Published: 13:47, 01 October 2019
| Updated: 14:59, 01 October 2019
Shop owner Ally Blackgrove is prepared to go the extra mile to get the pre-loved stock she wants for her store in Margate - and then some.
The 32-year-old, who lives in the town, flies over to Los Angeles monthly to hand pick the sought-after vintage clothing she wants for Handsome Freaks in Broad Street, which she has been running for six years.
And her dedication has paid off as the range of vintage and modern skate, street, sports and designer wear has been selected for a pop-up concession for Selfridges in London.
It launched online today and will be in the world famous department store from Thursday, October 17 until Wednesday, October 23.
Ally carefully chooses every item of clothing personally, from vintage Moschino to rare Stussy tees from the 80s and 90s; fashion/skate cross-overs from Supreme; 80s and 90s American classics from Tommy Hilfiger and Guess.
Mobile marketplace Depop, who set up its first branded pop-up store outside the US in Selfridges' iconic Oxford Street store this summer, chose Handsome Freaks after searching for the best vintage fashion retailers around the UK to highlight.
"I've been going over to LA for about two years," she said. "I go into the flea markets there.
"I pick everything myself because I like to see things and feel them. I feel an emotional connection."
Picking all the clothes herself means relying on her small team to run the shop and the admin for the business.
The Depop/Selfridges theme for this month is uniqueness.
She said: "Every month or so I pick a few themes that I’m into and create collections that allow our customers to mix and match between these genres to create a completely individual unique look.”
She has built up a loyal customer base, through word of mouth and an Instagram following of more than 10,000. Customers travel for several hours to visit her shop to get that distinctive, one-off piece.
The pop-up will be on the third floor of Selfridges in London and on Selfridges.com
The Margate shop is close to Turner Contemporary, on Broad Street, and is open daily from noon to 5pm.
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More by this authorAngela Cole