Cool Blue Vintage & Retro Clothing is a hit at Stonham Barns Park
A resurgence of interest in clothing from the 70s and 80s is fuelling a start-up business which was set up after a challenging year
A new business has just opened at Stonham Barns Park that sells vintage and retro clothing for adults and children – and it all started from a passion for music and fashion from the past.
Ricky Dorriety – who lives in Ipswich – suffered a health scare and had to stop working as a general builder as an outcome. He then survived Covid but, sadly, he lost his mother to the virus. With her legacy behind him, he decided to change the way he lived and worked and began looking for an outlet to sell clothing from the past and he named it Cool Blue. With his wife, Wendy – who he met in 1972 – he began sourcing stock, and they took on a six-month tenancy at Stonham Barns Park to do something together – that they loved.
It all began when, as a married couple, they would attend all sorts of festivals around the UK, particularly those with the VW community, as they owned a series of cars and vans over the years and loved to go camping.
It was at these festivals that Ricky would look for vintage clothing – like Levi jackets – to buy but some clothes were in short supply.
Says Ricky, ‘I’ve grown up with music in my life and with music always goes fashion. When I was forced to quit building, it was the one thing I felt that I would like to do as a result. It’s all about re-use and re-cycling and so is hugely sustainable which makes it all work for me and my customers.’
The shop is named after Ricky’s late father, whose nickname was ‘Blue’.
‘I want to keep working and keep fit. The last couple of years have been very challenging for me and for everyone but we have to look to the future and re-evaluate what we want out of life.’
Ricky and Wendy run the shop together and still spend time at many VW Festivals not as customers this time but as a business. ‘Our customers are many and varied. They are all looking for something that makes them feel cool and for something that defines their personality. From fur-lined Levi jackets to Carhartt jackets and dungarees, they are all available nearly new at a fraction of the retail value.’
‘We know the demand for this type of clothing is always there as is the interest in the older music styles, Ska, particularly, which covers everything from reggae to hip hop, which is also enjoying a revival. Lots of people are looking to go vintage and retro and we are here to help them to get the look they want, here in East Anglia. We knew Stonham Barns Park as we had camped there many times and preferred the retail village environment that it offered over a high-street retail option. We just want to enjoy what we do.’
Cool Blue is open now and selling vintage denim, baseball t-shirts, Hawaiian shirts, denim jackets, jeans and shorts.
For more info visit Stonham Barns Park retail village, facebook Cool Blue or call Ricky Dorriety on 07747 692 649.