When it comes to retail therapy nothing beats the blissful sensations of scoring a vintage treasure at a thrift store or the sense of accomplishment felt when clicking “buy” on a covetable piece on ebay for a bargain price. But let’s be honest, scouring bins and racks at a musty-smelling vintage shop or spending hours scrolling through Etsy listings in the hope of uncovering that perfect pair of Gianni Versace jeans circa 1990 is often few and far between.

However, the past few years has seen a dramatic shift in the way vintage clothing is being presented and sold that is rapidly changing the way we think about and shop second-hand. Curated vintage has seen an explosion as grail-hunting enthusiasts, savvy shoppers and eco-conscious consumers look to invest their money in more meaningful way. No longer confined to dingy basements and crammed racks, this new attitude towards vintage is about highly curated and edited picks that focus on specific era’s or styles – and are often reflective of current trends in fashion and culture.

One such store is Deverell’s Co., which popped up in East London at the start of the year. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane’s famous vintage strips, this small boutique in Stoke Newington brings sense of calm to the vintage experience. A first of its kind in London, Deverell’s takes influence from LA’s concept lifestyle stores, offering a seamless blend of vintage and contemporary clothing, home goods and crafts. Founders Luke and Maggie have embedded this Cali vibe into the stores interior and product selection, which features vintage rarities from California and the South West as well as other worldly products that they’ve collected on their travels.

Whats great about the store (if you like to have a secret vintage haven to shop) is that its hidden beneath a vintage furniture store on a nondescript street off Stoke Newington High Street. Invisible to regular passersby (bar the small sign hanging in the window), the space is housed in the basement, which Luke and Maggie have transformed into a modest yet considered curation of their worldly finds. A neutral palette of rustic tones and natural textures dominates the space, while an eclectic mix of items like 1950s Mexican rugs and quirky Cannabis paraphernalia sit alongside garments like heirloom patchwork jackets, throwback 70s tees, and beautiful french linen workwear in rich indigo hues.

The intimate space and tightly edited selection of clothes makes you feel like you’re shopping the owners personal wardrobe rather than stock they’ve chosen to fill the store with. Each item has a story of its own and Luke and Maggie are quick to share their wealth of knowledge and tell you the narrative behind the product; the where’s and how’s they acquired them, which really helps bring meaning and life to the overall Deverell’s shopping experience.

We’ve been long time friends of Luke, having known him from his Darn and Dusted days so we were excited to hear about the exciting new venture that he’s started with Maggie, who’s his partner in both business and life. And of course I can’t go without mentioning little Indi, Deverell’s full time shop assistant and security guard. Here we speak to them on their inspirations, most covetable items and how they’re working to evolve attitudes towards vintage shopping.

What was your main inspiration when creating Deverell’s Co?

After many trips to the West Coast, we were inspired by the sort of ‘life style’ stores in California that seem to seamlessly blend a mix of vintage and modern clothing, home goods and crafts . We used to lament that there was nothing really like that in London, the kind of places that we really wanted to shop, so we figured we had better start our own! We had previously been operating as an appointment-only showroom out of our tiny flat in north London, so the idea coincided nicely with the need for more space before we disappeared under piles of old t-shirts!

What would you say is different about Deverell’s offering and approach to vintage that is different from other London vintage stores?

I think our minimal aesthetic coupled with the fact that we travel far and wide to truly handpick all our pieces marks us out. We hope to be a place where you can come and find something stylish to wear and at the same time, something weird and wonderful with which to decorate your home.

What special attributes do you look for when sourcing vintage for the store?

We have to want to own the item ourselves if it is going into the store. We want every piece of décor to have it’s own unique story, to be tactile and a true one of a kind. As for the clothing, we are really into our textiles – so we look towards fabric first – we embrace natural fibres such as raw silk, cotton and canvas and look for interesting shapes as opposed to any certain eras, trends or styles.

Can you tell us about 2 particularly unique pieces you’ve had in the store and why you bought them?

On our last trip to the states we found a piece by well known folk artist David Alvarez which didn’t even make it home with us! It was unusual as it was a horse and he is best known for his pigs – the horse had wonky eyes and a strange bushy mane but there was something so incredibly charming about it we just had to buy it. We showed a picture to of it to a guy in Santa Fe who knew David personally and bought it right there on the spot. We still think about that little horse!

Another favourite piece would be an incredible jacket by the legendary African American designer Willi Smith who founded the label Williwear in the mid seventies. He drew inspiration from New York street culture and frequently used Indian textiles. The jacket we have is a sage colour and made from a really slubby, almost linen-like cotton. It’s a really strong early example of his work showing a crazy silhouette and is a great piece of fashion history.

You regularly go on sourcing trips across the West Coast. What is it about the region that you both love so much and why is it a such a source of inspiration to the store?

Well, firstly everything is better in the sunshine! However, it is the rich history of craft that we find so attractive on the West Coast. The current culture of pop-up DIY markets and the really inspirational boom in conscious locally- made womenswear is incredibly motivating to us. There is a real sense of community, especially in LA, that seems to support the small independent creative, that we hope to bring back with us to London!

Can you tell us about any inspiring secret vintage spots/ beautiful places/adventures you had on your last trip?

General Store in Venice and Passenger in Silverlake are both gorgeous womenswear stores in LA that we never miss when we are visiting. On our last visit we did a roadtrip from LA, through Joshua Tree and across Arizona to Santa Fe New Mexico, although there was a lot of inspiring landscape along the way, two of our favourite spots were Sedona, Arizona and Abiquiqui, New Mexico, where Georgia O’Keefe had her studio at Ghost Ranch, which we visited on horseback.

How do you think perceptions of vintage are changing today and how is this impacting the way consumers shop?

Inferring from what we are buying personally and what our customers seem to prefer, I think vintage, to the modern woman, is becoming less of a lifestyle and more something that sits alongside a wardrobe of consciously sourced and ethically made clothing. People that shop with us tend to be looking for well made, interesting but durable staples as opposed to crazy statement pieces or super rare collectables.

Why would you recommend someone to shop vintage over high street?

To save the world!

Why did you choose to make the store women’s only?

After years of selling menswear we decided to open a store that catered to both men and women but during the build of the shop we felt it worked much better focusing on one thing and we both agreed womenswear might be more fun! It’s a decision that we’re both happy that we made and has worked really well for us so far.

How is it to work as partners both in love and life?

Surprisingly, it works really well – everything we do feels like being on adventure with your best friend, and we both have similar taste, which helps!

What are some of the other inspiring stores/cafes/places that you like to shop in Stoke Newington?

Upstairs from our store, is ‘Committee of Taste’ – a wonderful vintage furniture store – very dangerous for us and subsequently, we have FAR too much furniture in our tiny flat! The Yellow Warbler does great strong coffee that will give you palpitations for the rest of the day.

Deverell’s Co.
3a Evering Rd, Clapton, London N16 7QA
Open: 11-6 Thursday – Saturday

All photography by Luke Halliley