ATo say Gill Linton is a newcomer to fashion would a misnomer. An emerging force? Yes. A fashion outsider? Depending on how you define it. A novice in understanding what makes the industry and culture pulse? Nothing could be more false.
First cutting his teeth in advertising for likes of titans such as M&C Saatchi and Fallon and being a strategic planning at his core, Linton’s has always been in the trenches watching the ebb and flow of the industry. It also didn’t hurt he befriended and developed relationships with some of the biggest disruptors and ingenues in streetwear and subversive fashion in London and beyond. Similar to how Kim Jones cutting his teeth as a club kid and promoter in East London lay the foundation for his status as the street style savant he’s known to be today, Linton also wasn’t so much looking in from the outside but outside in the streets.
His reissue of London political riot brand Vexed Generation is proof of that, and coming off other successful collaborations and reissues with Opening Ceremony, Linton has become the king of the reissue. The latest notch in his belt may be his biggest, bringing Claude Montana’s designs back to the forefront of the zeitgeist with a huge reissue partnership with FarFetch that sent fashion historians and streetwear icons into a frenzy. All of this is a not surprising stride forward following the launch of Byronesque: an e-commerce platform and personal shopping app that’s a vintage hunter’s dream and what Women’s Wear Daily called
I spoke with Gill while writing a piece for Eco-Age on the future of vintage, and he provided a bit of insight into why he started Byronesque and where he sees his story and the market heading next.
What motivated you to start Byronesque Vintage?
I worked in fashion and was frustrated about how banal it was becoming, the fear of pushing creativity for the sake of likes was, on one hand, deeply unfulfilling, and on the other, it’s what inspired Byronesque. I also believed that vintage was on one hand outdated, and on the other the future of fashion. So we gave it some balls.
What do you think is the biggest driver of consumer demand for all things vintage?
First it’s because there are some people in the world who don’t want to look like everyone else and because they value the stories from a time when fashion had meaning and subculture. Secondly it’s a stand against waste and fast-fashion.
Where do you think the market will head next? What trends in vintage and secondhand (or brands) do you think will accelerate? How do you think the demand will evolve; especially based on the requests you're getting within your mobile app?
I think we’re going to see increased circulation of actual vintage ( note not resale which is very different! ) as more people rotate their wardrobes and new designers graduate to being ‘vintage’ brands. My hope is that will level out pricing and make the good stuff more accessible to more people. We’re starting to see this happen already. As with new fashion, vintage has it’s hype and demand for some brands goes up and down depending on what’s happening in contemporary fashion. The irony being that what happens in contemporary fashion is driven by vintage in the first place.