'Granny would be proud': on the labours of doing vintage, practices and emergent socialities

Katherine Duffy, Paul Hewer, Juliette Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


This paper unpacks the ways in which consumer and seller practices construct the vintage marketplace. In this discussion the role of material objects and practices, the way that they intersect in vintage consumption, and how these vintage fashion objects are (re) used in this second-hand marketplace are explored. Discussion is based on ethnographic observations over a ten-month period at a twice monthly vintage market, ‘Granny Would be Proud’ in Glasgow, Scotland UK and in-depth interviews with key market practitioners. This was
combined with visual analysis to explore the staging of the marketplace and the context of such practices. Our findings are organised in a number of themes that are important in understanding the practices of the vintage marketplace: vintage as a social practice, practicing the ‘vintage look’ and vintage as a skilled practice. In exploring these emergent themes the centrality of the practices in the construction of the marketplace is also illustrated.

The first outward sign that there is anything taking place in this side street restaurant is the crochet sign that hangs above the entrance exclaiming ‘Granny Would be Proud Vintage market’. On the second level of the restaurant, in the eaves of this converted cinema, is a mixture of vintage clothes, jewellery, bags & briefcases, china & crockery. Rails of vintage furs, denim shorts and tea dresses fill the space, with tables laid out for stallholders with memorable finds,
suitcases brimming over with silk scarves & neckties. People move from stall to stall and back again, excitedly chattering with friends. Vendors smile politely as people enter their area & try to engage with the people for a minute or two before they move on. There is a busy, bustling atmosphere, food smells waft from the restaurant below, stallholders drink tea & coffee from vintage china from the restaurant, 1940s and 50s music plays in the background and people
wander about the stalls, rummaging, lifting, inspecting, coveting, new found treasures. (Fieldnotes, January 29th 2012)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Consumer Research
Place of PublicationDuluth, MN
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • vintage marketing
  • emergent socialities


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