FMS is very happy to be working with The Retrosphere, our favourite place to get a vintage fashion fix. And we’ll be making sure that you get your fix by directing you to their weekly Trends and Get the Look pages.
We meet up with Jennifer Hakim, the woman behind the store, who believes there’s no such thing as a vintage no-no, because fashion is an eternal circle and everything can be cool if you know how to wear it. FMS concurs…
When did you become interested in vintage clothing and is there a particular era that you favour for yourself?
I think I became interested in vintage clothing when I became interested in fashion in general, so I was probably around 12. I was always fascinated by my mother’s clothes from the seventies and eighties and was always putting them on. When I could afford to buy my own clothes I would go to thrift stores in Paris and it felt like Christmas everyday. The seventies and early eighties are still my favourite fashion eras. I love flares and glitter, and of course the androgynous look from then.
Do you source all the pieces and how much time do you have to dedicate to this?
I handpick every piece as I want to be able to control the quality of what I sell. I do sessions of around several days every month where I only look for new stock, but of course if I find something amazing outside of these I will still get it.
You source internationally; are there any countries in particular that have the best finds?
France definitely. I guess it’s also because I know where to look, but for me this is where the greatest style is. I know a lot of people with amazing vintage treasures there, so it’s always a pleasure going and coming back with great new stock. But I also find amazing pieces in London.
Is your background in fashion and how do you keep up-to-date with the latest trends?
I studied international communications, with several fashion courses, and wrote my final thesis on vintage fashion. After I graduated I interned and worked in beauty and fashion PR before I decided to start my own business. I’m always reading fashion blogs and online magazines to keep up to date, and keep trend reports religiously.
Have you sold anything that you really wanted to keep for yourself?
Of course. I have a personal connection to a lot of my pieces, whether because they belonged to people I love or because I wanted to keep them for myself. It might sound silly but it was hard letting go of some of them, like a floral chunky sweater I sold recently that belonged to my mother. I always thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. But in the end I’m just glad they find a new life elsewhere.
Who are your fashion icons and why?
When I was younger I admired Kate Moss’s style because she knows how to mix retro and modern. It seemed so innate. I have a weird obsession with Cherie Currie’s style too, at the time of the Runaways. These girls just embodied cool.
The Retrosphere likes a good quote, is there any one quote in particular that you think sums you up in any way?
There must have been several… some of them I feel very personally connected to, some others are intended for friends of mine, but most of them are just for a large audience. The one I felt connected to recently was ‘Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got’ by Janis Joplin. It’s so true…
Do you have any favourite designers, past or present?
I’m in love with Emmanuelle Khanh designs, so seventies cool. I love designers like Charles Jourdan and YSL, always a classic, and Lacroix in the eighties. My favourite present designers, to name a few, are Rick Owens, Helmut Lang, Mugler… If only I could afford their clothes!
What are you wearing to death at the moment?
Sequinned tops. I’m obsessed with them; I don’t know why – maybe my Cherie Currie obsession? Flares during the day, skinnies at night. And big leather boots with chunky heels. That has pretty much been my uniform this winter, time for a new season!
What are your current favourite pieces in store now?
You must love a good rummage, what do you consider to be your best finds?
Best finds are definitely a Charles Jourdan shirt that was completely overlooked at a garage sale, and a pair of Pierre Cardin sunglasses for the same reason. People often have no idea of the value of what they keep in their attics.
Are there any current fashion items that you think should be relegated to the sin bin?
I have a hard time with creepers (or any other flat platform shoe) but I guess that’s just my personal taste. Maybe they’ll grow on me…
Does your interest in vintage crossover into your home furnishings?
Of course, that’s another obsession of mine. Recently I’ve been obsessed with vintage frames and vintage bird drawings, so I have a dozen of them, why I do not know, and old boxes. I’m currently looking for vintage curtains and a vintage chair for my bedroom. When I was younger I wanted to be a decorator so I guess it makes sense now. I also collect vintage vinyl, although I have slowed it down in the past two years.
The whole of your vintage stock has just vanished! Now what do you do?
Call the police? After panicking for hours I would probably sell everything I own to recover the cost – a new website, my wardrobe! Then start something new. I think I would probably take it as a sign that it’s time for a fresh start.
Words: Sarah Hardy
Main Image: Melody Gerard