Meeting with Gabriele, owner of Gabriele Vintage, who welcomes us into her lair located rue des Chartreux. Very sweet and smiley, it is with good humor and enthusiasm that she shares her passion with us. Her vision of vintage, her favorites, her desires ... You will soon know everything!
Vintage fever took ahold of Gabriele during her adolescence. A simple hobby which quickly became a way of life, at first she hunted for antiques for her and her friends. Armed with a degree in interior design, she moved to Germany and worked for theaters as a stage designer while also dealing with sets and costumes, which allowed her to cultivate her artistic talent and love for antique items. Back in Belgium, it became difficult for her to balance theater and family life.
Thus in 1997, Gabriele Vintage was born, a store dedicated to clothing, jewelry, hats ... which she gets from the four corners of the world ! A large and airy space, tastefully decorated while keeping its retro spirit which she loves so much.
Her own selection of clothes ranges from 1920 to 1980. It includes a few branded pieces but this is not a determinative factor of vintage for her. She says, "I focus my collection on « wearable » pieces, that is to say, not going beyond the 20s because of the fragility of the fabric that would not survive long if worn again today. "This does not mean that she is not interested in items dating prior to 1920. She even has her own collection of dresses that are carefully kept at her home, so as not to damage them.
For her, buying vintage is to stand out, to buy items of precious materials, and to enjoy a work of better quality ... Wearing antique clothing is not a sign of nostalgia but rather expresses a state of being fed up of not knowing the origins of what we buy. It is a constant search for truth and authenticity, to oppose the mass production where we will all end up looking the same.
Who are the shopaholics at Gabriele Vintage
The clientele is varied, Gabriele welcomes many people from the theater community who seek costumes and inspiration in her shop. Her audience represents a very wide range. However, there are not many young poeple because they are more likely to follow fashion, they dare not assert their own personality yet. Many people come visit just out of curiosity, to, among other things, admire her impressive collection of hats, which count among her favorite items. « These people do not dare to take the leap, I would however encourage them to forget the dictates of fashion and dare to stand out with special pieces, even by combining them with more modern and basic clothing. I make the storefront myself with outifts from completely different eras to give people ideas of assortments » she adds.
The future of vintage
For Gabriele, vintage still has good days ahead. But within 20 years it will be more complicated because our clothes of today will then be classified as vintage, but there is no guarantee they will have withstood time. She believes that the future of vintage lies in its"customization" meaning the reworking of pieces like she herself makes sometimes.
A vintage day with Gabriele
It starts early in the morning with visits to different flea markets. "Usually, I get up at 4 am to find the best deals, even on vacation.I see it a little as a hunting trip. I always know what I am going to do, but I never know what will come back with me. It's very exciting! " says this lover of retro. She will then rummage through stores of the streets Haute and Blaes, admire furniture and antiques and end with a tour of art galleries in Brussels. Gloria Galvez Rojas