The VFG believes that informed selling and buying communities are good for the vintage-fashion industry as a whole, and all visitors to the website have access to the VFG resources. These are continually updated and constantly evolving, thanks to a dedicated volunteer staff.
Our blog features our picks of the freshest vintage items, member news and articles. We have also created a growing series of articles on some classic designers.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vintage fashion.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international community of people with expertise in vintage fashion. VFG members enjoy a wealth of resources, avenues for promoting their shops and specialties, and camaraderie with others who share a common interest and passion.
Elsie Whiteley (1903-1972) is well known in West Yorkshire as Halifax’s pioneering fashion designer and textile entrepreneur. She was born in 1903 and started work at age 12, as a machinist at a local mill, while still studying at school.
In 1929 she started her own dressmaking business from her sitting room at home and was so successful that she was soon running a busy factory. She opened her first shop on Athol Mount in 1930 and a decade later opened another shop in Keighley Road in Ovenden. She was set apart from the rest by her hands-on training as a machinist, a passion for clothes design, an eye for making her own money and sheer determination.
Her home town of Halifax was at the forefront of machine engineering and had long been a thriving clothing industry, so it was the ideal location to launch the ‘Elsie Whiteley’ label from. The label specialized in stylish ladies blouses and became so popular that Elsie was producing from over six mills across Calderdale during it’s peak and selling to 1000 retailers across the UK. It had it’s own premises on London’s famous Regent Street, but also retailed from major department stores such as John Lewis, Fenwick and Selfridges.
In 1959 her two sons began helping her to manage her growing business and helped her to keep up with the ever changing labour market and fashion trends. Elsie herself never retired and was still altering garments from home right up until her death in 1972.
Written by Premierludwig
Courtesy of emmapeelpants
Courtesy of stellarosevintage
from a 1960s blouse
from a 1960s floral blouse