Chris Henderson Vintage | Depop Drama, Thrifting And Doing Nice Things With Your Mates.

Chris Henderson Vintage | Depop Drama, Thrifting And Doing Nice Things With Your Mates.

 

Before we go, is there a name for the shop or?

 

I don’t really have a name for the shop, it’s just my name because I started the Depop with absolutely no thought behind it whatsoever. I’ve tried thinking of names but I just can’t stand it - like am I just coming up with words for the sake of it? It’s just a bit cringey.

 

Absolutely fair enough haha.

 

So, obviously we go way back to feeding cats custard creams on the way home from school, but for those who don’t know you, what’s the crack?

 

Well, I am Chris, hello. I was born in Bolton, but moved to Preston when I was young, is this relevant?

 

I’ve been buying and selling clothing and stuff for ages really. We did some clothing brand when we were like 16? Which was obviously stinking but it was kinda cool to learn the workings of all that but yeah, that didn’t last long. It was probably only around Uni time that I started doing vintage stuff. Its always just been a hobby which paid for a load of nice summers, I was at Uni in Manchester, so I never really fully committed to it, I just had a little Depop page. It wasn’t really until lockdown that I kinda threw myself properly into it. During lockdown I moved back to my Mum’s because I couldn’t be arsed being stuck in a flat in the city centre not being able to do anything in a box room of a flat.

 

All mine and my brother James’ old stuff was at theirs and like everyone, I was just bored. So I set up a new Depop page. And just started flogging some old bits, I was on furlough and the company I worked for topped up my pay too, so I’m just in the middle of nowhere, getting decent money to do nothing.

 

Ain’t that the dream, we didn’t even know how long that would last either.

 

Yeah exactly. So, me and my mum were just sat on the couch one evening watching TV, and I’d always be on eBay, like… constantly. It’s just something I’ve always done.

 

I found a seller on there just selling loads and loads of Carhartt for cheap, maybe like £400 for loads of jackets and pants etc. I just said to my mum, do you reckon it’s stupid to just buy all this stuff? She was like “if you think it’ll sell then, no, buy it”. I was pretty confident I could at least break even on it, bit of a risk but having the foresight to know what is and is not gonna sell online makes it easier. It’s not really something I register as a skill but I guess it is?

 

Yeah it’s definitely a skill, I ain’t got that eye. How did you go about the buying process?

 

I just bought stuff that I liked. If I thought ah yeah that’s nice, I bought it. I didn’t go into it like, oh yeah that’s gonna be a hot trend or whatever, I just winged it. I’d just scour eBay and buy stuff that looked nice and I thought would do well. But to be honest, even then it was just a little side hobby that ticked along in the background.

 

So, what changed with it? How did just a little side project develop into having this space?

 

Well, in like October last year I moved into this crazy space in Manchester. It was done through a guardianship, which is basically, repurposing a disused space/building and paying the land owner some money. That way they don’t have to worry about it being broken into or paying for security and we get somewhere mad to live and loads of storage for clothes.

 

 

It’s crazy how that stuff works, I didn’t really know about it till your place. There needs to be more of that, it’s a solid idea.

 

Yeah there’s loads down south, but not really any up here. So anyway, I stopped drinking around the same time which was a massive push to get on with stuff rather than going out and being stinking for days after. So, I bought a car because there hadn’t been a reason for me to have one really. I live in town and if i’m going out the house it was usually to drink - so there wasn’t much of a point. Getting a car kinda opened up me going to car boots, wholesalers, where ever and accumulating a load of stock.

 

How come you stopped drinking? Any reason or just to see if you could?

 

To be honest, I just wanted to stop smoking loads of cigs, but I knew if I was going out on the piss, then I’d definitely just keep smoking. So initially that was the reason. I’d worked in bars and hospitality for so long that boozing and smoking loads was just part of my life and I’d recently stopped working in a bar so I was like right, now’s the time.

 

After a bit, I’d be like oh it’s Ryan’s birthday next week or whatever, I’ll get a little bottle of wine or something. And when it came to the day, I’d be like I’m not even arsed actually, I’ll wait a bit longer. And that was about 18 months ago I stopped. I’d genuinely recommend just trying it to anyone, it’s nice, even if it’s just a month.

 

Our friend Ralph passed away in January and I’d stopped drinking already and it was one of those where I’m either gonna pack it in drink 1000 beers and deal with it that way, or I’d keep going, knuckle down and throw myself into good stuff. To just work harder in his memory as he would have. So, I did that.

 

Literally Live Like Ralph.

 

Yeah and you know what, I’m so glad I did.

 

When did you decide you were gonna take the plunge and fuck off work and try and sell clothes full time? What was the thought behind it?

 

Well, I was working full time, I’d go home on my hour lunch, shoot photos and start listing. I’d be at work trying to list stuff when it was empty, finish work, head home, pack my orders, post them and repeat the cycle. It’d be like 10/11 o’clock at night before I finished.

 

As things were getting busier, I spoke to my boss and asked if I could go part-time, just to take the load off and be able to focus more on my own stuff. He let me know that it wasn’t possible, so I just packed it in. I didn’t go to work like ‘okay today’s the day I quit my job’, it just kinda had to be like that. It was basically now or never? I mean not completely but, it felt like it.

 

That’s kinda scary though isn’t it? To just pack in your main source of income and go for it.

 

Kind of, but I was so over having to do the two by then that it just made sense. I felt comfortable enough that it was probably going to be ok.

 

From having a Depop page which was ticking over nicely, how’ve you moved onto a physical space here?

 

A girl who I worked with left shortly after me to help run/work at a women’s vintage store on Port Street, called Margot and Lux. I’d been to some wholesalers and seen some nice women’s stuff, so I already knew her and I’d always swing by to say hello. I mentioned I could source some clothes for them if they needed, they were keen and it worked out like that for a bit.

 

In their shop it’s three floors and the upper two aren’t used, I’d personally never thought about or wanted a brick and mortar shop, or didn’t think I’d be ready for it. They asked if I wanted to rent it out for a period of time. It seemed like a good way to test run what it would be like having a physical store.

 

What’s on the third floor, is that used by you?

 

So on the top floor is an exhibition space, we used it for the opening weekend. We’d done a shoot a bit before of some of my clothes, we were just going to post online as promotion. We wore some nice clothes and walked around Brinscall near my mums, Jay Johnson and Callan Dooley shot some photos.

 

 

 

There was also a super8 video from Rory Wood (Rawtape). So we didn’t post them and saved them to exhibit alongside the clothing and some other bits in the space and had everyone over, I think everyone enjoyed it? Right? It just all came about pretty organically, which is why it felt right.

 

 

 

I had a laugh, it gave people a reason to get together. it’s a sick space too.

 

Yeah it’s a great space, they’ve got loads of things going on. It’s a nice space too because there’s so many moving parts that there’s a constant flow of people. If there’s a couple shopping downstairs, they can come upstairs and I’ve got men’s clothing and then they’ll often go right up and check the exhibition too. It works both ways, I’ll be open when the exhibitions open and get people coming through here after that.

 

 

I’m really enjoying it, and it’s so good to just have somewhere that feels like people can come and hang out and it’s fine. I had a Norweigan guy come in and he was like “this feels like it’s just your living room” and I dunno if he thought I’d take offence, but that’s exactly the vibe I was going for haha. If that can translate to him, that’s class.

 

It’s mad to think that if lockdown hadn’t of happened you probably wouldn’t be doing this. It’s crazy how much it influenced people in different ways.

 

To be honest, in a weird way had Ralph not died, this wouldn’t be going on. Like, I dunno it’s such a short space of time so much has happened and changed. It feels nice though, to not just be pissing about and doing something. I mean, I’m still pissing about but not all the time.

 

Alongside the shop and Depop, what’s been the crack with the styling you’ve been doing?

 

Right, so for one thing, I didn’t even know what a stylist was, obviously I have heard of it but like what do you even have to do? The jobs I’ve done were definitely not conventional, it’s been more of a case of people coming to me who’ve already got a project on or something and been like “have you got any bits that we could use?”.

 

But basically, everything i’ve done has been due to Rory, he’s been smashing it doing video work and directing, and he just signed to Bullion Productions, which is incredible. And his big first job with them was to film a music video for Kasabian and he requested that I do the styling, instead of someone they might usually use. It was mint.

 

 

And then obviously, our mate Tom, or Blackhaine. Tom’s someone we went to college with, but didn’t ever really know him properly. He’s been smashing it in choreography, dance and now he's making a lot of music. Rory does a lot of his videos and our mate Jack, (Rainy Miller) produces a lot of his music.

 

Tom was on a shoot at the Britannia Hotel in town, absolute shit hole. The type of room you can pay and extra fiver to smoke as many ciggies as you want. Anyway, I was asked to style him for it. Hendrik Schneider shot it and it crazily made the cover of Crack Magazine.

 

 

Yeah that was mental, we’ve got it framed on our wall that hahah. So you’ve kinda fallen into those jobs, is it something you’d actively seek?

 

While I’ve not looked for any styling jobs or anything like that, they’ve just fallen into place quite naturally which is nice. I wouldn’t go looking for them though, I’ve got enough going on at the moment and you can’t do too much. And to be honest, all I have ever wanted to do is work with friends and do nice things with your mates.

 

Yeah, that’s how you want it to be, just with your mates making nice things.

 

Definitely, I think it does feedback to this theme of things happening naturally and organically. And that’s what makes it feel right. I feel like at this point I just need to continue going with my gut and hopefully it’ll fall into place. I’d rather see everyone grow around me and do well from these things we do together. That’s really what all this is about.

 

 

Head down to 54 Port Street until 11th June or click to view Chris' Depop here (until he finally makes a website). 

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