VISA SWAP – Hidden Treasures
Before I went to VISA Swap, if anyone shouted out Lindsay Lohan's name, it wouldn't have made me blink an eyelid. Now, I feel like I owe a lot to Lindsay Lohan who organized the project which was in association with the clothing charity TRAID. The idea is for us to bring along your own clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, or in fact anything that's been tucked away inside our wardrobe, and swap with someone else who sees the value of our junk.
At VISA Swap you earn points from the unwanted items you drop off, and swap the points for someone else's clothes, handbags, etc. At the end of the two days, any unwanted items are donated to a third world country in need. What a brilliant idea!
On the first day of the exchange, I excitedly queued to be first in. I heard that VISA Swap had received clothes and accessories from Kylie, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sadie Frost, Donna Air, Kelly Osbourne and designers such as Philip Treacy, Gina shoes, Bella Freud and Giles Deacon. These were hidden amongst the regular clothes with special labels. This added to the excitement searching through rails of clothes as fast as I could to make sure no one else got the best pieces that should be mine !
Part of the fun is that you just don't know what kind of clothes you'll come away with. There was relief when I saw someone managed to get to a piece I was eyeing, but put it down because it didn't fit them, and to me it's just the perfect size and I absolutely loved it from first glance. I came away with a real leather GUCCI jacket and a pair of GUCCI sandals that no one else was able to squeeze into – tiny Cinderella shoes that only fit me!
Thank you Lindsay Lohan for making my day! I'm now beginning to see that one woman's junk can be another's treasure.
Photographs by Terri Yamaka.