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News > Alumnae Interviews > 10 Questions with...Emily London

10 Questions with...Emily London

Emily talked to us about her dream of becoming an actress at school and how spending her time exploring the drama department's extensive costume cupboard started a love for vintage clothing.
29 Apr 2024
Written by Sian Ellis
Alumnae Interviews

Emily London (No.3, 1990-97), worked as a fashion and beauty journalist for 15 years, working in renowned magazines such as Tatler, Vogue UK, and Good Housekeeping, before moving to luxury e-commerce. After changing pathways and following her love for vintage clothing, she now has her own business selling preloved fashion online and offering sustainable styling services.

1. What is your favourite memory of Roedean?

There are a few. I loved all of the main term and house plays I was in, with notable mentions going to School for Scandal and The Crucible (I played Sir Peter Teazle and Deputy Governor Danforth, respectively). I was in House Three and there was one very raucous end of term party, which lasted all night and involved us dancing to The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Give It Away song for hours on end!

2. What was the best piece of advice you were given whilst at School?

If I’m honest, I don’t remember being given any, but I will say that going to Roedean has given me an emotional resilience and independent spirit that I relish and still use to this day.

3. When you were at Roedean, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?

I wanted to be an actress so, so much and it was such a privilege to have the use of the theatre and the incredible drama department to train and learn from. One of my favourite things to do was to explore the department’s extensive costume cupboard, as what a character wears was always how I got under the skin of their personality. Looking through the racks of clothing from all eras started my love for vintage clothing and the stories you can tell through wearing them, alongside the history connected to the clothes.

4. What are you now you’ve grown up?

I was a fashion and beauty journalist for 15 years, working in magazines (Tatler, Vogue UK, Good Housekeeping) before moving into luxury e-commerce (Net-A-Porter, Refinery29 US). In 2017 I switched paths and began working in Charity Retail, as the assistant manager of the British Red Cross charity shop in Chelsea and fell back in love with fashion and how it can make you feel when you find the perfect piece that connects to your style. Since 2022, I have been selling preloved fashion online and offering sustainable styling services, helping people to connect to their personal style and create wardrobes that celebrate who they are.

5. What does your job involve?

My days are spent sourcing vintage and preloved clothing for my website, as well as working with private clients on wardrobe edits and preloved charity shopping tours. I also sell vintage clothes in an antiques market in Crystal Palace, so I’m often there dressing mannequins and adding new stock to the rails.

6. What have you done that you are most proud of?

Helping people to connect to their style, slow down their shopping habits and consume fashion more mindfully, is deeply  satisfying.

7. What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?

Sunscreen with added mosquito repellent (I’m way too fair-skinned for unlimited direct sunlight), a canopy I can hang over some palm trees (see previous note) and wind-up radio, so I can listen to music and hear what is going on in the world.

8. What books have had a significant influence on you and why?

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster was the first book I read as a kid that made me want to leap into the story directly from the page and be a part of it. I loved every character in the story and was bereft when it ended. I never realised you could feel that way about a story before I read it. As a teenager, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver, was the collection of stories that had the most impact on me (I was an avid reader of Smash Hits and Just Seventeen too!) as Carver’s exploration of what it is to be human, fallible and a bit of mess was something I’d never read before. I’m not a great re-reader of books but Anna Funder’s Stasiland: Stories From Behind The Berlin Wall is the exception. This fascinating collection of stories focuses on the individuals who directly contributed or were adversely affected by living in East Germany after the Second World War. The stories stay with you long after you finish reading them. The book is the perfect blend of investigative journalism meets fabulous story telling.

9. What is on your bucket list?

I’m trying to enjoy what I have and not get too caught up in yearning for things that are out of my reach, but I would like to live by the sea and have my own little shop at some point in the future.

10. If you had one year and unlimited funds, what would you do?

I’d love to take a road trip around the USA and Canada going to all the thrift stores and antique malls I see. The vintage fashion available there is on another level!



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