How it all started - Our London shop
Revival Retro is independently owned by Rowena Howie. You used to find me at all kinds of swing dance classes and retro events around London. I was the one mucking about on the dance floor, often not getting it right but having lots of fun in the process. I also like fabulous parties, swinging from the chandeliers and dressing up.
Revival started in 2009 because I became frustrated after several unsuccessful attempts to order swing shoes over the internet. It’s so important to find shoes that fit and are comfortable. So, I took matters into my own hands! Aris Allen swing dance shoes became available in London to try before you buy. I used to sell them to friends and acquaintances at swing dance classes around London.
Another qualm was how to find a stunning retro outfit that looks great, has a definite 30s/40s style, but wouldn’t fall apart when you wear it or try to clean it? Ten years ago vintage clothing was experiencing a boom but I used to ask myself "Why is all gorgeous vintage clothing too small for me? How do I avoid yet another unsuccessful foray into moth-balled cupboards at the back of smelly second-hand shops, sifting through endless 80s sequined jumpsuits labelled as ‘vintage’?"
For those that shared any of these frustrations Revival Retro was the answer and it still is for Lindy Hop enthusiasts, swing dancers around the world and anyone with a penchant for 1920s dresses, 1930s fashions,1940s clothing and 1950s style.
I still love the music, the films and the dancing though the latter I sadly don't have as much time for now I've got a business to run!
The business really took off once we started selling repro vintage clothing as well as vintage style shoes. Women who had never heard of Lindy Hop and would never regard themselves as fans of vintage were recommended Revival Retro and saw us for what we are; a friendly small shop that sells classic, feminine style rather than trend led fashion.
At the Revival retro Boutique in London you can find dresses that fit and flatter, comfortable and stylish low heels as well as jewellery and accessories that are something special and different.