Why we love vintage.
Vintage clothing is something that makes us happy every day. Did you know that the brand King Louie was founded in a vintage shop? Highschool friends Ann Berlips and George Cramer sold second-hand clothing at the Amsterdam ‘Noordermarkt’ and in their own shop: Exota, at the Jordaan.
In 1984, the tight black skipulli was extremely popular. The demand was so high, there wasn’t any available stock left, therefore Ann and George decided to produce their own turtleneck sweater. One that had the same style, however was made from a more comfortable (cotton) material. This seemed to be a very good idea as they sold over 40.000 pieces. It was the beginning of King Louie, a brand that, to this day, translates vintage into contemporary fashion of today.
Vintage refers to clothing made between 1930 and mid 80’s. Items from this time period are often of very high quality, beautiful fabrics and unique detailing. We love them. The fashion industry however sadly changed: people consume completely different now and clothing consumption increased by double since the year 2000. Today, Dutch consumers buy over 46 clothing items a year, and by result, throw away about 40. They spend approximately 16 euros per item. Summarised: we continue to buy more, for less money.
It’s called fast fashion. It’s a shame the industry developed towards this phenomenon, and it appears to be a bad development for everyone involved. Take the people that make our clothes, they now have to work faster for a lower amount of money. There’s also less budget for the materials of clothing: the fabric of your dress, the thread, the buttons. As the buyer of a dress made faster and therefore, with less care, you yourself also lose. Cheap fabrics are likely to look unflattering, and worn out. Let’s not forget about the earth, that has to process an ever-growing mountain of discarded textiles.
In the previous century consumers bought considerably less than they do now, and would spend more on one single item. This gave the tailor more time to add special details, such as nice pleating or beautiful buttons. The result was clothing that would be cherished by their owners. At King Louie we take pride in this process, as this is exactly what we do in our vintage archive.
These days it’s impractical to wear corsets; we want to bike in our dresses, and heels are seen as an optional item to complete an outfit, not a necessity. That’s why we take inspiration from our own archive and translate them to our changing society. We use today’s preferred fits, quality fabrics, and create our own unique prints. Besides the fact that we want our customer to think the clothes we make are beautiful, we also want them to start consuming more consciously. There’s too much love put in our clothes to throw them away after one season. That beautiful dress that fits you perfectly and is on top of that also ethically produced, is going to look as stunning years from now.
- King Louie Team: The Designers
Meet the people behind the brand. In this edition we introduce our designers Asha Salaris and Gael Brutin. Read more >
- King Louie Vintage Icon Katharine Hepburn
A huge adversative to etiquette, a love for skirts and a huge zest for work; Katharine Hepburn turned her clothing style into a lifestyle. Read more >
- From plan to product: jersey & prints
There is a long production process behind every product that you purchase in a shop or online. Read more >