I am a big fan of vintage. Having worked in vintage shops for over 10 years it is a passion of mine, particularly how vintage businesses chose to style their finds. Margot & Lux present their collections in a contemporary way, An important approach if Vintage is going to become more than ‘dead peoples clothes’.
When people begin to see vintage as the sustainable (hate that buzz word) option that it is, these vintage collectors that re-imagine vintage clothing in a trend-led and youthful way showcase just how versatile and modern looking vintage clothing can be. Because, let’s face it! fashion buyers are ravaging vintage shops and simply re-making their finds anyway (believe me…I know!)
Hollie is passionate about this element to her business and vintage in general, which is always so nice to see. Please read on to hear about how Margot & Lux started and her future plans….
- Tell us about yourself and your brand/work.
I’m Hollie! I’m from Newcastle but moved to uni in Brighton, where I studied Fashion & Dress History, when I was 18 and then took the plunge to move to London in 2017. I started my brand after 12 looooong years in high st retail and became disillusioned with the brand once I made it to head office. I started to question my own consumption of fashion and really missed sourcing vintage clothing which I’d done since I was around 14. It took 9 months of work related stress and anxiety to kick me into gear and Margot & Lux was born! I’d dreamed of having my own shop since I was about 8 years old – my friend and I planned to open a 5 floor store on Oxford Street with a Spice Girls museum in the basement! My brand really solved a problem I had found with buying vintage – I am super impatient and I hated having to trawl through rail upon rail of bad quality second hand clothing with huge markups in jumble-sale esque stores and wanted to curate something that was accessible to those who wanted to keep their style and wear vintage without looking like they were en route to a fancy dress party. The idea was to style vintage in a modern way and focus on high quality investment pieces that wouldn’t break the bank. Starting the brand has been the best thing I’ve ever done, I’ve expanded into sourcing for film & TV as well as styling for private clients and shoots – I have big plans for the future!
- What are your Inspirations?
I’m inspired by literally everything – I can spend entire days on Pinterest and Tumblr! My main inspiration of course is from Instagram, real people with incredible style, but I watch a lot of vintage cinema too – I’m currently obsessed with Diane Keaton! Coming from a background in Fashion History, the inspiration can spark from anywhere – vintage adverts, fashion plates and art/photography, the latter of which usually inspires the colour palettes for upcoming collections. In terms of sourcing stock though, it’s totally intuitive and I tend to just buy what I like and would wear myself! My buying strategy is usually me thinking “OMG I LOVE THAT” and imagining it with an outfit, knowing that someone else will love it too. I hate the idea of buying in bulk, handpicking is always best imo.
- Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help?
Oh wow, it’s both I think! It’s a great source of anxiety for me and really a Catch-22. The most recent change in algorithm has really messed with brands and it’s a huge expense to advertise. There’s a constant struggle and worry about “am I doing enough? Do people like what I’m putting out??” and then a cycle of having a break, which negatively affects your sales, then becoming obsessed and getting burnt out. It’s amazing to connect to customers and I feel like features such as Instagram Stories are incredible – it’s a chance to really show your personality which makes you more relatable, but overall there’s a huge deal of imposter syndrome and you can’t help but compare yourself to others. I wouldn’t have a brand without social media, but it’s frustrating to be in the pocket of Facebook so much! The way I think about it though, if you had a business pre-social media you would have to pay for marketing and this is just a different way of doing that. Plus, I’ve made so many friends through my business social media accounts and built a reputation of personable customer service, I’ll say it’s a help!
- Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice?
SO MUCH ADVICE! I actually started a YouTube channel because I’m famous for offering (giving) unsolicited advice to unwitting friends who are thinking of starting their own brands, it just bursts out of me! (I think because I miss training people, it was the best part of my previous retail job). My main advice for anyone thinking of starting a brand is to just go for it, you will have plenty of people giving you their two-cents and putting you off, but if you have a vision for a business then do whatever you can to make it work. Read everything related to your business model (especially marketing), chat to other brand owners, do your research and be open minded. Making mistakes is the only way you can properly learn so don’t be afraid to try new things. Oh, and start small! The lower your overheads, the faster you can grow!I’d like my business to expand into a lifestyle brand and soon (in the next week or so) I’ll release my first hand-made jewellery collection using vintage and dead-stock beads. Later into Spring I’ll launch my first vintage homeware collection which I’m super excited about! Once Covid is a distant memory I’d like to have a more physical presence and regularly host Pop-Up shops.
- Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?
Mariana Pires – I collaborate with Mariana tons on campaign shoots and editorials, we clicked instantly and both have a super similar vision. She’s a creative genius and has such an incredible eye for detail. She’s a filmmaker and photographer. The Pansy Garden for incredible prairie dresses, statement dresses and rare finds. She’s a friend of mine, a fellow Geordie and so knowledgeable about the industry. Alice Passingham Ceramics for super cute one off pieces. We recently collaborated on a collection and have another coming out in March!Anonoma Jewellery – Natasha is an angel and her teeth marks ring haunts my dreams, especially the gold with tooth gem! I die!Els Crochet – Ellen just started her brand and makes very Paloma Wool vibe pieces! I’m obsessed with her bags. Hannah Glenn is another bag designer and angel, her frilled gingham bags are iconic and she has the best eye for print and colour. Benjamin Fox – Ciara creates incredible vintage inspired blouses and dresses and finds the besssstttttt dead-stock fabrics to make them from!Sophie Cull Candy is a creative babe and has incredible style. She makes AMAZING gloves and has an excellent eye for print. Moss Omey makes slip dresses from dead-stock and vintage silks and one day I will commission her to make me a dress for my hypothetical wedding!