Hello, I’m Gem. Thanks for stopping by!
I wanted to share a little bit about myself, so that you can understand a little about the background to Born Too Late! and how it came to be.
In 2009, a very camera-shy Gem got dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Pin-Up fashion modelling and once I learned how to expand my pose-portfolio from ‘Rabbit-in Headlamps’ to throwing a full range of vintage Cheesecake shapes, I soon discovered that I actually quite liked getting to prance about in posh frocks, get sneak peeks of new ranges and sometimes even get a freebie for my wardrobe!
I jest – modelling is darn hard work, but I’m exceptionally lucky to have met, worked with and become friends with some of the loveliest and most creative people – designers, models, photographers and makeup artists alike. In time, I also learned how much more hard work goes into creating those outfits that I like to wiggle about it. Concepts, designs, patterns, fabric-hunts, expert sewing, costing, relationships with manufacturers, book-keeping, websites, social media, account management… the list goes on. All the way to simply picking up the phone. So much has to happen for our wardrobes to be filled with all this finery.
In the last few years, companies have popped up, both here in the UK and overseas, producing low-cost, low-quality garments in designs that are often copied directly from the talent mentioned above. Poor fabric quality, poor fit, poor finish, but flooding the market with hundreds of fabric options of the same frock at very low prices. Couple a global recession with aggressive advertising through social media and you have success. People buy it and wear it, often not realising there is a wealth of alternative options out there in the wide world, which for just a little more, will fit beautifully, last years and not make you look like you’re going to a fancy dress party!
So, in further research and chatting to lots of ladies on social media, the resounding answer to why they buy this kind of stuff was, ‘We love this style, but we don’t know where to find it!’ And that’s where my light bulb went on and the basis for Born Too Late! was born. Although the vintage ‘thing’ becomes more popular year on year, the core of our scene is still small as a fashion market goes, and we must support our amazing talent. What they do is a labour of love, from the solo seamstresses working from home to the established brands with retail stores and massive online presence, they are still all small businesses and need us to survive.
As my modelling career winds down, I wanted to be able to give something back to those gorgeous creative folk who wanted me to wear their togs, to use the considerable knowledge I’ve gained through working in the industry (and being a confirmed shopaholic!) and to put all these brands on an even playing field, make them equally accessible in one place and for al of you to not have to rely on endless google searches, word of mouth or sheer dumb luck to find them. The brands I include are the crème de la crème of reproduction vintage and vintage-inspired attire, worldwide, so don’t expect to find everything here, I’ll only give you the good stuff!
Now, come on you lovely lot. Let’s go shopping!