We get up close and personal with… Mrs Boss herself!
And when I say ‘Mrs Boss’ I am of course talking about none other than Angelique; thé founder of TopVintage!In 2008 she started by selling vintage boots from her living room and now she’s the owner of Europe’s leading retro boutique. Wow! With an extensive collection of clothes and accessories from over 200 (!) brands, TopVintage is like a candy store for all retro lovers and for everyone who loves feminine dresses (luckily there are no calories in dresses ;-)). Time for an interview with Mrs Boss herself!
1. If you got to spend 24 hours with a style icon who would it be and why?
‘’Sophia Loren; I think she is a stunning and strong woman. She is a real inspiration to me. And I bet she has a lot of stories to tell; absolutely delightful!’’
2. How did your love of vintage start?
‘’It started years ago, I was feeling unhappy with my office job and started selling things via a website called Marktplaats. That’s how I discovered vintage. TopVintage started out as a real vintage store. But I started getting so many requests that I simply couldn’t keep up anymore. Nowadays we only sell vintage-inspired fashion. But I do miss the excitement of ‘the hunt’ for vintage treasures! That love of vintage is in my DNA, my grandmother absolutely loved fashion and vintage, so I got it from her.’’
3. What is your favourite quote?
‘’Gee… that’s a tough one… I love quotes! But as a person, as a woman, you keep going through different phases in your life and there is always some quote that seems to fit the phase you’re going through at the time. My life hasn’t always been plain sailing. I didn’t have the best start in life and that’s why this quote from the Bible has special meaning for me: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. It means something like: even though life isn’t always a bed of roses, God sees what’s going on and makes sure that it’s not in vain and that something good will come out of it.”
4. What is the most awkward thing you’ve ever done?
‘’I speak my mind but sometimes it can backfire. But the most awkward thing I’ve ever done was telling a woman who had a fuller figure that “things will be so wonderful once the baby arrives” … I could tell by the look on her face that I got the wrong end of the stick! So, I promised myself that I will never say something like that again, unless I can actually see the baby in her arms… oops!’’
5. If you had one wish what would it be?
‘’That we would live in a more equal world. Children are still dying of hunger and malnutrition-related illnesses while here in the West there are countless weight loss programs available aimed at helping people lose weight, that is just so sad…’’
6. What are your bad habits?
‘’That I’m always late… no matter how hard I try to be on time.’’
7. What is your best vintage purchase EVER?
Ooh… so hard to choose! I’ve discovered so many beautiful things on my business travels, especially in London. But one of my favourites has to be this cute green, hand-embroidered, silk handbag from the 1950s. Including a compact mirror still wrapped in tissue paper. It’s so delicate and a true work of art. I really cherish that little bag.’’
8. Where do you get your inspiration for (retro) fashion?
‘’Everywhere! I spend a lot of time online, l look at lots of social media, magazines, stories, photos, etc. it’s never-ending!’’
9. Who is your role model?
‘’It’s not one specific person. But people who stand for something, who dare to follow their passion. People who have something to say. For example Christine Caine, she is a power woman, a gifted speaker and founder of A21; a non-profit organisation that fights the scourge of sex trafficking. Or Sophia Amoruso whose story is similar to mine. She started selling vintage fashion on Ebay, then built a fashion empire with the website NastyGal but ended up having to file for bankruptcy. But she managed to come back and start over, she is also responsible for starting the Girlboss movement. I admire that!’’
10. If time travel would be a possibility, which decade would you most like to live in and why?
‘’I would like to stay in 2020. Even though I really love the fashion, especially from the 1950s. But that period doesn’t appeal to me as a woman. Nowadays we have the opportunity to determine our own future, to be whoever we want to be in our professional and personal lives and that is so precious. For me as a woman starting my own company would have been so much more difficult in the 1950s. Back then it was common for women to be dismissed from their jobs as soon as they got married. There’s still a lot to be gained, but I’m happy in 2020 and I have the advantage of being able to wear my clothes the way I like!’’