For the past 30 years, Angelo Caroli (A.N.G.E.L.O) hasn’t worn anything besides vintage. To clarify, the difference between vintage and thrift is that vintage is the epitome of timeless class because the item must be between 20 to 25 years old and still of quality look and feel.
As Europe’s leading vintage collector, Caroli recently visited Vancouver and brought with him items for the Timeless Luxury installation at the McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport Outlet Mall. From sunglasses, blazers, and handbags, his pop-up boutique and fashion exhibit contains sought-after vintage pieces from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Emilio Pucci, Versace, Hermes, and many more.
Wearing a jacket from the ’60s, a Pierre Cardin shirt from the ’70s and a Fendi belt from the ’70s, Caroli met Vancity Buzz at the Hotel Georgia to discuss how vintage is like a snapshot of history, and how you can incorporate that timeless luxury effortlessly into your everyday wardrobe.
When it comes to vintage, Caroli is considered a master with impeccable taste, an instinct for trends, and a fine eye for high-quality garments. His life has been dedicated to uncovering the stories behind iconic brands, resurrecting historic pieces into the mainstream and curating custom content from around the globe. His home estate in Italy features over 100,000 pieces of vintage wear that spans across decades and encapsulates a moment in time.
Take, for instance, the Hermès Kelly Bag made famous by a single photo. The bag was given its name after Grace Kelly (who had become the new Princess of Monaco) was attempting to hide her private pregnancy from paparazzi using her (then unnamed) Hermès bag.
Or how about the story behind Chanel’s groundbreaking 2.55 bag. Created in February of 1955 (the origin of the name 2.55), the bag was designed after Coco Chanel grew tired of carrying her bag. The 2.55 would set the new standard for women’s purses as it was one of the first styles of handbags that had the shoulder strap, giving women the opportunities to be hands-free. Up until then, carrying a bag over your shoulder was considered to be for the lower class.
Caroli’s collections call attention to moments that define the talk of the times, spanning from over decades to more recent years. Much like art cannot evolve without building off the past, his compilation of iconic garments and accessories influence the decisions of today’s designers by giving them a glimpse at the inception of styles and brands that have since become iconic.
“Fashion is always coming back and a lot of the luxury brands bring back their iconic models to restyle and update them,” says Caroli by use of a translator. “One of the main things about the past is bringing back the excellence of what was done before: style, quality and detail.”
When incorporating vintage pieces into a modern wardrobe, Caroli suggests stopping by the McArthurGlen pop-up boutique to see if something inspires you. Then he says to try on the clothing because it may look different on a hanger than actually worn.
“One of the great things about vintage shopping is you might be surprised by what you find,” he says. “The beauty of vintage is experimenting.”
Where: McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport Outlet Mall – 7899 Templeton Station Rd #1000, Richmond
When: Running until December 31
Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.