Kate Sekules and Vintage

In the early 1990s, 30+ years ago, when fashion production started to metastasize, I wrote a column for the British fashion magazine Clothes Show, companion to the BBC TV programme. I am still banging on about the same stuff.

Kate Sekules Clothes Show magazine 1992


The articles are all about the exact same thing I’m still doing. I wrote about dressing Greenhow I love old clothes, & overshopping, & vintage copying & I  invented Refashioner ten years before the internet.


Kate Sekules The Dilemma of Dressing Green Clothes Show magazine 1991

I have always loved old clothes. Redistribution too: I hosted swaps, & would collect up bags of swag for different friends. In fact getting into things early is my main talent. It has not made me rich. 

Some things at which I was too early and very unpaid... 

Actual contact sheets!

Manchester, 10 years before Madchester/Britpop/Hacienda. era of Joy Division/ The Factory: (see the film "24-Hour Party People"
  • The Maker Movement. My first proper job: a startup magazine/catalog for craftspersons to sell their work directly. Or, analog Etsy.

  • Vintage trading. I had so much stuff, I had to open a stall in Camden Lock Market. I tremble to consider the riches I offloaded for, literally, pennies. 

      • Notting Hill, Kentish Town, King's Cross, Meatpacking, East Village, LES, Nolita. I always live in places five minutes before they take off. In rentals.

      • Boxing. That was a big one. I earned almost $2,000 from fighting! 

It was such a new sport for women that I could go way too far with average talent. I fought pro and wrote a book. (Twelve years later women boxed in the Olympics.)


Food & Wine magazine threw me a book party (btw, I'd moved to New York). >



Random? No, just kind: I was travel editor for ten years. Finally a use for my trend forecastability: seeing ahead was a job requirement. Also not a bad job.


 Then I was made editor in chief of Culture+Travel magazine. It was heaven. 

Culture and Travel magazine edited by Kate Sekules

But after two years they shut it down. Magazines were falling like flies so I thought I'd leave the area and go do something I know absolutely nothing about. Like starting a web-based business. 

Given my deep roots in vintage, and clothes, and in passing them on sweetly, I sometimes feel like Tess in Working Girl, when she proved the big idea was hers... 

working girl elevator scene

But as long as our clothes are better valued in every sense, the more the merrier. But I do hope we'll use this growing secondary market to buy better in the first place.

This is my daughter Bea, aged 12*, who refused to wear anything but vintage since 4th grade. I swear it was her own idea. 

*She was 12 in these pix, and when I wrote this! In 2015


UPDATE... Now I operate in the anti-fashion-industrial-complex, degrowth clothes preservation system that is MENDING. I call it co-design.

Read about Overshopping

Read about Refashioner

 Read about Visible Mending