jackets and running man champion and redline levi’s were going to Japan for a pretty good price.

  14. Amit
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 4:50 PM

    Reminds me a bit of Rudolf Beaufays’ shop in Hamburg (http://www.rudolf-beaufays.de/) – the greatest collection of vintage British clothing I’ve ever seen. Amazing prices and service to boot.

  15. himelator
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 6:45 PM

    I was refering to “you can get all that gear on ebay for way less”…but to your point..I have been in the vintage clothing business since 1992-93 we started buying and selling to the biggest vintage store in Japan at that time (Daytona Int). When ebay opened I was busy trying to shop around my own online auction and selling through another site that my friend built called Farley.com which was the first serious online collectibles site before ebay. We had one of the first ids on ebay and for a long time I made a lot of money there supplying guys in L.A. who are now some of my friends and/or frenamies…ebay is still a good resource but it falls into a lower tier of the supply chain today. Also from a design perspective designers need efficiencies from which to work and knowledgeable historians to draw upon. Larry Heller, What Goes Around Comes Around…me in Toronto..and many others provide that knowledge and resource. I myself have a massive collection of leather that I draw upon for design and inspiration…clothing is not about originality..or really design..it is about craft…business is about money…art is about design.
    Sorry about the ebay hack, I too still sell there but not my best stuff unless I need to get a war between the guys I already offered a good piece to….the vintage business is in a late stage now where picker, dealer, buyer, designer are all blurring into one which of course in some ways has killed the golden egg!

  16. MR.DIXON
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 9:50 PM

    Very well put sir,I hope this business will never die and I hope nobody is distracted by the obstacles..I think the more I hear about how bad or hard or competitive this business has become it amazes me that I can still find items that inspire me and in some cases make me some great money!!,in the future I hope to work closer with designers who share my interest and will appreciate what I have learned.A good friend of mine who I met doing a deal on ebay informed me years into the friendship that he has shopped for ralph Lauren RRL line,I was instantly inspired to one day be able to hold on to some of these treasures..or pieces of art for a better cause.Archiving.

  17. kels
    on Feb 27th, 2010
    @ 1:07 PM

    ahhh this is so awesome

  18. jfreedman
    on Feb 28th, 2010
    @ 5:16 PM

    I just visited the vintage showroom for the first time and have been to the shop in Convent Garden numerous times. Not only do they have a tremendous selection in both places but they are also super nice guys. Really welcoming. I bought a great Barbour jacket for myself and great plaids for work. They also do a small “Reworks” line where they take vintage and rework it into a new design. Cool little cut and sew operation in the basement. Most of their stuff comes from Canada Upstate NY and Penn. I even got a vintage mickeymouse club tee for my 2 year old thrown in for free with my order. The showroom is not the easiest place to find, but is walking distance from Notting Hill shopping.

  19. thisistomorrow
    on Mar 2nd, 2010
    @ 4:30 PM

    Might I suggest that if anyone is in London then they pay a visit to Cassie Mercantile and/ or Carlo Manzi…these are by far the two best showrooms in London showing very different kinds of things but both being equally impressive in their own rights.
    I just happen to find the Vintage Showroom a little mediocre in comparison….

  20. Jamie
    on Mar 3rd, 2010
    @ 1:12 PM

    I was there after Premiere Vision and loved it! Cassie is great as well but Carlo Manzi is hire only from what I remember!

  21. Deiter
    on Mar 7th, 2010
    @ 2:36 PM

    The man who says ebay is low is an idiot, you see all his words and regards of self and you know it is so – ebay is the best shop in the world! i see all the most beautiful things on ebay and they all go to the showplaces, i see them again in person but the price is up up up!!I make my visits with the showplaces we talk about here, it is my job. Melet Mercantile – amazing sometimes blows your mind, Strongarm is good but not like Melet, Cassie is also good but not as much and i agree with the man who gives the vintage showroom ‘mediocre’. The blog saying it is not american, look the pictures! it is not different in person, american and not special.

  22. René Artois
    on Mar 10th, 2010
    @ 12:48 PM

    allo allo!

  23. damien
    on Mar 11th, 2010
    @ 1:43 PM

    ha is that accent for real surely not? I loved Rene Artois and the fallen madonna with the big boobies!