Investigating Sportaville

So, The latest acquisition to my vintage collection is this COMPLETELY crazy novelty print skirt. O.k. so it is a bit immature, but that kind of makes me love it more.

The skirt is by the brand Sportaville, and I actually have a number of pieces by this brand (5 skirts and a pair of shorts if memory serves me correctly). But this is one of those brands that I know almost nothing about, yet I am completely intrigued by. I have trawled the internet on numerous occasions trying to find out more about the brand and have come up with almost nothing, bar details on a seemingly unrelated company that started in the 1980s. The quality of their garments is fantastic though, and each of the pieces I have had has been fantastically made, suggesting to me that these were expensive pieces in there day. Not only that Sportaville garments seem to use some of the wackiest most imaginative prints I have seen. All of the garments in my collection certainly are a bit mad, and any I’ve seen but not managed to acquire have been equally crazy (wine labels, records, galleon ships and townscapes are amongst some of the themes)

 My fist sportaville skirt bought for the princely sum of £5 if memory serves me correctly way back in 2007 or 2008 it has “confetti” by Sportaville printed around the hem too

My Sportaville shorts. These provide a great talking point when drunk as they are covered in shipping signals. I always find it hilarious to read my shorts to people. The best one to say when drunk though has to be “I have sprung a leak and require immediate assistance”. Ho ho ho.

What i find even MORE intriguing is that they seem to have been using some of the same fabrics as Blanes.  This skirt sold by tasty vintage features the IDENTICAL print to a Blanes dress from my collection. The description of the fabric suggests that even this was the same. Now, the question is, where the two companies related, or as i think is more likely did one copy the others prints?

Sportaville skirt from Tasty vintage ( no longer available)

My Blanes dress…look familiar?

So, do you know anything more about Sportaville? If so please do get in contact, I am totally fascinated by the brand and would love a bit more information about who was designing these fabulous prints.

13 thoughts on “Investigating Sportaville

  1. Hi I have a Sprtaville skirt that was my my mums, her dancing skirt she said, worn with masses of tulle underskirts and of to the the Lyceam in London to dance the night away,, actually looks great with a tight black top.It is Gold with a emblem type pattern (motif) and very simlar to the shape of your Rose skirt.

  2. I've just discovered that a skirt I bought some months back is a Sportaville creation, and like yours, has the brand name stitched onto a piece of fabric at the bottom of the hem on the inside. It says 'Rose Border' by Sportaville'. Unfortunately the tag had worn thin when I made the purchase and I've been trying to trace the LONDON. W.1 that is still visible on the label.If anyone knows anything more about this particular collection in Sportaville I'd be interested to learn more.

  3. Hi Liz, I like that penny farthing print. I recently investigated Sportaville when I added a Sportaville 1950s red corduroy circle skirt to my shop. I discovered the label can be dated back to 1946 as a small Sportaville ad ran in the book 'Palestine's Economic Future: A Review of Progress and Prospects' of that year.

  4. Pingback: It would appear I’ve been feeling a bit blue… | Advantage In Vintage

  5. Interested to read your comments, I represented Saville Sportswear in Export Markets for some years The ‘Sportaville’ range was then designed by Arthur Saville (and his son?) and they closed sometime in the 80’s. I still have a few samples from the range. Paddi.

  6. I worked for Saville Sportwear in the 70’s. We were located in Bruton St and then Great Portland St. Jack ,Alan and Malcolm Salville, Miss Peters and Rosemary (surname escapes me) and Tony (exports) were all part of the team. Myself and the some of the other girls were used as the models for the clothes and often bought the samples! Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to remember. EILEEN

    • Hi Eileen
      I’m still alive. My Brother Alan died
      in 2002.
      I’m trying to remember you without any luck. All the other peoples names you mention are correct what a memory.
      It was such a long time ago.
      Kind Regards
      Malcolm Saville

  7. My mother kept a fashion shop from the early fifties until the seventies and stocked Sportaville.
    It was a lovely make really good quality and quirkie. When she sold the shop she kept a lot of
    the old stock which I have just sold on together with their original price tickets. I remember they
    would always send her bottles of Chanel No 5 and silk scarves at Christmas.

  8. Pingback: Investigating Sportaville…again | Advantage In Vintage

  9. Hi
    I have a sportaville skirt but it was handmade by my Gran from remnants off a man who used to go from Manchester to Macclesfield selling fabric remnants (1940/50s?) I always thought the fabric must have been printed in Manchester? The skirt I have is the light brigade soldier print looks identical to images I’ve seen on the web but it has no labels definitely handmade by my Gran. Lovely print. Quite excited to find some info on the design

  10. Hi this was my Fathers Company.
    When he died in 1981
    Sportavill or Saville Sportswear was closed down after all creditors were paid off.
    The Company started in the early Fifties and the Shiwroom was in Poland Street
    W1. It then moved to 28 Briuton Street, where the Fashion Show took place.
    Eventually it moved to 19/20 Great Portland Street this was in the Seventies.
    I hope this information will help you
    Kind Regards
    Malcolm Saville

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