Set up and run by Madeleine Wallner, Thrift Generation VIP Provide an alternative fashion experience with a slower pace and approach to finding your individual style. ThriftVIP want you to embrace your personality and strengthen your identity through what you wear.
Made up of a wide range of vintage and pre loved pieces, with some new and in-house designs, all with a trend-inspired twist, ThriftVIP provides a platform from which to complement current pieces from your wardrobe. It can also enable you to create a completely new outfit with your own unique flair, encouraging individuality and personal style. Many pieces are sourced with this in mind. Madeleine is keen to encourage individuality by assisting at source, on your behalf whilst providing unique statement pieces and wild cards too. In return you’ll find more of what you want. She aims to exceed expectations, delivering transparency through product quality and provenance. Re-imagining sourced pieces to create the beginnings of a new journey with their owner, to start that next chapter.
Their new website was launched last month but the label was originally launched in 2002 by Madeleine and a friend in response to living on a student budget, yet wanting quality clothes that expressed their individuality; mixing high street and ‘thrifted’ items. Sourcing from charity shops was an emerging trend and they found they could source some really decent pieces. The word ‘thrift’, Madeleine felt, was a nicer way of saying ‘charity shops’ or ‘second-hand’.
From there they started building stock and customising some of it to sell on mainly to other students, but it was when Madeleine took some of the collection to the Laden Showrooms, London, to sell on the London Fashion Bus, that she realised she’d be better off targeting time-short Londoners.
I first met Madeleine when she provided some clothes for a shoot I had with photographer, Steve Edwards, last year, communicating with me before hand to make sure I was happy as she wanted me to feel confident with what I was wearing on the day, something which lays at the heart of ThriftVIP.
The Girl Power T-shirt was their first design, which I modeled and also wore at times whilst presenting at the food festivals last year, along with the Crying Eye tee.
Thrift Generation’s grown-up sister has taken a new direction with ThriftVIP; taking higher end pieces which will be put onto their standalone website, with themed collections and creating a personal profiling concept. ThriftVIP reflects freedom of choice, fulfilling the ever growing demand for originality and individuality, for a more discerning generation of Thrift conscious (sustainable fashion) customer.
The personal profiling concept will see Madeleine sourcing on her customers behalf, so collections will be carefully curated with different themed collections and as well as a more personalised service, eventually, using customer profiles. She is hoping this will solve an ongoing problem with some aspects of fashion shopping online.
It hasn’t been easy for Madeline setting up the business. As a dance teacher, she developed the ongoing health condition, fibromyalgia, which ended her career. It was a massive blow and the condition completely changed her life. From being extremely active, physical and sociable she became practically housebound for two years. It has taken ten years to strip away at some of the most debilitating parts of the condition. She is constantly testing her boundaries and pushing her body to become the person resembling herself again. Falling back on her fashion degree, rekindling her passion for styling and fashion to set up the business she has learnt to slow down and work smart.
An ethos echoed in Thrifts message to women. Know Thyself’ is the message on their t-shirt’s swing tags Madeleine says it means ‘it’s okay to feel good about your body, to wear the T-shirt, to help spread the message that we won’t be judged purely visually, but on the words from our lips, and the actions and writing created by our minds. Our body is a vessel for self-expression that words cannot always communicate. It’s okay to dress up as whatever you want, but think about why you’re doing it and who for’.
The change in Madeleine’s own bodyfrom becoming less physically active meant she noticed that things stopped fitting so well. She found it difficult to get the right fit from a myriad of online and High Street stores, another inspiration to set up her own business.
Encouraging sustainable and ethical practice whilst championing heritage brands, graduate designers and pieces with providence, Madeleine wants to tell their story and put the value back into our clothes so that we cherish all that we buy, through careful and mindful choices, where less is more
With over 10 years of customer service experience under her belt, Madeleine feels confident she can assist and advise woman in their quest for style, substance and investment in
To find out more about Thrift Generation VIP and to sign up for their monthly newsletter. Visit: https://thriftvip.co.uk/ She’s aiming for a fortnightly blog later on. Over the Summer Madeleine will be curating her collections to bring you her fully realised themed offerings in time for A/W 18/19, all being well!. It’s a goal that she’s aiming for. Phase 2 will be when she can eventually trade which may be the end of this year or even next year, depending on a number of factors.
By Tanya Louise