42 Vine Street,
It’s no wonder Brighton has become known as Brick Lane by the sea, what with girls in aran sweaters, oversized 80s glasses and their hair tied up in loosely arranged buns appearing all over Brighton you could be forgiven for thinking you’d somehow landed in the East End of London. And now I’ve found out why, it’s amazing how you can live in a place as small as Brighton and have missed out on an absolute gem like Beyond Retro for as long as I have. Visiting it for the first time I couldn’t believe what a cornucopia of clothing delights I had been missing out on for so long and with its vintage ethos it fits in perfectly with the heart of Brighton, where it’s all about re-use, recycle, reinvigorate.
|Beyond Retro Brighton|
Grabbing an unsuspecting member of staff, Josh, I bend his ear a little to find out more about this treasure trove I have just wandered into.
“It’s owned by a Canadian couple, Steve and Helen who come over every three or four months from Vancouver, Canada. I think it was Steve’s passion for Rock ‘n Roll that was the driving force behind it. Our flagship store is on Brick Lane (that would fit, says I, looking around at clothes that would suit any Shoreditchette or dude). It has a cult following and has become a destination shop, where people from all over the world will come over especially to visit it. Maybe as many as 40% are tourists, from places like Japan who have come over just to see the store (crazy, I say in wonder).
"The store in Brick Lane, which opened in a disused dairy and has been there for ten years, has got a really good customer base in East London, and we’ve now opened one in Soho, Great Marlborough Street, near Carnaby Street, which attracts Topshop customers and only a couple of weeks ago we opened one in Dalston, with a cafe in it. The company is growing every week it’s kind of intense.
|Beyond Retro original 50s glamour|
“We put on student events, the one today will involve emptying out the front section and filling it with a hundred boxes of items with 50% off and we’ll have a drinks company providing beer and wine.
"We’re more than just a clothes store, we want to reach out to people by building mutually beneficial relationships with other organisations and bands, we’ve already created a good relationship with Audio.
So how do you source your items?
“We have a team of people who look at what’s on the catwalk and predict trends. They put together a list of everything they want and send it over to the team of pickers to source the items from charity shops, vendors and donations and will rifle through the stuff that other people don’t want and then we select what we think will work.
“In theory you can go into a high street store and pick up whatever is on trend, for instance this summer it was all about the seventies and then you can come in here and find the originals. We actually have jumpsuits from the seventies.
|Beyond Retro clothes sorted into decades|
What trends should we be looking out for this autumn / winter?
“For blokes there is a lot of work-wear like chinos and brogues, parkas are going to be really big, block colour is going to be massive. Women’s wear for next summer will be focused on leather, lace and crochet, floral and western are going to be really big as well.”
|Beyond Retro skirt|
Wow-ee I say and I’m loving the box of scarves. The great thing is you don’t even have to make it down to Brighton to get involved, just head to their website and you can buy a whole heap of originals right there.
|Beyond Retro Box of scarves|