What made you start Rag Trade?
I started Rag trade firstly because of my love for vintage clothing! I have always been interested in the past in general, as a teenager I always found myself drawn to antique shops and loved researching historical figures. Growing up I had a big connection with music and this was a gateway into different fashion eras. I love the idea of clothing having a story, and bringing that into modern day fashion.
What experience do you have in fashion?
My experience in fashion really started when I began an HND course in fashion and textiles in Glasgow, and then progressed to study printed textiles at the Glasgow School of Art. I have worked for big retail companies, a small online vintage jewellery company and also a large vintage company in Edinburgh.
What is your target market for Rag Trade?
The target market for Rag Trade is a person who has a bold, colourful look and who is confident in them self. I don't think they can be defined by age or gender as vintage has something to offer everyone. Our customers like to take pieces from the past but give them a modern edge, while staying true to their personal style.
What is your favourite era of clothing?
My favourite era is the 1980's. I love the structured silhouettes, graphic prints, eye catching colours and the overall exaggerated feel to it. To me the 80's fashion is fun! We primarily stock retro 80's clothing on the website. I also have a real love for the 1970's punk look. The Sex Pistols were one of the first bands I properly got into, which then led to interest in people like Vivienne Westwood and shops such as 'SEX' in London. 70's fashion to me shows rebellion against the norm, and I like that.
Outside of fashion what is your biggest passion?
Outside of fashion I really love photography and do a lot of the shoots for Rag Trade myself. I like the DIY aspect to things and enjoy having a small team of creative people. I really love editing images, layering things up and playing about with colours to create different textures and patterns.
Who is your biggest inspiration in fashion?
A lot of fashion designers inspire me but I would say the two that have always stuck are Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. It may be slightly cliché, but they truly are! I take a lot of personal inspiration from art as well. The Surrealism movement really influences me and my style especially artists such as Mark Ryden. I also love researching underground fashion movements from different decades through old photographs. I use our Instagram to showcase of lot of my inspirations.
How do you go about sourcing all the amazing clothes on the store?
Everything on the website has been handpicked by me. I have been collecting vintage clothing for many years, I'm a bit of a hoarder! A lot of our stock comes from private sellers.
What is your favourite clothing brand when searching for vintage clothes?
Brands such as Louis Feraud and Escada are amongst my favourites, and we sell a lot of their stock from the 70's and 80's on the website. This is due to the quality of the fabrics, the beautiful patterns and striking shapes. Another one of my all time favourite brands is BIBA from the 60's. I take a lot of inspiration from Barbara Hulanicki and love the vibe she was able to create in her stores.
What is your favourite piece of vintage clothing you have ever unearthed?
There have been so many! My favourite pieces that we have on the website are some of the classic Escada blazers. I think we have some in every colour and pattern! One specific item that really sticks in my mind is a very delicate 1920's style sequin capelet that we have online at the moment. The beading is very intricate and it almost looks like a piece of art.
What would your advice be for one of our readers wanting to start their own business?
Starting your own business can be challenging, make sure you are committed and love what you do. It is important to have a clear vision and really just go for it!
Where would you like to be with Rag Trade in 3 years?
My vision for Rag Trade is to continue to expand the website and to keep it creative. In the future I would love to open a store as well as the online side of things. I plan on having a studio in the store where i can also use my textile knowledge to rework items.
Why not save yourself a day in a freezing warehouse and visit Rag's Trade Online Store