'In today's climate it's really important to buy vintage’ | Sobey's Vintage ClothingPosted on: 02 Sep 2019
In with the old and out with the new: we talk to Hannah Sheehan, the store manager of Sobey's Vintage Clothing in The Arcade.
Under store manager Hannah Sheehan’s careful eye, the store has been thriving since it opened in 2018, and the team are hopeful for the future of vintage fashion.
Sobey's also has stores in Exeter and Cardiff.
The store can be likened to a treasure trove; but instead of forcing customers to rummage for hidden gems, the pieces are proudly showcased. Wacky prints and wild designs curate a welcome visual bombardment, and the styles feel very Bristol.
Despite selling vintage clothes, Sobey's prides itself on keeping up with current trends. According to Hannah, the styles seeing a revival this season are 1970s prints, halter neck tops, flares and sportswear.
Another fascinating part of the store is the reworked clothing range, Nancy’s Boutique: a collection that sees Sobey's dedicated group of seamstresses restore unsuitable garments into something new.
Nancy's Boutique: these vibrant mini backpacks were once 1970s curtains.
“Often there will be a summer dress that is a 1950s shape," Hannah explains, “but we will take it and make it into a reworked halter neck or something that students or young people will wear at festivals. So, [Nancy's Boutique] makes older pieces slightly more accessible to a younger generation.”
Another piece from the Nancy's Boutique collection.
Indeed, the younger generation are big fans of vintage clothing, since Hannah estimates that they make up the majority of the Sobey's customer base. “Often it is a lot more affordable for students."
Despite this, Hannah emphasises that she sees "all sorts of ages" shop at the vintage retailer: "we do have people coming in and being really nostalgic.”
“I love wearing vintage," Hannah explains, "because everyone looks different, rather than if you’re going into Topshop and everyone comes out looking the same.”
But while Hannah champions vintage clothing for its individuality, her fashion choices reflect an environmentally-conscious outlook. “In today’s climate, with sustainability and being environmentally-friendly, it’s really important to buy vintage.”
Sobey's is located in The Arcade which is home to over 20 stores. Many are independent and continue to flourish just minutes away from large high street retailers.
What is so special about The Arcade's collection of stores, minus from their indubitable character, is the strong sense of unity connecting them; something which Hannah considers to be invaluable.
“It’s so, so nice. I really enjoy working in The Arcade. Everyone is always looking out for everyone, we all know each other personally.”
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Originally from Surrey, Orin is a second-year Classics student at the University of Bristol, where she edits the Style section of the university's independent newspaper. She loves anything fashion, beauty or food-related and can often be found engrossed in a book or exploring Bristol!