All things vintage! Interview with Peekaboo’s Emily Bothwell
We all love a good vintage item, a garment with history that is unique. Only with a vintage piece do we have the promise that we will now be the only one wearing it.
Since 1991 this has been part of Emily Bothwell and Michael Caunter’s vision. Peekaboo Vintage is one of the leading suppliers for our vintage goodies in London. It has been the main supplier for vintage clothes at Topshop since 2000, and has currently its own boutique on ASOS market place. So it’s no wonder Peekaboo’s pieces have been worn by the likes of Claudia Schiffer and Alexa Chung.
The Upcoming caught up with Emily, who whilst continuing to live her dream explains her love for history of vintage fashion and what pieces to source for our wardrobe this summer.
How did you first get into vintage clothes? Was it something you were always interested in?
I was always interested in vintage, even from a very young age. At 13 years old, all my friends would shop in the high street but I couldn’t wait to get to the local charity shops and create unusual outfits from vintage finds. All my friends thought I was mad, as it wasn’t the “in” thing at the time.
Where do you get most of your inspiration for the items you have?
I absolutely love fashion so I buy every magazine going. I am so inspired by everything I see, either in magazines or by people around me, watching what they are wearing. I then try to find the original vintage version of what I have seen.
Why do you think vintage clothing has become increasingly popular?
I think vintage has become even more popular over the years as people don’t follow trends as much. Trends still come and go but now it is also a trend to pull together a very unique look, which is why vintage is so popular.
Which era of fashion is your favourite? How do you think this can be portrayed in the modern day?
Without a doubt my favourite era’s run from the late 60s to the late 70s. Nearly everything I personally own comes in between those two decades. I have amassed an amazing collection of Ossie Clark dresses (last count 38) that I wear constantly. I rarely venture out of the 60s/70s but if I do, it would be to wear a little gothic inspired 1940s number. I think vintage always can feel fresh and new as long as it is paired with modern day accessories. I have worn vintage for over twenty years and I would literally feel naked without a vintage piece on to make my outfit unique. But if I wear, for example, a black Ossie Clark dress in the day I would always pair it with modern day chunky heels and, say, one out of my collection of Chanel bags to bring the look up to date. I love vintage but don’t want to look retro.
Which are the most popular garments and accessories selling currently?
What vintage garment should every woman have this summer?
Every summer, without fail, our most popular item is always the hippy cotton dress. This is a classic vintage item that never dates and as soon as the sun comes out, it looks amazing. We had a large collection of them this summer and I saw many girls buying them and throwing on a hippy tan bag, biker jacket and rocking that late 70s Stevie Nicks’ look. Fabulous!
Do you love being the founder of Peekaboo Vintage? What would you say are the best perks?
I am very proud of Peekaboo. We have managed to stay relevant in a very cut-throat high-street environment by evolving all the time. As well as celebrating 12 years of supplying Topshop, we have gone on to open our own boutique, star our online website and a boutique on ASOS. We always try to stay trend-led and provide vintage that is ready to wear, in mint condition and totally unique. We travel the world to find the best vintage for our outlets and I hope we will continue to do so. We love to evolve and so have recently launched a premium range in Topshop, which has been very successful. This week we have launched a Peekaboo Vintage Bride section. Who knows what’s next?
Emily’s tips on how to incorporate vintage pieces with the rest of our wardrobe are a great show of profession, the perfect guide to our vintage summer ahead. It was a joy for The Upcoming to speak to someone so in-the-know of her area of expertise.
Peekaboo Vintage proves that you don’t have to shop on the high street to remain contemporary. Having remained so popular and high in demand by evolving and developing, Peekaboo has done the world of vintage justice.