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The Angels Big Vintage Fashion Sale



The colossal Angels warehouse in Hendon, North London holds an extensive costume collection hanging on 8 miles-worth of hanging rails. They have examples of every conceivable type of costume, ready for use by film and TV Costume Designers or to be made available for hire from the Angels Fancy Dress shop on Shaftesbury Avenue.  

Emma Michelle explains, “Although we have such a huge storage area we felt that we were running out of space, so we selected around 30,000 items of clothing, uniform, and jewellery that were duplicated in other stock and decided to hold a ‘people’s sale’ of these costumes – the first time in the 160 year history of Angels that such an event had been planned.”

Rumours of the sale spread like wildfire and the blogging community embraced the idea and a Facebook group was quickly formed.  Emma and her team made videos to explain how the sale would work, and how customers could pay for one of three differently-sized bags upon entry and then be allowed to fill them to capacity. Only books, jewellery, and bulky items were to be priced separately.

Emma continues, “We have never organized an event like this so were a little nervous when thousands of Facebook people said they would be attending!”  Consequently, preparation went into overdrive and security was hired, barriers erected, and signs posted to direct punters from the tube to the salerooms.

On the day before the sale, a milliner from Hungerford and 2 friends became the first in the queue at 3:00pm, braving the sub-zero temperatures of a Wembley night!  Other members of the queue traveled from the USA, France and Sweden.

When the doors finally opened the queue had swollen to such an extent that it extended all the way around the industrial estate, with over 3,000 bargain hunters jostling for a space.

It had been anticipated that a buying frenzy would last for the first couple of hours, but thanks to the breadth of the stock available there was still plenty to pick through right up until the 5pm closing time.  Some visitors regretted their having come later in the day, citing the fact that most of the good items had gone, but the majority were delighted with what they were finding. A large percentage of the buyers proved to be fashion students. Other attendees included re-enactment fans, costume makers and collectors, and even celebrities including Peaches Geldof and Jade Jagger could be spotted amongst the diverse crowd seeking out an Angels bargain.

At the end of a very busy day an exhausted Emma Michelle was delighted with the run-away success of the day and informed me that the bloggers had already started passing comments on the sale.  One girl had offered photos of her purchases, another emailed to say that she was half-way through editing her video report.

“Hundreds of customers left email addresses at security asking to be kept informed of any other sales.  We need to let the dust settle before we commit to another one, and work out what worked best about this sale, but hopefully there will be something to announce in the next few months,” comments Emma.

If you would like to be added to the Angels Sale mailing list to be kept informed of future plans and developments or just want to send us pictures of your purchases, send an email to

If you would like to see further sale images and videos please click here.