Thunder and Lightning, where did the name come from?
I grew up in Cornwall, and thunder & lightning is a little treat, like a poor man’s cream tea, it’s white bread with clotted cream and golden syrup drizzled on top. I was trying to think of names and that’s one of my favourite treats. Sounds really cheesy now, but I wanted it to be a treat to come and have a look around in my shop which sounds really cheesy, it’s not supposed to, but… (laughs) So that’s where the name came from.
It really does make sense, because as I look around, your shop has a certain distinct aesthetic. Do you think it’s important to create an atmosphere?
Yes, definitely. The reason why I decided to open the shop is that there is nowhere really
around here to go shopping. I live in Brockley and I’ve lived in Nunhead as well, I’ve livedin this area for three or four years now and also, I can’t stand high-street shops (laughs). You know, everybody ends up wearing the same things and there is not much difference, and I wanted to create somewhere where it’s nice to go shopping and it’s interesting, it’s got lots of glitter (laughs) and that’s something different to regular high-street shops.
Your clothes are a lot more affordable than vintage clothes anywhere else especially in London. Is that a conscious choice or a reaction to the people’s budgets who live in the area?
It’s a bit of both, because as you say some of the prices you would pay for vintage in
Shoreditch etc.. is much higher than here and I know that people in this area don`t
have as much money so it’s partly that and also the new brands I sell. I’m trying to keep them on the high-street level. I also think a lot of vintage clothes are overpriced, especially for what they are. You go into some vintage shops, the ones in the big warehouses and they want you to pay £30 for a top that’s got a giant hole in it. If I buy vintage stuff that’s got a hole in it I try and repair it, or if I don’t think it’s repairable I wouldn’t even buy it in the first place. So yes, it’s a bit of both, actually.
Do you think vintage is kind of having a moment right now?
Yeah, I think so. And I think it’s just maybe a little bit of a reaction to generic high-street stores and people trying to be a bit more individual. It has been going for a while because I’ve been buying vintage clothes basically since I came to London which was about 10-11 years ago, but I think it’s got bigger and bigger and bigger recently. And they you’ve got the big vintage fairs and kilo vintage sales and there’s vintage stores everywhere now. So there’s definitely something happening.
What is it about vintage that you like?
I don’t know, I just love the style. I think it’s because you get to see it a lot on the catwalks and stuff. People keep referring back to it. There’s a lot of 70s, a lot of 90s stuff going around at the moment. I mean, some of it was horrible (laughs) and it can stay in the 70s and stay in the 90s. But the really great classic shapes, like a 60s minidress, it’s really chic, and you can just wear that, anyone can wear that kind of thing.
Goldsmiths students receive 10% off at Thunder and Lightning in store (261 Lewisham Highstreet) with student ID & online with promo code SMITHS !