Vintage with Attitude
Meet French born Laurence Mnqali (known as Lolo), the vivacious owner of Second Attitude in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. Lolo has owned the eclectic vintage store since 2011, and also has a stall at Market on Main on Sundays. Vintage with Love met with Lolo to discuss her enduring love of vintage and why she thinks everyone should add some vintage gems to their wardrobes.
VWL: What is your definition of ‘vintage’?
Lolo: Vintage is not necessarily retro, but it’s something that has some character, something that has definitely been worn and loved, and something that is from any time and of any age.
VWL: What kind of items do you look for when buying for the store?
Lolo: At Second Attitude we look for vintage items that are unique, eclectic and of high quality. We’re not concerned with designer labels per se – for me there is no difference between H&M and Gucci. If a piece speaks for itself and is worn in the correct way, that’s all that matters.
VWL: Why do you think people should buy vintage?
Lolo: Firstly, we live in a world that is about producing more, acquiring more, having more and more. Buying vintage is about recycling and reusing, and vintage offers people a chance to intelligently use beautiful objects that someone else no longer wants. Secondly, vintage is about buying something rare and exceptional. It’s easy to buy from a chain store or a mall, but everything is standardised and many people will have the same item. Buying vintage allows you to dress to your personality, to play, to be creative, and not just follow the trends that have been set by the chain stores and designers, making you look just like everybody else.
VWL: Why do you think some people don’t want to buy vintage?
Lolo: Here in South Africa vintage is sometimes associated with charity shops, and people are often worried that the clothes may be out of fashion, or that they are dirty. In Europe, vintage fashion is big business and has always been popular. It’s about changing your perception and, of course, shopping at the right places where you can be sure of quality and cleanliness.
VWL: How would you describe your personal style?
Lolo: I’m very much a mood dresser; I always have been. Playful, feminine, hard – it’s always a game. The way you put yourself together will impact your day, either positively or negatively. You could be dressed incorrectly for the occasion – it happens that you get it wrong! I try to change my look all the time, but I remain faithful to black and white. White t-shirts are almost the only items I buy new and the rest is vintage from head to toe.
VWL: Do you remember your first vintage find?
Lolo: Yes, absolutely! It was an old pair of Levi jeans that I bought in a market in the south of France. When I bought the jeans, they were already very old and had beautiful patches all over. They were my favourite jeans and I wore them until I had to cut them into shorts, getting shorter and shorter, and until they eventually fell apart.
VWL: And over the years, any other favourite finds?
Lolo: Each of my pieces has been a special find – I could never choose! I love my brogues, my spectator shoes, the list goes on. It would be very unfair for them to know that I like one of them more than another!
VWL: Do you admire any celebrities for their style?
Lolo: Johnny Depp is certainly my pick when it comes to style. I like that he has no rules with the way he dresses and with the way he lives his life. He plays.
VWL: Do you have any fashion rules?
Lolo: There are no rules, except maybe for size. The item should fit well; although having said that, there are some items where you can play with size. I think that there are no rules as long as you are comfortable, and what you are wearing is you and a reflection of your personality.
VWL: Have you ever received any really good fashion advice?
Lolo: Yes. There’s an old saying, which I always keep in mind: expensive black, cheap white. That says it all. It’s always better to invest in an expensive black classic, like a black dress, than an expensive white classic. Black has a longer life, and even more so when the quality is high.
Second Attitude Vintage Fashion
4th Avenue, corner 6th Street
011 447 1881 / 072 098 5130
www.secondattitude.com / www.facebook.com/FashionVintage
Arts On Main: Sundays from 09h00 to 15h00