Vintage Clothing: Understand The Hype

Fashion is always fluctuating. But what explains the industry obsession with the past? 

By Fernanda Ferreira 

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Meghan, the ex Duchess of Sussex, was at several times spotted on vintage clothing or accessories. Not only her but also the phenomenon family the Kardashians, which are known for their highly expensive outfits, are often seen on some pieces from earlier ages. Vintage clothing is indeed trending now more than it has ever before. One of the world’s greatest stylists Coco Channel once stated: “Fashion comes and goes, but style lasts forever.” Why does fashion come and go? Why is there an obsession with the past?

Vintage is a word that has a wide variety of definitions. Specifically, when it comes to fashion, it is a quite personal concept since what is considered vintage by someone born in the 70s is not that same as what a Millenium would consider. Fashion experts Scarlet Eden and Stella McClure would refer to any piece that is dated more than twenty years as vintage. Others would consider anything from the past century as vintage. The general idea can be summarized in two main traits of this type of clothes: uncommon and second-handed. Those traits touch on deeper and current issues, mainly sustainability and originality. 

The socio-environmental relevance 

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 7.32.57 PMAs consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, they are looking for a more sustainable way to shop. This is the perfect timing when thrift stores and all the vintage fashion arrives at the scene. According to ThredUp’s annual resale report, last year, 64% of women were willing to buy pre-owned pieces compared with 45% in 2016. This represents a behavioral change that begins a necessary revolution in the industry that mostly harms our planet: the fashion industry. Choosing to buy pre-owned vintage clothes is extremely relevant to the 21st-century reality and represents a total match to the growing eco-friendly mindset in the fashion field.

Unique, original and hyped: 

Vintage clothing became highly popular in the past few years more than it has ever been before. Brands such as Brandy Melville – known for its particular vintage style – or even huge fast fashions such as H&M or Forever21 are showcasing mainly pieces that are just like the ones worn decades ago. However, the classic vintage clothes, sold in old thrift stores, are pieces that actually belonged to someone else before. Those types of stores usually sell only one piece of each cloth, making it extremely original. Yet, even though vintage is now more accessible and less unique, it still represents a peculiar and authentic style. As issues such as identity, self-esteem, diversity, and ancestry are currently appearing on (mainly) women’s daily basis, being original is key. 

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Even more, there is the hot word of the moment: hype. It is a slang term that comes from the word hyperbole, and it relates an exaggerate promotion and publicity of some product or idea, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. 

Not only in the vintage field, but Fashion, in general, has felt the impact of the hype concept. So many brands are now doing “product drops”, according to Fashion United, as a sale strategy, that it has even become a culture.

In vintage fashion, the hype is more related to its strong popularization which can be attributed to social media influence and affordability. Social media directly impacts popular demand. If any It girl, for instance, Bella Hadid, is spotted on the 5th Avenue on Floss heels, the next day a thousand 17-year-old teenagers will be desperate to have it. With that, popular and affordable brands – the fast-fashion- start producing more of it, which makes other consumers start buying it, creating a cyclical process until it becomes a real trend – just as it’s happening right now. 

VINTAGE CLOTHING INFOGRAPHIC

From its aesthetic hype to its environmental importance, the vintage style popularization is changing the Fashion industry, apparently for good.

Highlights of first sábado legal of the semester!

The first EAB “Sábado Legal” occurred on August 31st, from 9 AM to 1 PM. The whole school community was involved: students of all ages, families, teachers, and staff were all invited to both enjoy and collaborate with the event. This time, Sábado Legal had as its theme “Service and Environment,” including many activities for the kids, which taught them about sustainability. There were different sale booths run by the student’s clubs and some local sellers. Moreover, there was a soccer practice from the EAB Varsity girls and JV Boys team, plus some great music!  

The EAB student-run clubs such as BCS, GIN, EGG, Medlife, HS MUN, EAB moments, Bullseye and many other students were contributing at the event whether selling drinks and food (snacks, candies, Mexican paletas, açaí) or recording the event. The Juniors, Seniors and the Cheerleading team also had their booths. The proceeds went to each club, class, or team to help on further projects. To name a few, the GIN club was funding money to Creche São Francisco;  the Cheerleading bake sale was for their competition trip, and so on. 

As for the children, many activities allowed them to enjoy and learn about service and environmental issues at the same time. Including the peace dragon drawing, gardening lessons, reusing PET bottles, paper making, and a blanket making activity for an animal shelter in Brasilia in which kids were making by themselves blankets for the pets. Of course, kids could watch the soccer practice and enjoy all the delicious types of food that students put for sale.

Last but not least, there were very talented local sellers offering a great variety of high-quality products. The sales booths were: William Queijos and Queijos Cabra Queijos (local production of cheese), Gengibre da Zazá, Do Cerrado Produtos alimentícios, and Distrito Natural (all three were foodstuffs booths),  Artesanatos Indígenas (indigenous handicrafts), Celiandra Papel e Arte (papercraft) and a honey production called Mel Abelhudo.

Although it was the first one of the semester, the “Service and Environmental” Sábado Legal was a huge success among all the EAB community. 

Photos by  Fernanda Ferreira with a collaboration of the EAB Moments team.