Vintage is back with a bang ladies and gents. From boiler suits to bombers, London Army Apparel has a dreamy selection of beautiful vintage pieces. Forget raiding your Gran’s wardrobe, with rare and authentic pieces, you can build your very own vintage collection. I had the opportunity to catch up with the Girl Boss of this amazing startup to bring you some exclusives on how it all began!
Hello hello! So for the people of the interweb who are you and How did London Army Apparel start?
My name is Angelique Ibrahim and I’m the founder London Army Apparel, a brand collection of high fashion vintage pieces of Army clothing, which includes Anoraks, Bomber jackets & Parkas from different Armies around the world.
London Army Apparel was born when I wanted to buy a particular military Bomber jacket to wear for cold nights out when I go partying in Hackney. I had difficulty looking for one because I was sick & tired of crawling aimlessly on dubious eBay sites & visiting musky surplus shops full of middle-aged combat enthusiasts was losing its charm. On a chance encounter on my travels through Europe, I met with a supplier and was able to buy stunning military pieces I could not get in London. I hang out a lot in the East London music scene, so when band members and creatives were asking me where I’d bought my clothing, I’d quickly realised that a lot of people like this kind of clothing as well and so I started London Army Apparel.
I can completely relate trying to find that perfect piece can be a nightmare! Vintage pieces are very popular at the moment, why is London Army Apparel a unique clothing line? What makes you stand out from the crowd & why do you think vintage fashion is back?
London Army Apparel is a brand that specializes in authentic Army clothing. They are sourced from all over the world & are curated in collections for the urban London City Style. What makes London Army Apparel stand out is because it is not a fashion brand, it is the opposite of it. The ethos of London Army Apparel is that we believe in Style as opposed to fashion. Fashion is only in a season. Fashion can be throwaway and is often dictated by some house or collective of ‘influencers’. Style can be something very personal and unique to the individual and it has an everlasting quality. You can keep your favourite pieces of clothing for decades and it still represents you. Style never goes out of fashion and that is why vintage is on the rise.
Vintage is back because I think people are starting to resonate with the concept of style.
A lot of the pieces in the London Army Apparel collection look very modern even though they were made in the past era. I think this is because of the way they were designed and made for their original purpose. There is no waste in the construction and production of the garments because they were commissioned in times of austerity and they are practical to wear and live in. The simplicity of the clothes allows each wearer to project their own individuality. It is Utilitarian chic and minimalistic.
Agreed! Fashion these days is so in the moment, and trends are over in a flash. Vintage offers that eternal style. What styles are you specializing in? Are the pieces authentic vintage?
London Army Apparel specialises in accessories and clothing from the military. In the augural collection, there are a lot of coats & jackets from the Eighties & Nineties Europe. We also sell boilersuits, dresses & bags. All pieces are rare and are in limited quantity, so once they are sold out they are no longer in stock. The brand will be constantly introducing new rare pieces of clothing to the collection.
The clothes are truly authentic and have been sourced carefully from different countries. Each and every single piece is hand-picked to ensure it is of immaculate condition and high quality.
I love that you offer rare pieces, its not mass produced, which means you can accentuate your individuality! What are the most popular statement pieces you stock?
We have quite a few pieces which are popular-
The French army rain mac- This rain Macintosh was exported from the French Army. Its minimalistic clean design makes it a popular choice for a lot of young professionals. I have been caught in heavy rain while running around the city of London with this on without an umbrella & I was astonished how dry it kept me! Rain droplets would just sit on the gabardine fabric without absorbing into the clothing.
The Italian denim jacket- this piece looks like a retro Levi’s trucker jacket with big utility pockets on the chest and stitched stars on the collar. This piece is popular as it is quite rare to see and plus it can be worn with just about anything.
Think I’ll be investing in a rain Mac, especially living in Manchester! Denim is always a classic too; I can understand why they are popular. You had me at boilersuits before, they sound unique and daring! The pop up is just around the corner. What’s going down on the day, where’s it happening?
On the day, I will be down in Baker Street early in the morning to sort out the logistics, such as making sure the clothes & posters get to the venue on time. There will be a drinks reception to launch the pop-up. I will be there the whole day to talk about the clothes and just really engage.
There will be a lot of artists & creatives visiting throughout the day so I’m excited to see what misadventures might happen throughout the day. A lot of the collection will be on display and can be tried on for fit. People are welcomed to visit, take photos or to ask about anything.
The Pop-up shop on the 9th March 2018 & will be at 90 Baker St, Marylebone, London W1U 6AX. Opening times from 10am-5pm
Sounds like a busy schedule, but an exciting event! Apart from the pop up, any other exciting events coming up?
London Army Apparel will be launching the official webshop and social media profile very soon. Everything digital was sort of clandestine with me sending secret email blogs directly to the mailing list and by posting Instagram stories that only followers could see. This was so that I could really engage with the original group of supporters and let them see and read what the aesthetic of the brand will be. The website & Instagram will open to the public around late March.
You mentioned instagram and a website. I wouldn’t be doing a good job as a blogger if I didn’t explicitly promote your socials! Where can people find you?
They can visit our Instagram @londonarmyapparel and also visit the official website !
If you love vintage pieces, or have a passion for fashion then pop down to Baker St on 9th of March and support this amazing lady!
A big thanks to Angelique for working with me, and I am very excited to be splashing some of my pay cheque on some amazing pieces!
About ‘Get To Know’
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I wanted to add a few words. I want to try something new, so I am beginning a blog series, it will be jam packed with interviews, and great content! If you know any creatives or businesses that would like to be involved, get in touch don’t be shy! I hope you all enjoy this new series, theres plenty more to come!