Seller Visits: Peekaboo Vintage

Peekaboo Vintage certainly know their stuff – they have been selling one-off vintage pieces for the past two decades, and don’t show any sign of slowing down with over a thousand handpicked pieces stocked in their Marketplace boutique alone. We caught up with founder, Emily Bothwell, who gave us the inside scoop on hunting down vintage, and life at Peekaboo HQ…

Tell us about Peekaboo! Who, where and when?

Peekaboo launched in 1991 at Portobello Market, in fact we have recently celebrated our 21st birthday. We were at Portobello until about 12 years ago when we partnered up with Topshop to become their main vintage concession. Peekaboo is myself and my partner Michael and alongside us we have a fabulous team of 15 staff whowork tirelessly in finding the best vintage pieces.

How did your obsession with all things vintage start?

I had an amazing job within the music industry. I worked for CBS records and then moved to Sony records, which was very exciting. However my secret obsession with vintage had started at an earlier age - probably at around 13. So at weekends, I would stall out at Portobello until I decided to give up my career in music and follow my passion. It was hard during the first few years, especially adapting to the cold weather, but I didn't really mind as I was doing something I loved, and still do.

Can you tell us what you look out for when buying vintage? 

Peekaboo is unusual, because even with the size of the company all our vintage finds are still handpicked, so that definitely helps to maintain our original ethos to make vintage wearable and on trend. We pay particular attention to fabric texture and try and source the silks and finer fabrics from each vintage era. And of course it has to be in mint condition.

And what is selling like hotcakes at the moment?

Best sellers always depend on the time of year and the trend but right now our denim dungarees are really popular right now!

Do you have a favourite era?

I have so many eras and styles that I like, so I would never define myself to one era, however a constant designer in my life has been my obsession with Ossie Clark. Over the years I have amassed a very large personal collection and I wear these pieces constantly. 

Tell us about your typical working day!

I don’t really have a typical working day, but a typical working week will usually include two buying trips with my tight buying team who are as obsessed withvintage as I am. In between these will be meetings with stylists, personal clients, checking in with our Topshop concession, overseeing the ASOS shoots and stock chosen amongst many other things. The pace is very fast as alwaysthere is so much to do and oversee but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tell us about your studio. How have you made it your own? What do you love about it?

Our studio is our new baby, we have recently moved, and we are all so happy. It’s much larger than our original space at 5000 square feet, which allows us to be able to see each other now over all the clothes! We carry roughly around one hundred thousand pieces of vintage so as you can imagine it’s been a pretty crazy move.

We’d love it if you could share a few top tips for hunting down quality vintage…

I have so many tips but the best has to be – don’t to procrastinate when buying vintage! So many times I have watched someone say they'll think about a piece of  vintage and come back 5 or so minutes later and its gone...when its a one off you have to be quick.

If you’re as inspired as we are to stock up on vintage right now, stop by Peekaboo Vintage and scroll through their huge selection of treasures from eras gone by…