Located in the heart of Shoreditch, House of Liza is a vintage boutique with a rather refined difference. It offers a sophisticated yet trendy vintage collection, handpicked from designers around the world – without the diving through rails and racks or fuddy-duddy feel that has become synonymous with a vintage store. We talk to founder Goncalo Velosa to understand the story behind his business.
Tell us about House of Liza – what inspired you to start it?
I always considered myself to be creative and thought that the best way to combine my creative urge with my passion for clothes was to enroll in a fashion design course. So a few years ago, after moving to London, I decided to go back to University as a mature student and study fashion. To my own surprise, I soon realised that I was far more interested in the context behind certain pieces by very specific designers. The history and theory of fashion opened a whole new interpretation and understanding of some of my favourite designers. I became increasingly interested in possessing certain pieces as primary sources for my research. At the end of my course, I had a reasonable vintage collection. As I come from a family of entrepreneurs, opening my own shop was my only solution.
What sets House of Liza apart from other Shoreditch vintage fashion stores?
Maybe what is different is the set up! I have stripped down all the “vintage shop” concept, not just in terms of the personalised service, but also in terms of the design of the actual shop and most important, how the clothes are displayed. The shop is “curated” almost as a gallery so the emphasis is on the clothes itself! And of course my collection is quite eclectic, displaying designers not easily found in London.
What made you choose Shoreditch as a location? How would you describe the area’s fashion scene?
To be honest with you this was the area I first lived in when I moved to London some years ago. I was always fascinated by the dynamic and strong association with a certain cheekiness and rebellion in the area. There is a vibrant energy that you can immediately feel so I thought it would be the perfect area to have a boutique selling pieces that were forward-thinking and revolutionary.
Who is your typical customer?
Our clientele is very varied, from the very sophisticated collector to the girl next door.
Who are your favourite designers?
From the ones we stock, I have to say Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Stephen Sprouse. Both these designers have always brilliantly mixed. They remix two of my passions: fashion and art.
What does the future hold for House of Liza?
Only the future can say…