Angi Kennedy meets Zoe Durrant the multi talented organiser of vintage fairs
PUBLISHED: 16:02 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 20 February 2013
A fine vintage- Quirky, talented and successful, Zoe Durrant is a model, international <br/><br/>pop singer and now organiser of vintage fairs. Angi Kennedy meets the multi-talented Norfolk woman.
Alongside the modelling, she was beginning to make contacts in the music business. Zoe had always enjoyed music: I did the typical thing, singing with a hairbrush in front of the mirror when I was a kid, she laughs. She joined a girl band we broke up before we got anywhere! then became the singer with Kush, which features on the Ibiza Unclubbed album.
Unusually though, Zoe sings with three groups, each with a quite distinct and different style. In Sweden she has a band called Little Majorette, which has released an album in Japan, while she is also a member of the London-based indie band Havana Guns.
It was her work with Kush that originally led to Zoes link with Sweden. She was offered a songwriting job there with the team responsible for songs for Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and the Sugababes, but gradually became more involved in writing music for what was to become Little Majorette.
Although Norfolk will always be home, Stockholm is her current base. She has split the past year between there and Heydon, although part of her lengthy stay in Sweden at the start of 2009 was caused by an accident.
I fell out of a loft bed the rooms are very tall there and so people have these rather high beds that you climb up to, she explains. I fell as I climbed up the ladder in the dark and I cracked three ribs and punctured my lung.
The hospital was so good and the Swedish people so kind, but I couldnt travel home for a while. It was very frustrating and sneezing and laughing was so painful! It was while recovering from her injuries that Zoe hit upon the idea of staging vintage fairs when she was well enough to return home to Norfolk.
I had been so depressed; it was snowing every day in Sweden and I wanted something nice to look forward to, she says. It was also to be a welcome focus for Zoe, who lost both her grandmothers while she was abroad.
Finally back in England in the spring, she began making plans with her sister, Angela, and mother, Margaret Durrant, for the first Little Vintage Lover Fair, which was held at Blakeney village hall in early June.
It proved to be a huge hit, with stalls of many crafts and collections of all things vintage, from clothing made in unusual old fabrics and natty 1950s kitchenalia.
We wanted it to be a really special event, says Zoe. Over 300 people turned up and we had so many compliments, so I decided to go ahead with more.
A second was held at Heydon a few weeks ago and Zoe is looking forward to organising more under the Little Vintage Lover Fair banner in coming months.
There is something for all ages it really is for anyone who likes something a little bit different, says Zoe. I certainly wouldnt say I was a vintage fanatic, but I love picking up something unusual at vintage markets and shops, and old things have so much more character. It also fits perfectly with the idea of recycling.
When I had the idea of that first vintage fair it was only meant to be a one-off, but there doesnt seem to have been anything like this happening around here. I think Norfolk really needs something like this and I hope to build on it.
The next vintage fair will be on November 29, between 11am and 5pm, at Sussex Barns, Burnham Market, PE31 8JY.
Entry is 1, students with student card 50p, children under 16 free.
A fine vintage
Quirky, talented and successful, Zoe Durrant is a model, international pop singer and now organiser of vintage fairs. Angi Kennedy meets the multi-talented Norfolk woman.
Pictures: Colin Finch
Tall and striking, Zoe Durrant weaves her way through the flowers that sprawl in the dappled sunshine of her familys gatehouse garden.
Lets talk in my office, she says, leading the way, not back to the house but instead to an ancient caravan parked up beside the home she shares with her mother on the edge of Heydon, near Aylsham.
As we climb inside the compact little van, the smell of fresh cupcakes wafts to greet us. Zoe has been baking and the tiny table is piled high with the prettiest cakes, shimmering with multicoloured icing and dainty decorations, all set on delightfully mismatched floral crockery.
There is a real sense of playing tea parties in a secret den! But what more should I have expected from the Norfolk woman whose CV is as eclectic as her fashion sense.
Today she is wearing an oversized masculine suit jacket over a daintily patterned top and jeans; a gorgeous vintage tea dress hangs on a rail behind her, loaned to her by Lynda Mossman of Past Caring, in Holt, and around the caravan are various examples of her favoured 1950s styling.
Zoe is the founder and organiser of the Little Vintage Lover Fairs, the second of which has just been held at Heydon village hall. The events bring together stallholders from around Norfolk and beyond to sell a remarkable range of collectables, new twists on old items and, of course, Zoes trademark cupcakes!
It is the latest venture for the 35-year-old who left her Norfolk home at 19 to become a model in London and since then has built herself a career in fashion, advertising and music.
Growing up in Heydon, Zoe attended Reepham High School before training as a make-up artist at Kings Lynn. Through her teens she had been successful in beauty competitions, with a wide, winning smile that charmed the judges, and, after college, decided to head for the capital to try to get her break as a model.
For the next decade she worked as a high fashion model and in adverts. She is still involved in the fashion business, occasionally modelling for designers like Moschino at shows for store buyers.
I went to Japan to work but I felt so homesick at first, she recalls. It was very hard work and I met loads of people but it was a lot to take in when youre only 19.