There has always been a sub genre of vintage and reclaimed fashion in Cork, but a resurgence in 70’s-90’s trends has seen charity shops and vintage suppliers benefiting alike. Known spots like Mother Jones Flea Market and The Village hall have been an ever-present feature, yet these niche standalone hives of all things eccentric are now bearing the fruits of the ever changing style movement.
Richard Mealy has been a member of the collective of individuals operating out of York Hills Flea Market since its inception, and is an avid fan of all things original. His collection varies from vinyls, to long coats, Docs, jeans and everything in between. Such a widespread amalgamation of pieces comes from a deep found love of the past, while still being relevant in today’s society.
Richards customers come from far and wide to see his set up, with tourists from every corner of the globe finding their way to the market on a given weekend. Barristers, retro enthusiasts, rockers, mods; the list is endless.
Going back and forth between London and Cork has been an integral part of building up his collection, with spots like The Camden Markets a treasure trove of uniqueness that keeps Retro Fits the go to spot. This dedication to reclaiming items comes not from the want to make a profit from selling but is out of a deep found respect for the periods, the looks of the time and how much of an impact it made in allowing people to be able to truly express themselves.
The history behind the clothes is undoubtedly Richards biggest draw, with his eyes lighting up over stories of Tailor made coats for Premium tailors in London, German Police leather jackets and Levis ‘Big E’ jeans (originals items that were produced before 1971). Each piece has its own identity and backstory and is what makes in my opinion vintage clothes’ intrinsic value far more than its monetary.
Mother Jones is not the only stockist of all things vintage in cork, with The village Hall located just a 3 minute walk away from the market on the top of Patrick’s Quay. Jackie Browne is a proprietor of one of the sections in the hall, and sources much of her garm from avant-garde cities such as the Netherlands and Milan. Another go to spot for anyone in the market for retro Adidas or Puma, all the way to Wax jackets and Harringtons, these collectives truly share a love for the best of the past.
Retro Fits was for me the reason I got into fashion, and places like the village Hall the reason why I still come back time and time again. The passion shown by individuals like these is no less than inspiring, their knowledge and appreciation for the things they love is infectious in a way, and a brief conversation with them would undoubtedly motivate anyone to work harder to pursue their own passions.
Going from strength to strength, their seems to be no end in sight to these one of one locations.