ONE LONDONER’S VINTAGE CHALLENGE FOR CRUK
On a journey through fashion, fundraising and remembrance, Caroline Jones will spend 2015 wearing a different secondhand outfit every day in order to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK
Tell us about your campaign…
My story is simple – I am remembering my mum, Mary, who passed away on 24 October 2014 after a long, brave battle with breast cancer. Every day in 2015 I am wearing a different pre-loved outfit put together using Cancer Research UK charity shop finds – apart from my knickers, which are always my own!
How much money have you raised so far and how much are you hoping to raise in total?
To date I have raised almost £9,000 and my target for the year currently stands at £10,000. With eight more months of fundraising to go I would love to double this target and keep on going.
What has the support from the public been like?
Social media has brought the campaign to life in a way that I never imagined. Every day I receive the most amazing messages of support, whether it’s about my outfits or people sharing their own cancer stories with me. I currently have 7,600 Facebook likes and on average my posts are seen by 8-10,000 people each day.
How have people been getting on board?
My local Cancer Research UK has seen an increase in donations and also in sales and I am delighted to curate a Knickers Model’s Own rail, which regularly features pieces I have worn in my photos. Locally I have seen mums challenging themselves (rather like the Bucket Challenge) to find an outfit from a charity shop and challenge three friends to do the same – such a great, fun idea.
How have the outfits been going so far?
So far so good! I have always mixed pre-loved with new so for me moving to all pre-loved was quite easy, the harder part is finding a photographer each day! My campaign is proving to me that you can put on-trend outfits together and build a really tight, capsule wardrobe, which I am incredibly proud of.
What have been the biggest challenges and triumphs?
Footwear continues to be my biggest challenge. I long for a pair of pre-loved Adidas Stan Smiths or a metallic pair of Clark’s brogues to pop up (size 39/6 if you are wondering). My biggest triumph is my ‘Anglomania’ by Vivienne Westwood cardigan, which I recently found at the Marylebone High Street Cancer Research UK shop. Beautiful to wear from the drape to the colour to the neon shoelace belt. It takes pride of place in my wardrobe and makes me feel very, very happy.
What was your personal style like before beginning this campaign? How have you had to adapt?
I’ve always played with styles and tried to put my own spin on things so I don’t think my challenge has actually changed things. My rules are simple: work with my body shape, play with colour and texture, mix things up with accessories and NEVER wear black. If in doubt I choose navy as a base and my favourite era is the 60s which I often reflect in my make up or as a strong block colour.
Which CRUK stores do you think are the best?
Portobello Road for vintage and street styles and Marylebone High Street for high end, designer pieces. Both have shop managers and staff who love fashion and have a great knowledge of style and trends. In the Portobello Road shop I’ve just picked up a navy vintage Valentino dress for Royal Ascot in June and a pair of Oliver Goldsmith ‘1973’ tortoiseshell sunglasses.
Londonis obviously a very fashionable city and vintage has become a really big part of that. How have you seen vintage grow in popularity over time?
I think vintage has always been there and now it is so easy to access wherever your budget takes you. My first memory of ‘cool second hand’ was shopping at Flip on Long Acre, Covent Garden when I was 15, it was THE shop to go to for your original Levi 501’s and suede jackets, with loud rockabilly music and equally cool sales staff with flat tops.
How can others get involved in your challenge and help out?
Follow my year-long campaign at facebook.com/knickersmodelsown or why not have a spring clean and donate to your local Cancer Research UK shop! Find your nearest one at cancerresearchuk.org
View Caroline’s outfits: