IT has long been known that Glasgow is one of the trendiest cities in Scotland, if not in the UK.

With Buchanan street referred to as the ‘style mile’, Glasgow boasts more than 1500 shops and is recognised as the second largest retail centre in the UK.

On top of that, Glasgow is one of the UK’s greenest cities about, with a large vegan and DIY scene.

Putting together these incredible attributes, it makes total sense that Glaswegians would hold a soft spot for vintage clothes.

Be it Dickies’ American boiler suits or vintage Adidas sportswear, walking down any street in Glasgow you will be sure to find someone wearing something eyecatching and totally unique – that is, not on the high street.

Because the fashion community in Glasgow is a community within itself, with its own trends and niches. Craig Irvin is the owner of West Vintage Clothing, which has recently upped sticks from its original location in Glasgow’s Saltmarket, round the corner to Kings Court.

Tucked away in a creative pocket behind Argyle Street, Kings Court is now regarded as the city’s unofficial vintage district. Home to Mr Bens, the stalwarts of Glasgow’s vintage clothing scene, the Court now is home to Minted Vintage and new comers , West Vintage, which has just taken the space over from former independent label, Pyramid.


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Interestingly, an overhead view of the new Kings Court shopping piazza shows it to be shaped in the rough shape of a lady’s old-fashioned, high-heeled and ankle-length boot.

City Retro is just around the corner on King Street, near the trendy Transmission Gallery and Trongate 103 Centre for arts.

And of course, Mono oversees all – the legendary vegan bar and restaurant that also acts as a vinyl store and gig venue.

“We moved from Saltmarket to Kings Court firstly because of the new space that came up”, explains Craig, “but we wanted to be there because of the like-minded independents in the area.”

“There’s so much here: Mono, Strung Out, Mr Bens and Minted. We wanted to be a part of that, fit into the thing that’s going on down here.”

Craig initially opened West Vintage in Saltmarket the day that he finished his undergraduate dissertation in 2017.

Two years on, West Vintage has a sister store on Great Western Road – the only vintage store in Glasgow that has two chains, with plans to open another in Edinburgh later this year.

“I first started selling clothes when I was 15 on ASOS marketplace.

“I traded T-shirts, sweatshirts and saw that there was a market for vintage clothes in Glasgow, so I started buying pieces on eBay and selling them on. It became the second biggest trader in Scotland.

“I’m from the seaside, which is why it’s called West Vintage.”

West Vintage in Kings Court is a pleasant place to shop.

It’s light and airy, with a high domed ceiling of white brick. Rails of neatly ordered trousers and jackets line the walls, and everything is a decent price.

As well as curating a decent wardrobe, Craig has curated a decent atmosphere to browse for vintage jewels without feeling overwhelmed, or like you’re in a cave of smelly old clothes that may fall on you at any time.

“The shop in Kings Court sells the same as the Great Western Road shop, shop but there’s more stock and more space to try new things.

“We’ve extended the vintage stock and the womenswear space, so it’s now 50/50 between women and men.”

The recent development in Glasgow’s vintage scene has carved out niches per stores: what one can’t find in West Vintage, they’re sure to get in Mr Bens or Minted.

Anyone around the area will see clear indications of shoppers on a vintage pilgrimage to the Court, and on the occasions the Briggait runs the Vintage Kilo Sales, the stores are positively teeming with those looking to scout the best unique buy.


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“The independent businesses in Kings Court are great, and that’s what’s great about it”, says Craig. “The high street is just boring now, losing the crux of what makes shopping good.

“In the Court, you’re away from all that. It would be lovely to keep it like that.”

With Glasgow becoming evermore conscious of the perils of fast fashion and waste-free shopping, it makes sense that the vintage scene is burgeoning.

Older clothes tend to be of a better quality – one that can last the cycles of fashion and the perils of time.

Craig would agree: “I think that overall, people are becoming a lot more conscious about what they’re buying in Glasgow and realising how bad fast fashion is for the planet”, he says.

“The public are wising up to that. It’s a snowball effect, leading more people to buy clothing in a more sustainable manner, like vintage clothing.”

Although he may start a West Vintage on the East Coast, it is Glasgow where Craig finds vintage fashion flourishing.

“Glasgow is a really creative city, and there is so much going on. It has a collaborative spirit, and if that wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be here. I could go down to London and make it work, but I don’t want to: Glasgow is the only city I want to live in.”