For Londoners (and vintage-lovers nationwide), the phrase “So Far So Good” won’t be unfamiliar as this was the slogan of vintage store Dukes Cupboard back when it was a stall in Berwick Street Market… ahead of their New Era ‘fitted’ collaboration releasing Friday 26th August, we caught up with owners Milo and Ned to discuss their hat size, favourite vintage pieces and how they went from Market Stall to being the most Instagrammable bench in Soho.
So let’s start from the beginning… for those who don’t know, who is behind Dukes?
M: Ned and I started Dukes Cupboard together in 2012 on the market stall in Soho. Mad that it’s been 10 years… it’s been an incredible journey!
What did you guys do before you started Dukes and what made you go from sourcing vintage for yourself to sourcing for others?
M: I worked a bit for my Dad in his fabric store in Camden, but I’ve always been into vintage – I was collecting Polo at the time and it was getting a bit out of hand so I thought why not try to sell some of it.
N: I’ve done lots of different jobs over the years but always ended up bouncing back to clothing and fashion stuff. I was always selling random pieces to mates from a young age just from having an abundance of stuff around me!
How has your brand evolved since birth, and where do you see it in 5 years time?
M: These days we do a lot more than simply dealing with vintage. We’ve worked with some great brands doing a lot of design work and content creation. We’re really interested in focusing on designing more and hopefully opening another store.
What was the biggest challenge in going from market stall to store, and how did you overcome it?
M: That was a big jump for us… all of a sudden it was a massive change. Things got very ‘grown up’ but we learnt to deal with it as we went along and we have a great team around us that we couldn’t have done it without!
What are your favourite vintage pieces you own?
M: I’ve got some great vintage art tees – some old Matisse ones that I love and a few vintage Stone Island pieces that I would never let go of.
N: Vintage puffer jackets, North Face and Arcteryx pieces… and then some vintage t shirts are definitely some of my favourites.
So then what are your favourite pieces currently in the store?
N: The vintage Deadstock Von Dutch stuff we’ve got in is really good at the moment, and a bunch of vintage Jordan t shirts!
You’re dropping your fitted with New Era this Friday – can you tell us a little about how this collab came about and the inspiration behind the paint palette?
N: We’ve actually been working on this for a while now so we’re definitely excited to finally drop them. It came about pretty naturally as we got to know some of the guys from New Era… it’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to design a fitted hat, so yeah… I’m super gassed about it.
M: I’m also super excited for this one – we’ve got a lot of exciting things happening this year centred around our 10 year anniversary. It was great fun making the content leading up to the launch of the cap as well, especially the video with Seapa!
Being someone that grew up on 90’s hip-hop to me a New Era collab is a sign of ‘you made it’ – what does this fitted mean to you?
N: I don’t know if I feel like we’ve made it ’cause we’re still working so much, but I guess it’s about the journey right? This fitted hat is the collab which means most to me above anything we’ve done up to this point… the personalisation and the detail that we’ve added – our love for art crossed with our love for sportswear just really makes this hat special to me.
Out of curiosity, what is your fitted size?
N: Nowadays I’m a 7 1/4 however I grew up wearing 7 1/2 haha.
M: I’m 7 1/4 as well!
In 2022 everyone is starting something – what advice do you have to people wanting to buy and sell vintage?
M: There is certainly a lot going on in 2022! I think it’s a great time to be getting into dealing vintage – we live in a world today where sustainability should be one of the main focuses ! Plus it’s great to see all kinds of people being open to wearing vintage… it wasn’t always like that!
Changing topic slightly, your bench is Instagram famous at this point – how many butts do you think have sat on it since you first opened?
M: A lot of butts! Great to see people enjoying our bench. It’s from an old London bus and our friend brought it back to life for us. It’s definitely one of my favourite features in the shop!
What can we expect to see coming in the next few months? Any more collabs in the works?
N: There’re some more things coming up soon for sure so keep ya eyes peeled… we are putting a Reebok video out next week which we worked on alongside Foot Patrol, and of course just going to keep supplying the best vintage pieces for you all!
Head down to Dukes Cupboard this Friday to celebrate the launch of the New Era x Dukes Cupboard collaboration. New Era will have an embroidery machine at the event for personal customisation and DJ MK will be on the decks.
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