The Vintage Showroom is a playground of inspiration for denim mills and designers.
Celebrating its 10th year, The Vintage Showroom in London, founded by Douglas Gunn and Roy Luckett, is the secret sauce behind period films and photo shoots.
“We usually have several hundred pieces on hire at any one time to film and fashion, and the working archive is around 10,000 items with additional pieces held off site,” Gunn said.
The Vintage Showroom initially was formed to house Gunn’s and Luckett’s ever-growing archive of vintage showroom and accessories. “Roy was shipping bales of vintage denim from the U.S. to London back in the ’80s and ’90s, originally selling through Camden and Kensington Market. We met in Portobello Market around early 2000s when I was getting started in vintage. I think both of us got into the business through a love of old denim,” Gunn said.
And in the process The Vintage Showroom has become one of the leading resources for vintage menswear globally and serves to inspire design teams. There, Gunn and Luckett work with designers, laundries, fabric developers and mills from around the world.
While denim is a relatively small part of the business, it’s Gunn’s favorite part and it shows in The Vintage Showroom’s collaborations. Its archive has become a playroom of inspiration for denim players like Abercrombie & Fitch and Turkish denim mill Orta Anadolu, which for the past seven years has tapped The Vintage Showroom duo to curate its archive and consult on creative projects.
“We are incredibly proud of the archive that we developed and curated for Orta Anadolu for their Istanbul home office,” Gunn said. “We are now re-interpreting some of the fabrics with [Orta’s] R&D and product development team, which has been a lot of fun and a real learning curve.”
The Vintage Showroom is also teaming up with the Kingpins Show for a journal that showcases vintage fashion with street style.
Though not strictly denim, The Vintage Showroom recently worked on a project with Abercrombie & Fitch with the focus on a pair of John F. Kennedy’s chinos, which Gunn found for the brand.
“They were originally made by [Abercrombie & Fitch], most likely purchased by JFK from their New York store in the late 1950s, early 1960s,” Gunn said. “I have been working around the history of the brand and helping to develop the archive over the last few years, which has been fascinating. To find such an iconic and historic item that had belonged to one of the true greats of the 20th century was truly inspiring.”
What is your first denim memory?
“When I was a little boy I wanted to be a cowboy. I was a western movie addict growing up so I was obsessing about pieces I saw on film way before I ever saw them in the flesh.”
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
“I have a new heavyweight pair of At Last & Co. jeans from my good friends from the Tokyo-based brand Timeworn Clothing. It is my favorite denim brand, so I am just waiting for winter to hit so I can start rocking them.”