The rise and rise of Weekend Doll: An interview with founder and creative director Yuriko Usui
Trends come and go, but fashion is forever – and that can certainly be said of 1940s fashion. The era is back: ladies want to adorn themselves again in the clean, slim shapes of 40s casual attire. The look is all about creating an hourglass silhouette, with details like padded shoulders, knitted tops and nipped-in knee-length skirts.
Embellished jackets, sweaters, wide-legged trousers and skirts were key features at the time, as were long-sleeved dresses, which made a comeback around a decade ago and remain popular today.
Taking inspiration from this, in 2012 designer Yuriko Usui started Weekend Doll, a unique vintage fashion clothing store where women can explore their style to look and feel good. The brand radiates vintage sophistication with a modern appeal, and the entire collection is inspired by popular fashion from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Here is an exclusive chat with Usui, founder and creative director of Weekend Doll.
Hi Yuriko, good to meet you. So, tell us a little bit about your business and how it all started.
I have always been fascinated by retro-style fashion. It is feminine, chic and elegant. Unlike other times, I feel that the fashion of 30s to 50s was for every woman: one could wear it to the office, for shopping, and even for an outing. Moreover, the clean lines and simple designs of the outfits made the wearer look slim.
After working with a British fashion label for many years as a creative director and design coordinator, there came a turning point in my life when I decided to follow my dream and passion. I have always believed in fashion that is about self-expression and timeless appeal. This inspired me to travel and showcase vintage clothing and accessories at vintage fairs and other such events. That’s how Weekend Doll started, and I am grateful to all those who put trust in me.
This platform has been specially created for lovers of vintage fashion. For a person like me, who is a vintage aficionado, I felt the need to create a store where people could find vintage fashion ensembles and accessories all in one place, and nothing could be better than an online store that’s easy to access.
How’s the journey been so far?
Well, the journey has been fabulous. With my inclination towards fashion, my aim was to create a place where I could connect with people who like to dress to feel good. I was lucky to find many loyal customers whom I call my “Little Family.” It started off as a small business, but, thanks to my patrons and well-wishers for liking Weekend Doll and helping me, we’ve come this far in a short time.
It all started in 2012 when I saw the growing demand for vintage styles, but there was no uniqueness in the attire and couture on the market. So, I thought of creating this place where one could find all the vintage-style clothes and accessories.
Five years ago, we launched our online and event store. My first collection was bought from an auction, which I marketed at my store. Our business expanded when we bought other brands and sold different types of products, such as swing trousers, skirts, blouses and knitwear.
I must mention here that my loyal customer base has been a constant support for me that motivates me to innovate and come up with new designs.
What are your future plans?
My plan is already in progress! I am very glad to state that Weekend Doll has already launched its first original product this year (2020), the Weekend Doll Ava dress, and we intend to expand to other types of products. I am happy to share that the Ava dress has received accolades from the customers. I believe that fashionable clothing must be something that makes you feel happy and comfortable.
We added an exclusive marketing team in 2018 with a new website, and increased our focus on Instagram. Our brand is a reputed trader in some of the major events of swing dance, such as Goodwood, Twinwood, and Weybridge.
We also keep on adding new trends to our New Arrival sales section, where you can find all the latest additions. We have also got face masks added to our list since the pandemic situation.
Thank you Yuriko, it has been a real pleasure talking to you today. It is great to hear how you started and about your journey. We wish you all the best for all your future endeavours!
The editorial unit