Just 12 miles north-east of Clarks Somerset HQ there’s a vintage heaven that would make London’s Portobello Market proud. Throughout the year the Royal Bath & West showground hosts the Giant Flea and Collectors Market, a massively eclectic mix of antiques, collectibles, clothes, toys and furniture – all in the grand old name of vintage.
We caught up with our very own Clarks creative Harriet Chapman on a sunny September Sunday to browse for hidden treasures and chat work, vintage shopping, Somerset, style and inspiration.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to work for Clarks?
I come from Cornwall originally and went to boarding school in Street, where Clarks is based. I have fond memories of going to the Clarks shop as a child and being desperate to have my feet measured so I could go on the machine! I started working for the company in their Customer Care department in 2010. Since then I have worked as a Project Co-ordinator in Retail Operations and as a Marketing Assistant in the Children’s team, which really allowed me to use my creative eye and skills I gained while studying photography.
Any favourite projects you’ve worked on….?
I’m currently two months into a secondment as a Creative Display Associate which is fast-paced, fun, creative and massively varied – every day is different. My highlight so far has been installing one of our AW15 concepts into our flagship store on Regent Street, London. Seeing it brought to life from the design created by our team was amazing!
Let us into a secret. What things in your life, in your job or in the outside world inspire you?
I live in Street in a house built in the 1880s. It's an old English cottage style house which was originally provided for Clarks factory workers by William S Clark. I feel my connection to Clarks really helps inspire me when decorating, to combine a mix of old and new. Clarks has such a rich heritage and a fascinating story to tell and it’s great to be able to draw inspiration from that.
I feel my connection to Clarks really helps inspire me when decorating, to combine a mix of old and new. Clarks has such a rich heritage and a fascinating story to tell and it’s great to be able to draw inspiration from that.
What do you like to get up to in your spare time?
Like a true Somerset girl you'll find me with a cider, listening to music and spending time with friends. I love hearing the different adventures everyone has had in the week. I also enjoy shopping for vintage finds. Today I'm keeping my eye out for old frames that need some love and care. I want to replace the glass with chicken wire and find some little pegs to use it as a note board for inspiration or just things I like.
What are your key looks and style influences? What do you love about Anniston City and how will you wear it?
My style is more on the androgynous side. I like gender neutral styling, so trousers with brogues or tartan shirts buttoned all the way to the top. And the ever faithful denim shirt.
I love the boyish details to the Anniston City boot - shiny buckles and cut outs. I love the little bit of height and chunkiness to the sole as it can add balance to any outfit. Today I've gone for a skinny jean and camo faux fur jacket, not forgetting the little pop of frill with the socks.
Like a true Somerset girl you'll find me with a cider, listening to music and spending time with friends. I love hearing the different adventures everyone has had in the week.
Harriet’s Top Vintage Picks: ‘An old chair with a tartan seat that reminds me of my school uniform; a vintage handbag – you can never have too many; a mirror so I can check out my boots; an essential parasol to keep the sun of my ice-cream!’
Thanks to the Royal Bath & West of England Society and the Giant Flea and Collectors Market.
Photography by Stuart Grimshaw of Pennleigh © Stuart Grimshaw/Pennleigh Ltd. 2015 www.pennleigh.com