Amy Bannerman has got the best job in fashion, so she keeps being told. For the past six weeks, she and a covert team of Ebay obsessives have been truffling out pre-loved looks for the occupants of this year’s Love Island villa. Now, just days before this year’s hopefuls start cracking on in Spain, Bannerman can reveal how she herself has been grafting, to secure major outfits that will move the needle in terms of perception of sustainable fashion. The clothes aren’t just good, they are really good.
“We wanted it to be a mix of high-end and high-street vintage,” says Amy, who has not only scored major archive hits from Gucci, Prada, Dior and Versace, but also nostalgic British high-street gems from old favorites, such as Bay Trading, Tammy Girl and Morgan. No matter the genesis of the look (Kate Moss for Topshop is another of her personal favorites), Bannerman’s aim is to show each piece as something uniquely valuable, not simply a second-hand steal.
While previous seasons of Love Island have seen the contestants adhere to the same scantily-clad, fast-fashion fueled dress code, this year’s looks follow four themes. As well as having individual Ebay wardrobes curated by Bannerman’s team, plus the suitcases of home clothes they have packed for themselves, there will be a central edit of great pieces to share. The aim, says Amy, is for Love Islanders to rewear the same denim Balmain dress or Ralph Lauren shirting over the duration of the show, to demonstrate how different genders and body types can style the same piece.
The themes are also designed to show that clothes are not disposable, but pieces to cherish. “Love Me Forever” is a compilation of classics—undisputed treasures Bannerman scored for a snip of the original price and which fashion fans will be drooling over. “Blurred Lines” is designed to break down gender stereotypes, with sheer pink blouses for men and oversized shirts worn as dresses for women. “Dopamine Dressing” ticks the zingy holiday style box, which Bannerman asserts is much cooler than the high-street’s current offering, and “Y2K” is for everyone who has fallen for the charm of spliced-and-diced tops and skirts the size of belts this season. This is Love Island, after all.
The sweetener? Bannerman, who interviewed the squad to dig a little deeper into their personal style inclinations, is shipping each person a welcome capsule of a few standout pieces. Look out for a rare Christopher Kane X Browns dress and a fabulous Moschino Flamenco number, which will surely be a bit of everyone, to use the Love Island lingo.
“I’ve never spent so much in one day, it was definitely a personal best,” asserts Amy, an Ebay obsessive who has been logging on to check her saved searches pretty much every day for 20 years. For her, the messages from sellers—one woman put a sweet note in a shirt pocket apologizing for her non-existent ironing skills—are just as rewarding as taking possession of the designer pieces she sources.
Of course when Ebay is your passion, nothing is left to chance. Bannerman has myriad alerts set up (she recommends getting creative with the spelling of words like “ruching” to uncover items that aren’t properly signposted), and she never bids straight away. Putting down an odd number, such as $10.11 instead of just a tenner, in the closing hours is her lucky tip for beating the masses.
The fun doesn’t end there. There are garments to alter—namely ’80s frou-frou dresses which have been shortened to be more Love Island-appropriate, and some Levi’s shorts with even higher hemlines—plus more fashion to find. The central villa edit will be topped up as the season progresses, with Ebay curating shoppable edits of similar pieces seen on screen.