RECESSION chic is a term that’s increasingly bandied about. As the credit crunch bites even harder during the age of austerity, few people can afford to enjoy the luxuries in life. And designer clothing is just one extravagance that many have had to sacrifice. Recognising a niche in the market for second-hand designer clothing in the heart of Newcastle, two frugal fashionistas have launched a new budget-busting boutique.
Frock.A.Holic, in the Newgate Shopping Centre, is the brainchild of former model Christiana Laboriel and hair stylist Ruth Phiri.
Preferring the term “pre-loved” rather than second-hand, the pair aim to change shoppers’ perceptions of buying nearly new. As well as bagging a designer bargain, customers can also sell their pre-worn clothes and benefit from a percentage of the sale price.
Christiana, 42, from Gosforth, said: “The credit crunch has really affected people. They just haven’t got the money to spend on expensive clothes any more. Coupled with that, they say women only wear around 20% of their wardrobe.
“We’ve all been guilty of buying expensive outfits for special occasions and only wearing them once or twice. We thought it would be a great idea to open a shop in the city where people could get the chance to buy designer at a fraction of the cost. It also provides the opportunity for people to recycle and make some money from their old clothes. A lot of people don’t have time to put their old clothes on eBay or they don’t understand how it works.”
And the boutique is a far cry from the nearly new shops of yesteryear. In chic modern premises, customers can peruse a great range of new and pre-worn clothing and accessories for every age and taste. Priced from £10 – £200, you’ll find pieces from designer names like Diane Von Furstenberg, Joseph, D&G, and Karen Millen.
Ruth, 44, from Seaton Burn, said: “We wanted to create a nice boutique atmosphere where people couldn’t distinguish between new and pre-used clothes. All clothes have to be in good condition and dry cleaned before we will stock them. For items over £50, the customer receives 50% of the sale. For garments less than £50, clients will get 30% of the price.”
The boutique also has an in-house salon, Hair-a-Holic, which specialises in hair treatments such as relaxing, straightening, perming, hair extensions and wig styling.
Frock.A.Holic, Unit 28, Newgate Shopping Centre, tel: (0191) 232 6119
Models: Kellie Parker & Eulua Symons
Pictures: Adrian Don
Location: Blackfriars restaurant, Friars Street, Newcastle, tel: 0191 261 5945 www.blackfriarsrestaurant.co.uk