Q&A with Jack Fordham, VAULT retail coordinator

Jack Fordham, retail coordinator for VAULT, shares his thoughts of this exciting new vintage concept shop by the National Trust

What is your connection to the Trust?

My knowledge and association with the National Trust has been lifelong. My father,  worked with the Trust for many years as I was growing up.  

Through him, I share a passion for the conservation of our natural environment and heritage buildings, so I’m thrilled to be working for the Trust and doing so in one of Melbourne’s most iconic retail spaces, the Block Arcade.  


What was the idea behind opening VAULT?

For years the National Trust has been a donation point for the public to hand over their much loved garments. A large team of volunteers works tirelessly to itemise, care and resell these vintage garments to the public through an annual Vintage Clothing Sale.

VAULT is a great opportunity to showcase the clothing in a beautiful boutique, reminding customers of the history and grandeur that any of these garments had during their life span.


Why was Block Arcade selected as the location for VAULT?

VAULT was designed to complement the historic envelope of The Block Arcade with a nod to its late Victorian past whilst looking towards the future with its contemporary sophisticated design, which hopes to engage with a whole new demographic.


What’s your vision for the store?  

One of the most exciting prospects for opening a store in the Block Arcade is how it will evolve and grow. With ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the way people shop, stroll, browse and spend their leisure time has changed considerably and so have the ways in which we interact with our customer base. Having both a physical and online presence is so important to keep our clients engaged and to grow our followers. Keep an eye out for our Instagram page @vaultblockarcade for updates. 

VAULT intends to be responsive to the seasons and events that are a part of the Melbourne cultural landscape and offer our clients an interactive and ever-changing boutique. Each time you come into VAULT you’ll be seeing something new. 


What can visitors expect to find?   

If you’ve ever been to one of the National Trust Vintage Clothing Sales run by our wonderful volunteers, then you may have a sense of what will be on offer at VAULT. The best thing about running a vintage store is the ever-changing rotation of garments that will come through the door!  

There’s always going to be something new to spark your interest. I have started curating what will go into VAULT and it will be a vibrant mix of Australian designer clothing, such as Carla Zampatti, Verlaine Fashions and Yarell, alongside European designers like Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and Pucci.  


Do you have a favourite item? What is it?

I don’t think I have one yet. Vintage clothing can be a lot more personal. I came across a Harry Who dress the other day of which my mum used to have something similar growing up. So for that reason it was my favourite piece. That’s the great thing about vintage shopping it brings back a sense of nostalgia.

Even just looking through the vast quantities of costume jeweler we have reminds me of my Grandma’s jewellery box growing up!


Guest writers


Guest writers

Writers from the National Trust community share their stories and expertise.