Having been in the vintage clothing slash recycled apparel industry going on 10 years now we have been able to see the fashion trends come and go. Each year we get further and further away from the classic 1950’s vintage look, even further from the 1940’s dapper look and closer to the grungy 1970’s and 1990’s look. Not the “Flower Power One Love” look, or the “Greg Brady Pant Suit” either…but raw “Rocker Style.”
What am I talking about? Well think about it… each month a crafty mom or stylish boy feel that they should open up an online vintage store, and they began to attempt to source designer dresses from the 1950’s or Rock Tees from the 70’s. That doesn’t mean that they are still not desirable, but face it, there is just not that much of it out there any more, especially to base a successful business plan on. Those of us who have been collecting and supplying recycled vintage apparel know that in most cases the Japanese kids bought up the pieces for most of the incoming fads long before hipsters in the US or UK had any idea what would be the next cool thing. It is safe to say that if it has been desired by an international market for over twenty years then it is going to be rare. It is not like you can just sit there and reproduce an actual vintage piece. Contemporary designers attempt to each season, but it not the real thing, not to mention it defeats the whole purpose behind vintage. So if you are planning on opening a vintage boutique this year and you want just the rare hard to find vintage, then keep on dreaming.
It is time to take your creative abilities and focus them on how to market a variety of recycled clothing products to a large market. And not one or two pieces to a fickle clientele. Vintage Retail Shops that understand this have been doing quite well though the global recession. All kinds of people from all walks of life wear and constantly urbanize designs from the past. Hip-hop artists like the Black Eyed Pea’s and Erika Badu, to Folk artists like Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter continually add vintage recycled products to their wardrobe. How about up and coming artists like Lady Gaga Gaga and Cold War Kid’s wearing vintage fashion pieces from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The sky is the limit. Why not let these guys do your marketing why you provide the recycled product?
Now that we are coming into a a new decade… 2010, we are twenty years from 1990, just as music recycles itself, so does fashion. Do not attempt to build a business off of hard to find rare items that will keep you looking for product instead of selling it. Remember there is plenty of other styles, outfits and pieces that are desirable and marketable just under your nose.