Winchester’s Newest Treasure Trove

Fab Vintage has recently joined the ranks as one of Winchester’s totally unique stores. Alan Christopher opened the shop on January 7th, providing a wide range of vintage clothes, accessories and nick knacks. With everything from 1960s mirrors to lace gloves, this shop holds many unique items with which to express yourself.

This is the appeal of vintage. And the appeal of Fab Vintage? It is a small, independent shop run by someone who is passionate about what he does.

Before opening the shop, Alan held a market stall in Winchester for 18 months and has always collected vintage, even during the 18 years that he was a restaurant manager, which has prepared him for owning his own shop. “You need to have business sense; a love of vintage is not enough,” so his previous experience has helped him to run the shop smoothly.

It is also about building bridges in the community; “I get the stock from all sorts of places” including people coming in off the streets. While I was with him, one man came in offering a collection of jackets: this is how to build up a saleable stock.

“You never know what people are going to want. What you might hate, someone else will love; you can’t pre-judge anyone.” This is part of what makes vintage so exciting; everyone has different tastes and preferences, and different ways of styling their vintage pieces.

Part of the reason Alan loves vintage so much is the individuality; “there is more style in vintage clothes,” something which he thinks has been lost in mainstream fashion since the 90s. However, the high street trends do not dictate fashion. It is important to remember that ‘style’ is about more than just the clothes, it’s about how they are worn. “British style in particular is more innovative and daring” and this is one of the reasons that vintage popularity is still rising.

The fact that Winchester now has Charming Magpies, the Vintage Fair and Fab Vintage means that it could well become a vintage destination. “We are not in competition because the nature of vintage is that every piece is different. We are all going to have different things. It is more like working together to bring more vintage buyers to the area.”

Alan’s stock ranges according to the two main types of buyers that he sees; students and nostalgic vintage lovers. The more ‘top-end’ items include things like a 1960s three-piece suit, while the other end includes vintage-inspired dresses from New Look. You can find everything you need for a vintage look, but at reasonable prices.

words Bryony Symes

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