I must admit that I have grown a bit tired of vintage. Vintage stores aren’t the obscure hiding places full of that very distinct smell of other people’s memories and secrets that they used to be. The days of treasure hunting through piles of rags towards that one-of-a-kind piece are simply over. The hegemony dominating the high street has sadly found its way to the world of vintage as well.

However, when I heard of VV Vintage, my passion for vintage was re-ignited. This online, sustainable fashion house, founded by the talented DJ, musician and model VV Brown, brings vintage to a different level. Besides selling unique vintage items, handpicked by the impressive style icon herself, and throwing outrageous swap parties, VV Vintage also is a platform for undiscovered talent to create their own fashion designs, using second-hand materials. 10% of the profit from this initiative, which is promoting upcycling rather than recycling, goes to Oxfam. The very first capsule collection by Mary Benson has just been released.

Mary Benson’s collection is nothing like the shorts made from ripped jeans and 50’s dresses you’d expect to find in the regular vintage store. This very talented designer, who did internships at Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, has used the power of reinvention and created an eccentric, high fashion collection. Mary Benson has stayed true to her signature eclectic style, using holographic embellishment and getting inspired by the shining nature of fish scales. It’s hard to believe that these designs, which seem to have sprung from a futuristic underwater planet, are actually created from waste.

During London Fashion Week, VV Vintage will promote the art of upcycling with a live installation at Somerset House. The days of the treasure trove of a second hand store might be over, but a far more exciting era for vintage is approaching. A revolution led by VV Brown, whose infectious drive to explore the endless possibilities of recycling and upcycling will inspire us all.

Mary Benson for V V Vintage

Words by Juliette Sijnja

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