The 70's. The ME Decade. Women's Rights. Civil Rights. Cultural Movements. Fashion Movements. Slogan tees became so popular that you could literally wear whatever you wanted on your sleeve (or chest, or back). These styles are highly collected - not really for their financial value - but more so for the emotions these things invoke. Call 'em t-shirt time-machines. Grab your roller-skates and feather that hair....
The Ringer Tee. You wore them. I wore them. Everyone wore them.Continue reading
Summer is here. Dress accordingly.Continue reading
Levi’s “Authorized Vintage.” A mega discovery was made a few years back by the Levi Strauss Company. A dude in California had been sitting on a stockpile of “true” vintage Levi’s jeans. (We will use the word ‘true’ in reference to denim that was made in America, as that’s what Levi’s is calling their ‘Authorized Vintage’) This massive collection of denim was pretty much dismissed by the denim community as a myth. Nobody could possibly be sitting on that much inventory. This was the makings of some heft Reddit discussions (never made its way to Snopes though, I guess pants don’t rate that high). However, the story broke, an inquiry was made and the story turned out to be, ugh, authentic. For years this guy bought up as many pairs of vintage Levis’ as he could find for resale and it kinda dried up. So, in came Levi Strauss swooping up this mega collection to rekindle the love for the classic 501. And they, couldn’t, have, had, better, timing. Seriously. Style icons are clamoring after light denim - you’ll see the legs of Kanye West slathered in the lightest of light dungarees and Shia LeBouf has been spotted clad in the crunchiest of vintage dad pants. Been to a certain hip-style-mall-outlet recently? Yup, they’ve got plenty of roomy suburb-style denim for everyone. Levis’ has done a tricky thing - they’ve gambled, and I do dare say, they’ve won. Vintage denim is so segmented and categorized - new makers, old stock, collector grade, grail pieces, blah blah that there’s something for just about everyone, globally. And whether you’re looking for fresh designer takes on iconic materials or super rare selvedge cuts, you’re going to pay for them, no matter where you get them. This is where Levi’s has hit the mark and here’s my argument for that - customers are really having difficulty finding ‘true’ Levi’s denim anymore outside of boutiques. Go ahead, scan your local thrift store and you’re unlikely to see a red tag, or an orange tag, or even a silver tab. Trust me, I’ve hypothesized and tested this theory. I’ve visited multiple thrift-holes, both corporate and charity and there have been NO LEVI’S IN THE STORES. None. Not even cheap later grades made in Mauritius. Where are they? Are they being picked by back room sorting staff? Or do they just not exist anymore? We are in the first quarter of the 21st century which means, these classic drawers we’re so lusting after are at least 30 years old. Thats quite a long time for something considered to be everyday utility wear. So, it looks like Levi’s has the corner on the vintage denim market. And with that many pairs to distribute they basically have the ability to set the price - $248 a pair. Don’t believe me? Flip to page 34 of this months GQ Magazine. Featured. Full page. Two Hundred and Forty Eight Dollars. Will be sold in select outlets (aka high end retail) in limited quantities. Hell - at least they’re spreading them around. We as vintage dealers have our own sources and believe it or not, we’re not always able to score huge lots of premium goods. We often do, but it’s not guaranteed. I believe this is a positive thing in some ways firstly because it’s dispelling the myth that anybody can (easily) score vintage gear at the local Value Village. It ain’t that easy anymore. The stock simply isn’t there. Sure, the pricing structure Levi’s has used is high, but fat pocketed fashionable folks will gladly pay for a pair of “Authorized Vintage.” And we believe that they should, because there’s value in craftsmanship and quality and heritage and any economist will tell you that supply and demand have made excellent bedfellows since the beginning of time. So if you’re lucky enough to actually find a real pair of U.S.A. Levis out in the wild, swipe ‘em up. They’re worth it.Continue reading
Wearing Vintage vs. Collecting Vintage.
There are distinct merchandise categories in the vintage clothing business based on quality, condition, scarcity etc. Have you considered yourself to fit into a category as a buyer? Because not every vintage piece is for every body, and most often, the prices aren’t either.
Vintage is defined as anything pre-1998, which sounds recent but ’98 was a good twenty years ago. Screaming killer vintage items like 70’s rock tees and BIG E denim are getting REALLY hard to find today. This isn’t because Levi’s had slim production numbers or became Led Zep only performed a few shows - it’s because vintage stuff is getting OLD. You’re talking 45 year old tee shirts. 65 year old jeans. To find any of these pieces (and we’ve got ‘em!) is truly like finding buried treasure.
Now, naturally all things ‘vintage’ or ‘old’ or ‘antique’ - whatever - are not necessarily valuable. However, do you NEED a truly authentic ‘vintage’ tee from the 70’s? Or will another ‘vintage’ - yes, still vintage, 80’s or 90’s re-issue tee make you happy? Because, you see, there’s a big difference in just a decade or two.
A buyer can shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a real-deal, was there in the forum tour in ’78 rock tee shirt but that comes with a serious set of responsibilities.
Can you wear it? And if you stain it, tear it, lose it, are you ok losing that investment?
Can you wash it? Will it get destroyed? Will it Shrink? Will the print literally was off due to age?
These are big things to consider while obsessively trolling social media and drooling over someones concert tee collection. These things are old and they can get damaged. They aren’t really for every day use unless you’re a true rock star on stage - and then it doesn’t matter as there’s enough cash to buy more (or, realistically, be given more for free).
There’s nothing wrong with 90’s vintage. Or 80’s. Or super expensive holy-grail vintage pieces. My point is you should buy what you like and enjoy it. Buy within your price point and wear what you love. And don’t be afraid to get some mustard on your vintage Levi’s.