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Portobello Roads exciting addition: Monsoon Vintage

28th May 2024

Interview: Charlotte Harney

Monsoon Vintage opened in April 2023 at 237 Portobello Road and has found home there ever since. In collaboration with OOTD the boutique brings customers a curated collection of iconic designs from 1990s. The space is a far cry away from that of traditional vintage stores. No musty smelling clothing, dim lighting or hunting through rails here.

Curated in collaboration with ‘Queen of Thrift’ Bay Garnett, the space is bright, welcoming, colourful and organised. With each piece carefully selected and put onto a specific rail depending on its style, the store is incredibly easy to shop and find those key rare vintage treasures from Monsoon as well as other designers from the era.

We caught up with Cathy, head buyer at Monsoon Vintage to give us an insight into the stores development, a year
since opening.

What was the inspiration or drive behind this vintage launch?

We opened the store almost exactly a year ago to celebrate our 50th anniversary, going back to the roots of where we started on Portobello road and showcasing pieces from past collections, mixed in with one-off Monsoon samples and curated vintage finds.

Why OOTO? What drew the brand to them?

OOTO are the go-to brand for high-end 90s vintage and we are really excited to be partnering with them on their first high
street collaboration.

What importance do you think there is in highlighting vintage high street pieces as well as high-end and making
them available to the public?

Vintage and pre-loved fashion is of growing importance to consumers and the high street. Not only is it a more sustainable way to shop, but the thrill of finding a unique treasure makes such an exciting shopping experience. Mixing this in with one-off Monsoon pieces makes the boutique a special place to shop. Customers who visit us love the whole experience.

I’ve always been a lover of all things vintage so this is very exciting for me, and I think there's undoubtedly been a rise in young people particularly buying vintage or pre-loved - have you noticed a difference for the brand because of this? I can imagine the collaboration and launch has done well!

The collaboration has given us a different edge in terms of showcasing more 90s fashion and the pull of high-end designer
labels has given the shop a different look, drawing in new and slightly different customers.

Going to the store to buy the vintage pieces seems like a whole experience, with the decor and layout etc, was that important to you and the brand when launching?

Definitely. It’s really important for our customers to enjoy their shopping experience and leave happy and inspired. The décor is vibrant and welcoming, harnessing the spirit of Monsoon’s heritage, and having weekly arrivals means there’s always
something new to find.

Can you tell us about any favorite treasures that are available in store?

We have the most fabulous Gucci printed floral jacket, it’s a timeless investment piece. Plus, some really beautiful one-off
occasion dresses from Monsoon. There’s a real joy in knowing no-one else will have the same dress!

Visit Monsoon Vintage at 237 Portobello Road

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