The retro clothing market is becoming increasingly cluttered, hence the epidemic of lacklustre stock sweeping London. One time exemplar traders are now attempting to pass off last season’s retro pastiches from the ubiquitous Gap and H&M as original vintage wear; a somewhat radical interpretation of original stockists.
Enter stage West: Beyond Retro has long been supplying the East End with top-end vintage threads, but it is not widely known that the finger-on-the-pulse Canadians, who import from warehouses in their home country, have opened a store in Soho.
This is not an uninspiring regurgitation station, but a plethora of high quality gems. Creaming off only the best-handpicked items from all over the globe, you can expect to find hundreds of one-of-a-kind garments.
Beyond Retro clearly has an eye for the current trends (employing trend analyists to maintain the quality for which it is known) with its highly selective stock tipping its hat to the High Street. Prices are what you would expect: reasonable but not extortionate for the market.
Whilst there’s the familiar foraging specific to second-hand retail, finding something great is more penguins-in-a-zoo than needle-in-a-haystack; the best garments will always favour those prepared to rummage.
The store has an amazing collection of 1930s Bakelite, an endless supply of vintage boots, and of course the old favourites: Western shirts, college sweatshirts, chunky knits, printed Tees and accessories.
Also, whilst I’m sure it may not be the intention, some of the more flamboyant garments will make for excellent fancy dress if you need to get kitted out for any of this summer’s music festivals.
58-59 Great Marlborough Street