In matter of days, Byronesque’s CEO/Editor in Chief Gill Linton & CEO/Creative Director Justin Westover dredged the darkest alleys and dungeons of London, Paris & Athens to hand select vintage's most wanted & most covetable, for NYC (just before flying here). To open up fashion’s version of the ultimate porn shop and we couldn’t be more excited to host the two week pop-up at our Soho store featuring brands Raf Simons, Helmut Lang, Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere, Vexed Generation, and more. What is fashion porn you might ask? Well in case it’s not obvious Alex Fury explains—Read his introduction of the event below along with an interview conducted by Humberto Leon with the duo revolutionizing vintage fashion.
What’s the difference between sex and fashion? There isn't much. After all, your body goes “inside" clothing; it touches every part of you, strokes your skin, caresses you; and when you find someone you like (a designer, a lover) you stay entwined for years.
The 1990s were something of a fashion Sodom and Gomorrah—and not just the sexy stuff going on at Gucci. There was a smorgasbord of fashion peccadilloes and preferences—you could get inside just about anything you wanted to, from a horsehair shoe to an assless chap to a plastic clothes-cover reinvented as a overcoat. What do all those have in common? Well, bar the fact they make you sweat (like good sex) they all have a point of view. They're unique. They're something worth lusting after.
1990s fashion, for many, is a fetish. The word fetish comes from the French fetiche, itself derived from the Latin facticius, "artificial"; and facere, "to make" - another lot, incidentally, of fashion. But a fetish itself isn't anything sexual: it is an object believed to have supernatural powers; a magical talisman.
So nineties fashion is a fetish-it still holds magical powers today, to enthral, entire, seduce. Not least other designers, who still reference this gold-mine of ideas to get us off in a new millennium.
HUMBERTO LEON: We’ve all been friends forever, making the OC pop-up super exciting. But how did you first meet Gill Linton? What made you guys start Byronesque four years ago?
JUSTIN WESTOVER: I’m a photographer, and I was lucky enough to start working with Dazed & Confused when they first started. That was an incredibly exciting (and debauched) time in London for art, fashion, and music. It was during that time that the YBA’s were ascendant, many of whom became close friends and collaborators. I’m currently working on a book of my archive from that period of very candid photographs of them at work and play, which will be out next year.
Getting back to Dazed—that was my exposure to the fashion world and I guess it stuck with me. That freeform background of art and fashion figures strongly in my creative decisions at Byronesque and I think inspired Gill to ask me to risk everything and try to reinvent an outdated vintage industry with 10 cents.
GILL LINTON: It just made a lot of sense to me. The second largest growth category in fashion, behind men’s, was desperately outdated. Not just in the way people had to rummage through dead people’s old knickers in hope they might find something good but also how it was represented. No one had noticed that there is a new generation of vintage designers and people buying vintage. And they weren’t talking to them in any meaningful or relevant way. So while we’re the new generation of vintage fashion, we consider ourselves and behave like a contemporary fashion brand.