Mae Vintage London, the brainchild of two passionate founders, Molly Emma Rowe and Martha Whelan, has quickly become a go-to for many of us looking for surprising, iconic designer finds in the world of pre-loved fashion. Blossoming from a friendship and a nerdy, sixth-sense shared love of collecting hard-to-find pieces, Mae Vintage is successfully combining a styling viewpoint with eco-conscious values, catering to a conscientious and style-savvy clientele looking for vintage McQueen, Phoebe Philo era Celine and special pieces.

The web has always been a rich source of treasure for those who don't want the same "it sweater" or "dress of the season" and favour originality and provenance over top-to-toe full looks. Reluxe Fashion, Byronesque, Shrimpton Couture, 1st Dibs, and for the truly patient, Vestiaire, HEWI and eBay are longtime resources to find "one person's trash, another person's treasure." The rise of designer vintage and pre-loved clothing websites like these reflect a growing shift not only towards a sustainable fashion solution but value in existing, yesteryear pieces. “To us, vintage is all about nostalgia, seeing things that you have a memory of in their first incarnation, and then seeing it now as something that you'd want to wear," shares the duo. "It's about finding the timeless pieces.”

Molly and Martha, both fashion enthusiasts (the former a costume designer for films and TV shows, the latter a stylist) embarked on their journey to create Mae Vintage with a mission to redefine the way people perceive and experience vintage fashion. They created a showroom space in Notting Hill that would not only showcase carefully curated pre-loved pieces but also provide styling advice and discovery at the forefront.

"Currently the biggest part of our business is putting together bespoke selections for clients, where either their own stylist or ourselves bringing a rail or a few pieces, depending on the brief, either to their homes for a private shopping experience or at ours. We want to make vintage shopping as easy as possible for people who don’t have time to trawl the now overwhelming amount available online and give them a really personal, boutique experience, offering in-house tailoring and styling services."

In a world dominated by copies churned out by fast fashion and fleeting trends, Mae Vintage London stands as a beacon for enduring style and conscious consumption. “The way that the industry has been for so long, the value of the time, the quality of the fabric, the quality of a zip, the quality of the finishing, everything has gone out of the window for a huge percentage of consumers. And I think appreciating vintage is about relearning what's important...We're trying to piece the story back together. All of our swing tags have [the source] runway or campaign images printed out on little Polaroids attached to them. We want that sort of legacy to go with the garment, to get people excited that it's been on the runway or in a campaign.”

That Phoebe Philo for Celine blue suit with the balloon trousers? They've got it. Tom Ford's obi sash and kimono-slit blouse? It's there. Early Mcqueen? Drool. But amongst the "the ones that got away" pieces (and the point here is that now you can get them!) are carefully chosen, unsigned pieces that look great with a pair of jeans, or a vintage dress that could feasibly have come off a London Fashion Week runway. It all boils down to taste, which Molly and Martha have a ton of.

Molly and Martha's commitment to preserving the legacy of fashion through their meticulously curated selection, styled in relatable ways on their online site (on the amazing Laura, who models the outfits in a way that gives them life), is a winning ticket in an otherwise supermarket-esque lineup of multi-brand retail at the moment if we do say so ourselves. So get online, get nostalgic, and get lucky.

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