Located in Brick Lane, London's melting pot of culture and vintage, Blitz is one of the few vintage department stores in the world. An impressive five-room warehouse with 10,000 square feet filled with handpicked exquisite vintage clothing, it has earned a solid reputation in the vintage scene. Their clothing travels from all parts of the world, which includes distinctive time eras from Yohji Yamamoto couture to Scottish tweed to Americano clothing from the 1940s & 50s. The quality of clothes at Blitz rests on the lovely staff that works closely with traders and collectors. Aiming to always be in mod by their timeless era-mismatched garments, Blitz has become a visionary for fashion and vintage lovers across the globe.
Their buyers really appreciate old products with a fresh perspective. “The functionality and details of our classic merchandise have a harmonious sense,” said by their general manager, John Howlin. The stunning warehouse possesses rare clothes and accessories, but Blitz also sells brilliant vintage recycled furniture. You can even sit down with your friends at their new retro café, which attracts Londoners for an afternoon of delicacies and fun. After, you can take some photographs in their notorious photo booth and they’ll even post each strip on their Facebook for you to find and steal. This place is like a time capsule and you can definitely get lost or stay behind if you don’t pay attention. Can you believe this place has only been open less than a year?!
We met up with the lovely Irish Davey Mckelvey, PR at Blitz, one of the many people that makes this shop so amazing.
An Interview with Davey Mckelvey
PR of Blitz
Where were you born and raised?
Are you a tea or coffee guy?
I am actually drinking now more of our iced latte from our café. People have been coming the
whole day and ordering drinks from our café, and with this lovely weather I think I might order
some more iced latte (winks). I am usually a bit of both coffee and tea.
What's the most exciting part about your line of work?
Meeting new people, because we are in Brick Lane you get to meet all sorts of different people and
you learn from them. It’s also really incredible seeing the new stock that comes in. The staff's
also so lovely. They make the work amazing. I am just constantly inspired all the time.
How did the idea of a vintage department store come about?
One of the owners John had been thinking about this concept for a very long time, but he hadn’t met the
other manager Jan for like 15 years. So they met five years ago and it was a matter of finding the space
and they just created Blitz.
How was the name Blitz created?
The owner Jan was thinking about name, like really thinking about the name. Then she phoned the
other manager John and said I got it! Blitz! And that was it.
How many employees work here and help run Blitz?
30. All lovely.
What are the unique aspects of Blitz?
The entire project really. We are the only vintage department store in England and there are few others
like us in the world besides in New York, Paris, and Tokyo. The real focus is to develop fashion and vintage
together so it’s on trend, just like when you walk into Topshop, we are constantly moving and evolving,
which you don’t find in other vintage stores.
How special is it to be located in Brick Lane?
Brick Lane has been a melting pot of culture and vintage for a long time. It’s like a breeding ground for it, and
you walk outside and you meet so many different people with different styles and looks and it just gives you
inspiration. But it’s also about the people; we also see bloggers, the odd celebrity coming in (like the crew
from "Made in Chelsea" a popular reality tv show in UK homes).
Describe a normal day at Blitz to us.
Every day you get in and meet lots of cool people, interesting customers, and some celebrities.
Get a delivery and you get to see the new stock, which is always exciting.
Tell us your 4 favorite pieces at Blitz?
It would be some of the men’s army jackets and the denim designed by a local artist Nicolai Slater,
they are pretty incredible. In terms of women’s wear, loads of summer dresses! Our jackets for women
that give a urban biker look almost for the summer.
Do you believe in less is more OR more is more?
Personally I am quite a minimal guy so I think for me, less is more definitely. Having met some girls
overtime, I think it’s more is more for some of them.
What inspires you?
Blogs and fashion, hum I also like traveling. Hum...Girls! (cheeky giggle)
What else are you doing besides running Blitz?
Well Blitz is a twenty four hour a day job. Seven days a week work. (laughs)
What is your advice to young vintage owners or dreamers?
Get on with it. Go out there whether it’s through a blog or setting up a shop. Just go.
What’s next for Blitz Vintage?
We are only at nine/ten months right now; we’re turning one in August so we are preparing a big party,
so for now we are focused on that. Next week we will have a mini-party also with djs, discounts and free drinks!
Photography by Moe Suzuki
We leave the lovely Davey Mckelvey to his work (not before we politely
ask for a session in the photo booth, which he gracefully granted us) and
set out to dig in what Blitz London has to offer.
Our verdict? A warm welcome from a trendy staff, a fab vintage clothes
paradise, good books by the retro café, recycled vintage furniture, and I
ask what more can a vintage lover ask for. Next time you are in Brick
Lane, we promise you won’t regret coming to Blitz.
Visit Blitz London's Sites!
A retail concept with swim shorts from Morocco and hand mixed apothecaries
WE LOVE CREATIVITY
Check out what founder & artist
Brooks Sterling says about WLC
Words with the black and white film
photographer and founder of DUST