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Meet the Team: Sian & Dan

Posted on February 12 2018

Join our HQ vintage pricing experts Sian and Dan each week on our Instagram feed, as they select their weekly picks destined for our stores and delve into the Beyond Retro archives for rare and hidden wonders! 
Before they show us what treasures have come through our warehouse, we asked them a few questions on life as vintage hoarders, creatives and their personal style classics.
Sian-Vintage pricer
How would you describe your personal style?
Sian - 
I wouldn't describe myself as having one specific style. I absolutely love 1920s fashion, Louise Brooks is a huge icon for me. The era created so many beautiful styles that I try to recreate as often as possible! I also love 60s folk-rock vibes, Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, anything like flares, big prints, big hats, tassels, massive fur coats I try to incorporate into my look. Currently, my latest obsession is avant-garde films and art, so my day to day fashion is definitely heavily influenced by this. Obviously, its pretty experimental but I love translating the radical creativity into what I wear. 
Dan -
Pretty scruffy to be honest. I'm a skater so that dictates my style - lots of dickies, sweatshirts, t-shirts, low key day-to-day. But I also collect pre-60s and 70s Americana and military pieces, which I like to get out on special occasions. Been collecting for well over a decade so now have my very own archive back home in Wales, keeping them for my pension one day. 
How did you end up in the Beyond Retro warehouse?
Sian -
When I left uni, I knew I wanted to work in vintage clothing or music, as they are my two passions. I applied for a job at Beyond Retro Soho and eventually worked my way up to supervisor. Its an amazing store with a really special vibe, but I wanted to put my vintage knowledge to use and learn more where I could. Luckily a spot in the warehouse came up, which is perfect as I get to be more involved in the thousands of pieces that come in every day for the whole business. I'm especially excited to work with our vintage buying team as their level of knowledge is incredible!!!
Dan - 
I've always been into vintage as my collecting suggests, and used to manage a vintage store called Hobos in Cardiff. I applied for a job in store at Beyond Retro but didn't really feel it would suit me. Luckily got called in for an interview at the warehouse instead, which suits me down to the ground. I like being the first stop for our clothes in the business, gives me a chance to spot the really unique pieces that otherwise might be missed! So much effort goes into finding the pieces from all over the world, I like giving them the attention they deserve. 

Dan-Vintage buyer

What’s your favourite thing to find when unboxing product?
Sian - 
Finding things in pockets! We find personal things all the time, little notes, messages to loved ones, to do lists, they add a little touch of sentiment to the pieces. 

Dan - 
Anything big E Levis excites me the most, the history the brand has made them really special. Plus any American boots like Redwing, any American made motorcycle jackets... I guess most of the stuff we get through excites me. 
What’s the most coveted item in your wardrobe?
Sian - 
My Japanese Kimonos! I have eight traditional ones, I've always been into Japanese culture, and authentic kimonos are just so beautiful. The intricacy of the embroidery and the unique handmade detail that goes into every single one makes them so special to me. 
Dan - 
My converse with Santa Claus on it... or anything from my 70s collection of Vans and Converse. I don't wear them but they are exceptional pieces that live in my archive. Also my Lewis leathers and Belstaff jackets. I also found a 70s YSL brown wool suit that I managed to swap for a Cuban cigar, pretty pleased with that.
In your opinion, what's the best era in vintage clothing?
Sian - 
In terms of the effort that goes into the pieces, its got to be the 20s. The embroidery, the tailoring, the fabrics, everything was so well done, nothing compares to it for me. Plus I listen to a lot of 20s music and love reading more about early jazz culture.
Dan - 
Hard to say, the 50s, 60s, offers so much, but at the same time, I wear a lot of 20s, 30s and 40s workwear styles that go back to the late 1800s but stood the test of time. 
Delving into the vintage archive

 What are the key things you look for when pricing an item?

Sian - 
Era, tailoring, fabric and trends. It's not just about finding incredible vintage pieces from the ages, but also looking at what could be relevant and on trend for a more contemporary customer. It's a balancing act and I'm still learning all about it!
Dan - 
Age and quality. There may be brands I'm unaware of, but you can tell a lot from an item by the way it's been put together and constructed.

Any tips on shopping vintage for our customers? 
Sian - 
Never check the sizes, they aren't accurate! It's best to try everything on. Also be as experimental as you dare, vintage clothing offers endless possibilities for fun and allows you to be more creative with your sense of style. Don't follow the crowd, enjoy the fun of creating your own look that makes you feel good.
Dan -
 Keep looking, you often have to browse for a while before you find something that's right for you, but when you do its worth it. There's always new stock in vintage stores, so it's worth going back time and time again to your favourite places as you'll definitely find more as a regular. 
 
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