The Invasion

IT’s happening. It’s not hiding or trying to dodge limelight, but right in our faces. It can be subtle or pretty bold. A shopping adventure will highlight the fact that retro and vintage items are being used to advertise and display goods and services. They have the cool, wow factor that tug on our memory strings, whisking us back to yester-years.

An example of this is the fashion retailer All Saints. A glance at the front window of this particular store is packed with Singer sewing machines. Memories of my mother pushing the pedal and operating a Singer came flooding back. It didn’t just end there – I could remember the noise of the needle injecting stitching into the material and the exact location of the machine. It was as if I’d been momentarily whisked back to 1975 (wishful thinking). I’m sure the Singer machine tugs the memory of many of us.




I’m guessing that many consumers of the All Saints clothing brand (young and wrinkle-free) have never seen a vintage Singer in working order, but they instantly recognize how it’s utilized by looks of similarity with the modern day version (i.e. a sewing machine in the dry cleaners). What is this bold, slap you in the face display of the vintage sewing machines saying to the youthful consumer? As for me (middle aged, greying and in bed by 10pm type of guy), the shop window tells me that vintage is cool but wise, bold and assured. The clothing may also be saying similar things to the consumer – cool, bold and assured.



During another recent shopping adventure, my usual route was diverted by a display of women’s shoes. Just for complete clarity, I was not actually drawn to the shoes but rather the way they were displayed. They were displayed on a reconstructed VW camper van. The shoes were displayed on shelves attached to passenger area of the camper van. Pretty cool.



Located inside a WC, I recently saw an old-fashioned pedal bike. Attached to the pannier was a cool looking bin that was used to dispose of hand towels.


The bike


You may well bump into a number of radios with retro designs during a visit to a electrical retailer.



A few weeks ago whilst in Sheffield, I spotted an old-fashioned car being used for a wedding. Typical of the times we live in, I left my wife in the middle of the busy high street and dashed off to take a few snaps with my iPhone. There was a small crowd of people taking snaps of the wedding car but eventually I managed to get a few clear unobstructed shots. I have no idea of brand or year of manufacture, it just looked cool!



I could go on and on. The truth is that vintage and retro items are now pushed into our faces. You can’t miss them! Year by year they are becoming more prominent. Be afraid … very afraid!