Dressed up to the 90s in authentic vintage

They don’t make polyester they way they used to, as any aficionado of vintage fashion will attest.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 9:32 am
Rachael Coutts, owner of Carnivale Vintage, Bread Street, Edinburgh.

Customers at Carnivale Vintage in Bread Street expect nothing less than the real thing – even when it comes to the 70s.

Launched in 2016, the shop specialises in clothes and accessories spanning a century, from the Victorian era through to the nineties, for men and women.

Owner Rachael Coutts, who worked in HR for ten years before following her dream, says: “Vintage fashion had always been my passion and when the opportunity presented itself I couldn’t resist. I chose the name Carnivale because it felt like giving up a proper job and running away to the circus.”

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The location of the premises was one of the things that convinced her to take the plunge.

She adds: “There are other vintage shops nearby and that helps to attract customers. Vintage shops seem to work like a community, rather than in competition, and the presence of one helps to bolster the others.” Aiming at the mid-range market, where customers want quality that’s affordable, Rachael sets herself apart from the cheaper dealers by guaranteeing that everything is washed and repaired. Where possible, she likes to have a photograph of the original owner wearing the garment.

“People love to know the history of the clothes and have that genuine link to the past,” says Rachael. “Another advantage of real vintage is that the quality is amazing, even when it comes to the cheaper polyester dresses of the 70s.”

While the most popular eras with customers are the 1940s to 1970s, extending the range allows her to appeal to a wider audience. “The reason I cover such a large period is that I genuinely want to offer something for everyone. With so many eras to choose from it’s easier to find something that suits your taste and shape.”

Carnivale, 51 Bread St, 0131 228 8787, vintageedinburgh.com