Interviewing / Vintage Fair Organiser Lou Lou Whithurst

What started as a promotional fair for a small shop in Sheffield became an instant hit and quickly spiralled into a country-wide touring Vintage Fair. Now visiting 30 cities, Lou Lou tries to make sure that it gets to each city once every season.

“Half the stall holders travel to every fair, the other half tend to be quite local”, especially in Winchester with many stall holders from Southampton and the surrounding area.

She tries to create the same atmosphere in each city, while tailoring the products to what the customers want. “It varies quite a lot; Winchester customers tend to like old collectibles and the students go more for 1950s dresses.”

“Students in other cities are more likely to buy 1970s and ‘80s clothes, which shows that Winchester definitely has its own style.” She tries to keep up to date with the customer base’s interests and preferences are but it is “trial and error”.

Lou Lou has been organising the fairs for four years now, and still sees the vintage scene growing. “It’s not had its day yet!” This is partly because most trends now seem to refer back to past fashions and people love to find individual pieces that can serve as their own interpretation of a current trend.

“It’s the history of the items, and they tend to be better made,” which makes vintage so popular; an opinion which she holds in common with many of the stall holders.

When putting the traders together for each fair, she tries to target everybody with items from all eras. There will be something there for the die-hard fans of particular eras, but also things which people can pick and mix with high-street finds.

And why does she think vintage fashion is so popular? “There’s something nice about re-cycling clothing, and it’s easy to put your own twist on an otherwise boring piece of high-street clothing with a touch of vintage.”

She is also currently running a competition to win a VIP vintage fair experience, with hair and makeup, tea and cupcakes as just some of the perks. To have a chance to win, sign up to the Winchester mailing list by visiting www.thevintagefair.com.

words Bryony Symes

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