Previously tucked behind Auckland's iconic St Kevin's Arcade, Waves Vintage's new home sits streetside on Pitt Street - the perfect spot for a Supreme Meets. It seemed only natural to sit down and have a chat with Helen Young-Loveridge, the boss-lady behind Waves, after litres of coffee, and trays of croissants had been consumed.
Q: I’ve just arrived on the planet, what is Waves Vintage?
Helen: Waves is a store specialising in vintage and sustainably-minded clothing, curated for a modern wardrobe. It has been living in a secret carpark cave for the last year, but now you’ll find it in a lofty peach oasis on Pitt St. It also doesn’t mind the odd shindig.
Q: What lead you to open Waves?
Helen: I’ve worked in retail and styling for quite a stint in NZ & NYC, and have been a long-time thrifter. Every holiday I’ve been on has turned into a personal sourcing trip, so I thought, why not just go legit! It was a small idea that has really snowballed. I also needed something to keep me extra busy while our hemp brand Buddy was brewing.
It concerns me that the textiles and fashion industries are the second biggest polluting industries in the world, and mammoth amounts of clothing end up in landfill. Breathing new life into existing items is the best way forward, and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to shop as sustainably as possible, especially those who may not ordinarily buy vintage. As consumers, what we buy is as powerful, if not more, as how we vote.
Anyway, long story short, it was really on a bit of a whim: I had the idea, called a friend to check I wasn’t going completely mad and booked the flight the next day to be off buying two weeks later. I’m just figuring it all out as I go.
Q: What’s your morning routine; what’s your favourite toast topping? Do you eat standing straight the breadboard, or sit down with a plate? Light or dark roast? Filter or espresso?
Helen: Stovetop perc with a bit of cream or milk & 2 bits of Vogel’s with crunchy Pic’s PB & extra salt. In bed or in the Deliboy, plate optional. If I’m at work early my happy orange Moccamaster will do the job over caffeinating me. Bonus favourite toast topping to try: Marmite & sliced banana. Trust me.
Q: Smooth or crunchy?
Helen: Crunchy always, extra salt always. Total hedonism.
Q: #1 Auckland snack/meal under $10?
Helen: Anything from the Lim Chour foodcourt, or a fresh croissant or baguette from Daily Bread or Fort Green.
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Helen: It’s a very difficult task. Usually the fear of how much I need to tick off that day. Currently the excitement of going to hang out in my lovely new space.
Q: The biggest fashion cliché right now is:
Helen: The mistake of buying something branded for the sake of it.
Q: What’s on the horizon for Waves?
Helen: More fun vintage, more trips, more parties. And hopefully, a long leisurely summer selling the good stuff and cruising in the Deliboy!
Q: What’d you think the next ‘fashion trend’ - whatever that means - will be?
Helen: “Sustainability” is having a real moment right now, and I think it’ll be ongoing as the collective consciousness grows. What’s cool about that, especially in regards to vintage, is that people are really considering what they’re buying - longevity is the most sustainable option! So there is far more thought going into what style means to people, as opposed to buying trends. It’s very fun to watch and facilitate everyone having a play. But I got the plug that we’ll all be wearing clam diggers come Summer. You heard it here first.
Q: Who do you look to for inspo/who do you look up to?
Helen: Anyone who’s a character, real or fabricated.
Q: What question are you dying to answer that we haven’t asked?
Helen: I’m a Leo.
There's always has a pot of coffee on at Waves, freshly brewed through Helen's orange Moccamaster. Drop by, sift through the racks and sip on a cuppa. You can find Waves Vintage at 59 Pitt Street in Auckland and over here on Instagram.