We first saw Kayt Mendies (@citythrifter) on Instagram.
As a vintage inspired brand, we were naturally intrigued by her dreamy environmentally conscious style
We reached out to Kayt to find out more about fashion, lifestyle choices and how we can all choose to shop better.
When did your passion for vintage and pre-loved clothing start?
Memories of going to the local jumble sale with my Gran and being so excited to spend a morning rummaging in her local School Hall when I went to stay and playing dress up from her magical box of clothes that my mum and Aunty wore as kids are probably my earliest links to the world of preloved and vintage.
Fast forward to a 14-year-old me and I had a unique sense of style straight off the bat. By shopping vintage and second-hand I was able to create outfits no one else had. Whilst my friends were coming into London to traipse Oxford Street, I’d soon grown bored of it and discovered Camden- now living In North London, it’s a place that’s never lost that magic for me.
For me there’s no comparison with the buzz you get from finding a gem in a charity shop, to the mundane, repetitiveness that I see as I pass the high street stores. I can’t get my head around why everyone wants to be seen in the same Zara dress that someone on Instagram has deemed a must-have.
As time has gone on I’ve become increasingly aware that buying second hand is a hugely positive step in helping the environment and as well as often supporting some great causes, and this is an area my account often focuses on discussing. I’m keen to promote the benefits and positives of shopping second hand and to style outfits I find.
I also now work for a charity and head up their retail operations and so my working life involves being a charity shops a fair bit too but this in no way has killed it for me!
Has this extended into other areas of your life, such as homeware?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve a definite affiliation with the 70’s when it comes to homeware. I’m drawn to all the browns, wicker, rattan. My two most coveted home possessions would be a vintage wooden screen I picked up at a vintage yard sale a couple of years back and my peacock chair- I have vivid memories of finally finding one in budget and treating myself on my Birthday on a hot August day a couple of years back. I got it back home on the Overground from a vintage store in Angel! I have often picked up interesting vases or pictures and frames in charity shops too.
Miss L Fire exists due to a lack of sizing options in vintage footwear - finding inspiration mainly from the 40s all the way to the 70s. Is there an era or decade that you must identify with?
I really love putting outfits together by mixing across the decades rather than sticking to any usual style rules. So this could mean some high-waisted 80’s jeans with a 70s blouse for instance. I’d say the vintage in my wardrobe is generally 60’s 70’s and 80’s. With the latter probably most suiting my shape- I love a high waist pulled in with a belt coupled with a bodysuit, I’m boyish in shape with little curves and so this helps differentiate between my hips and waist. Plus, I was born in the 80s and so will around have found memories of the fashion and all the nostalgic feelings for that time.