First, buying vintage furniture (or other vintage products) is a mean to get thrown back in time. It may remind you of your childhood, of a different period of your life, or simply make you want to discover, to live in a different period of time. Vintage helps to escape modernism. These vintage furniture embody a slowed down time. How better to escape the busy life of modern cities than to step inside a bubble of old times, of slower times? Your living room is now a quiet, slow pace capsule of time. This escapism is the first reason for the vintage craze, albeit a more evident one.
Furthermore, these furniture are seen and supposed to be uniques. They answer a need for people to set themselves apart from the others, from the mass. You are no longer the happy owner of a MADE furniture built in thousands of copies. The vintage craze is a reaction against mass-produced fast fashion, they bring more individuality. Their uniqueness charges these furniture with emotions. As objects of the past, they already hold their emotions quotients. They say something about one’s past life. They are not mute objects, they are charged with experience and emotions.
These unique and emotionally charged objects help individuals build their identity. What is the difference between an IKEA dresser and a vintage one, a little retro dresser found at the back of a small shop or in a crowded furniture fair? Emotions. Indeed, according to Samantha Holland: "for the vintage enthusiasts, their belongings, from clothes to homewares, provide individuality, identity, and agency, through their collection of authentic, often emotionally charged items." Objects have their own narrative and vintage furniture have an important one that can be transferred onto their owners who will then express their identity. Identity can be expressed through objects. Through vintage, you come back to an older identity: one of childhood, one before social media, one that is out of time. It’s a way to take back one’s life, to create power and to become an actor: you go around to look for these little furniture gems, you are active. You do not get delivered by Made or Ikea after 10 minutes of deciding between two models rather identical. You find the furniture closer to your self, closer to your personality, that brings emotions for you… That takes time, that takes effort, that creates agency. This is not to say that vintage and online shopping are mutually exclusive. Shopping online is mainly associated with buying Habitat furniture rather than vintage ones, but you can still find unique pieces, full of emotions online. Take Vinteriors for example, a website selling vintage furniture online, they offer unique furniture, not mass-produced ones. Your agency is created no matter what form your shopping takes. What best way to become an Instagram influencer than through retro furniture, clothing and products? Vintage is a way to buy objects with sentiments, with emotions, that speak of something, that have a voice. Vintage gave us our identity. Our offices got their identity through their vintage furniture, our brand got their identity through their rétro design. For the inquisitive ones, you can see for yourselves our vintage love.
Where to buy vintage furnitures?
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm
130 shoreditch high street, London E1 6JE
http://www.elemental.uk.com / @elemental_uk
The Old Cinema
160 Chiswick High Road, London,W4 1PR
Open Monday to Saturday: 10am - 6pm / Sundays (& Bank Holidays): 12 - 5pm
https://www.theoldcinema.co.uk / @theoldcinemalondon
Judy’s vintage fair
The Hammersmith Vintage Furniture Flea, 20 October 2018, 10:30am - 4:30pm
Location: St. Paul’s Hammersmith, Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9PJ
The East London Vintage Furniture Flea, 4 November 2018 10:30am - 4:30pm
Location: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9PJ
Alfie’s antique Market
13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London, NW8 8DT
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10am-6pm
http://www.alfiesantiques.com/index_old.php / @alfiesantiques
Hello Retro design
Samantha HOLLAND (2017), « ‘With Sentiment still attached’: an overview of vintage », Modern vintage homes & leisure lives, pp.41-64
Tracy Diane CASSIDY & Hannah Rose BENNETT (2012), « The rise of vintage fashion & the vintage consumer », Fashion Practice, Vol.4, Issue 2, pp.239-26
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