Whilst grabbing a drink in the center of Brussels, I met with two sparkling ladies of the Brussels Vintage Market. Morgan and Charlotte, the brunette and the blonde. Yes, there is something for everyone, just like at BVM!
What is your definition of vintage?
M&C: We believe that it includes clothing ranging from the 50’s to the 70’s. Lately, we have seen an evolution in the trend. There are, for example, a lot of clothes dating from the 90’s. Most of the time, there is an extra dimension to vintage: customization. We take garments to fit to our size, to darn them due to damage or to add something to make them more unique ..
Where did you get this passion for vintage ?
Charlotte: At the root of it all, we were not particularly passionate about vintage. It was a friend, Kristen Moreau, who had the idea of creating a vintage clothes market like the one he had seen during one of his trips to London. He needed help with his project, so I decided to join him, and Morgan joined us 4 or 5 months later.
Morgan: It really was whilst working on the Brussels Vintage Market that we began to enjoy and appreciate vintage.
What are the benefits to buying vintage ?
M&C: There are several advantages. The most important thing for us is to find an item that is unique and much more special than what is typically offered everywhere else. There is also the feeling of discovering a piece of treasure when we get home with our purchase :"I found something crazy!". We’re not saying you have to be dressed completely vintage, just a few touches combined with classic attire. We find that cool.
Does it matter to you that all of these items have a "history" ?
M&C: We prefer to imagine history linked to objects and jewelry rather than to clothes because it’s almost yucky! Especially when you come across an old pair of shoes that really took the shape from the foot of the previous owner. We prefer not to think about those past owners. As a girl, when you stumble upon a cool and cheap togs, you just enjoy them and don’t usually think about the one who worn those before you.
Do you think vintage still has good days left ahead?
Charlotte: We sure hope so! Especially customized and revisited vintage, where everyone brings their own personal touch to the clothing! I think that if it were to disappear, it would be the "re-interpretation of vintage" that would take over.
Morgan: I think that the current economic climate plays a big role in favour of vintage. People are happy to find an alternative option to buying their clothes. In addition, with all the "fashion" sense that has installed itself around vintage, we do not qualify second-hand as rotten or reserved for the poor anymore
M&C: Nonetheless, a distinction needs to be made between second-hand, which for us means "trash" such as a t-shirt from a past collection from H&M, and vintage, which is reserved for really unique clothes. It is for this reason that the BVM leaves room for young designers. What is important for us is that the apparel be cool and original, even if recent. Our goal, first and foremost, is really to offer something different and original. You won’t find us in the more traditional antique shops but we aren’t a luxury market either.
What are your favourite vintage pieces ?
Charlotte: I have a lot of vintage items and I love them all so it will be hard to choose. My favourite of the moment are the black boots that I am wearing now. I wear them all the time! Otherwise, I have a top made only of glitter with the head of a tiger that I love but never wear! Also, I recently bought an old "Sabena" postman bag from a friend and I have a stool in formica that I also love.
Morgan: I am much more into vintage objects than clothes. On the other hand, I love clothes from small designers.
An example of a vintage day to share with our readers?
M&C: In the morning, you go to flea markets. You drink cocoa at Chaff’s and then make your way through all the shops of Rue Haute and Rue Blaes. Then, you make your way to Saint Gery and check out the stores of Rue des Chartreux, such as Isabelle Bajart, Gabriele Vintage, Quai 2 ... And then come and say hello to us at Brussels Vintage Market!
In the afternnon, you have a drink at Fontainas and have a bite at Kika. You go out to Madame Moustache and finally, you stay at the Berger hotel in Ixelles.