In a new partnership, @dazedfashion will host Byronesque Vintage’s edit of the runway’s soon-to-be-iconic pieces
While you might think that shopping for vintage clothing means sifting through rails and rails of musty-smelling shirts and matted fur coats, Byronesque is keen to get as far away from that idea as possible.
Founded in 2013 by Gill Linton and Justin Westover, the driving idea behind Byronesque is to reinvent what the term ‘vintage’ means to people by curating an enviable collection of items from the 80s and 90s – the last time fashion was exciting, in Linton’s opinion. Think hard-to-get archive pieces from the likes of Comme des Garçons, Kansai Yamamoto and Maison Martin Margiela, often sold out of pop-ups with names like ‘fashion porn’ or with signs declaring phrases like: ‘If Borthwick shot it, we’ve got it.’
Collaborating with Dazed on a new project – entitled ‘The Future Vintage Edit by Byronesque’ – Linton wants to begin curating the items on today’s runways that will be coveted archive pieces in 10-15 years time. Think Balenciaga’s AW17 “dad trainers” or Raf Simons’ cowboy-esque boots for Calvin Klein. Over the next couple of weeks, Linton will be picking out the best future vintage items from the current SS18 womenswear shows, so you can get your hands on them now before they reach eye-watering archive prices. They’ll be posted directly to Instagram on @dazedfashion.
Here, we talk to Linton about why vintage is still such an important part of fashion and what it takes to become a future vintage item.
For those who might not be familiar with Byronesque, what’s your story?
Gill Linton: We launched in 2012 with a cocky ambition to modernise the entire vintage fashion industry. We were bored of fashion as it was/is and the last time fashion was really inspiring and exciting was the 80s and 90s. But finding those clothes meant spending hours on eBay and in smelly thrift shops which seemed so outdated and unnecessary. The idea of ‘you never know what you might find’ was less of a thrill and more of a worst nightmare for us. So we launched as an editorial-based shopping site to pay homage to what we call contemporary-vintage – the designers who changed fashion history – and create curated certainty where it didn’t exist. We’re not interested in anything before the 80s or in Chanel or Hermés bags. That goes against the very reason we exist. It’s easy to find old denim, 70s furs and cowboy boots, and if you have the money, it’s also easy to find Chanel et al. But just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s good. No one was talking to us or the new generation of vintage evangelists that we belonged to.
We might be in the vintage business, but we behave like a contemporary fashion brand.
What does Byronesque specialise in?
Gill Linton: Ruthless editing. Contemporary-vintage from the 80s-mid-00s that doesn’t look like vintage. Designers that had a big cultural impact at the time and are still relevant in terms of attitude and design today. We now have the largest network of contemporary-vintage sellers and private collectors who open up their archives exclusively with us. Which is why we launched our personal shopper app and are able to source things very quickly. If you want it, we can find it.
What is future vintage?
Gill Linton: Items from new season collections that are worth keeping, because they will be emotionally and financially valuable in 10-15 years time. Which designers will we look back on and credit for doing something meaningful that changed the course of fashion and culture?
What makes an item worthy of future vintage status?
Gill Linton: We have specific criteria for Future Vintage that we put our name to:
Is it remarkable in overall style or a specific detail? Is there a cultural energy behind it and what its story represents? Does it represent an important moment in fashion history? Does it/the brand say ‘you can’t sit with us’? Does it say ‘we don’t look like anyone else’? Is it different enough from the brand’s own archives? Will people be talking about in 15-20 years time?
“Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s good” – Gill Linton
Is there anything else you’ve got coming up you can share?
Gill Linton: We’re doing our first pop up in Tokyo with Opening Ceremony for fashion week October 16-22, called ‘What will you be remembered for?’ A collection from when self-respect was more important than selfies vs. today’s culture of ‘no-culture’.
We’re launching a new site and app early next year. We just brought on our first fashion director who we’ll be able to announce soon, along with some other projects we’re working on. But in the meantime, we love that we’re doing this with Dazed. Thank you for having us.
Stay tuned for Byronesque’s off-the-runway selections, coming soon.