How cult vintage finds became fashion’s highest status symbol

Jhe future of fashion is the past. Take a look at today’s trending circuit and you’ll see that it’s no longer about finding the best new thing, but about digging deeper. Vintage clothing revives.

Of course, fashion’s penchant for second-hand clothes is nothing new. Vintage items have long held a high status among connoisseurs. Step back to the mid-2000s, when budding rock stars and their equally enthusiastic groupies strolled through North London pubs looking like they had been swallowed up by Camden Stables. There could be a tired pair of oxfords. Maybe a damaged leather jacket. Maybe even a tie. And if you were Luke Pritchard from The Kooks, you could have all three.

Today, vintage is less about dressing head-to-toe in wavy garments and more about finding a singular item that matches your individual sense of style and can be seamlessly integrated into contemporary clothing. Oh, and you’ll probably pay a lot more too. Because designers continue to fuel their collections with looks inspired by the 90s and early 2000s, vintage trinkets have become more coveted than ever.

Consider model Bella Hadid, who famously styled her hair and stepped out in several collectibles between fashion month shows. These included a Junya Watanabe denim dress from 2002, green embroidered Dior-era pants by John Galliano (1996 to 2011) and a black sleeveless Comme Des Garçons jumper from 2008. Meanwhile, the model of the moment also wore a Prada 2009 archive look for a Miu Miu dinner in Paris. Elsewhere, we saw industry It-girl Emily Ratajkowski channel Carrie Bradshaw in a John Galliano newspaper dress for Dior at a Harper’s Bazaar event during New York Fashion Week.

For another NYFW party, the My body the author arrived wearing a Céline dress from the Michael Kors era associated with a Christian Dior satchel. Ratajkowski also chose a former Versace number for this year’s Met Gala – when celebrities typically wear tailored designer ensembles – where she arrived in a heavily beaded bodice and embellished silk skirt from the spring 1992 collection of the Italian brand. A real gem in the vintage treasure.

Kendall Jenner, who has been seen sporting numerous 1990s looks at high-profile events, is another fashion figure who has firmly established herself as an archive dresser in recent months. The ensembles included a 2007 Givenchy skirt suit, a 1999 Dolce & Gabbana leather skirt that she wore as a mini dress, and the 1997 Dolce & Gabbana floral ensemble that she wore to her sister, Kourtney’s wedding. Kardashian in May.

Even Rihanna has built a luxury vintage collection, having been seen in everything from 1990s Gucci to early 2000s Roberto Cavalli last year. On TikTok, veteran vintage writer and buyer Camille Charrière revealed that she recently lost out to the singer over a sky blue Tom Ford fur coat for Gucci. “I made a deal with the store to put it aside and have it rented out for my wedding day,” she explains in the video. “I thought I’d have it like my something blue […] guess who decided that week to enter the shop. Rihanna. Or her stylist. Whoever it was, they offered to pay full price. And so Charrière’s something blue went to RiRi.

“Vintage clothes have absolutely become more coveted in recent years,” says Gregory Chester, who runs the One of a Kind archives in Notting Hill, who counts Kate Moss and Sienna Miller among his clientele – they’ve also provided Hadid with this Prada look 2009. . “The rarity and quality of the clothes we sell are incomparable to modern fashion,” he says. “Customers don’t want to wear what anyone else can find.”

Like most luxury archives, One of a Kind operates by appointment only. You can shop a number of items online through 1st Dibs, including a 2002 Jean Paul Gaultier peach silk dress (£2,650) and a 1996 Vivienne Westwood couture red taffeta ball gown (£17,500) . The most popular brands sought after by Chester customers are John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, while the most sought after eras are, in keeping with the times, the late 90s and early 2000s.

“The appeal of vintage is different for each person and for each generation, as new pieces are always entering the vintage market as people look to the past to set trends for the future,” says Ari, Owner from @kiko.vintage, which is one of the most popular Instagram vintage accounts.

“I would say Chanel and Dior from the early 2000s are some of the most sought after seasons (2002 and 2003 are my favorites), but there’s also a huge appetite for minimalism that we saw in Issey Miyake, Helmut Lang and Celine in the late 90s,” she says. “I would say we’re moving away from the logo mania and into an appreciation for classic silhouettes and minimalist design.”

Kendall Jenner in a 1994 Jean Paul Gaultier ensemble


Items sold by Ari and other Instagrammers are slightly more affordable than those available from brick-and-mortar collectors, with items currently on sale including a 2000s Fendi shoulder bag (£452) and a Dolce & Gabbana embroidered skirt from 2002 (£176). “The appeal of vintage is different for each person and for each generation, as new pieces are always entering the vintage market as people look to the past to set trends for the future,” he adds. she.

While her site has always been popular among fashion insiders, Ari has noticed how, over the years, a growing number of celebrity stylists have approached her, including Choe & Chenelle – they style Kourtney Kardashian and Olivia Rodrigo – and Dani Michelle, whose clients include Hailey Bieber and Nicola Peltz Beckham. “They constantly showcase vintage collections such as mine on their clients and show how second-hand clothes can work alongside the work of up-and-coming designers to form timeless looks,” she says.

Another common resource for vintage finds are peer-to-peer websites such as Vestiaire Collective, which label its products “pre-loved.” “We see that celebrity and pop culture are driving trends and impacting consumer shopping habits,” a spokesperson for the site said, noting how high demand for a Fendi Baguette is. increased after the launch of the sex and the city to restart, And just like that.

“At Vestiaire Collective, the vintage category has been one of our fastest growing categories in recent years, currently growing over 12% year-over-year,” they add. “The numerous exhibitions and reissues of major luxury houses have also contributed to a growing interest in vintage pieces.”

The benefits of buying vintage are obvious. For the sartorial show ponies among us, wearing unique pieces offers a unique aesthetic. But there is also the added environmental aspect as existing items will not require energy expenditure to craft. They will also not cause harm to clothing manufacturers.

“In a world where we yearn for new items, designer vintage opens the door to the new old, so to speak, allowing for regeneration in fashion instead of mass consumption,” says an Archive spokesperson. Closet, a luxury vintage curator based in Ibiza. – items include a Dior slip dress worn by Paris Hilton and a Fendi dress worn by Sharon Stone at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

While very few people can afford the archival celebrity items we’ve recently seen, the effect of seeing more A-list stars wearing second-hand items could have a seismic effect on consumers. “We cannot underestimate the enormous influence of models and celebrities with vast platforms to encourage us to overconsume clothes we probably don’t need, which has a hugely negative impact on the planet and manufacturers. clothing,” says Venetia, a fair-trade fashion activist. Manna. “TikTok loves Bella Hadid and her recent style evolution, so no doubt her use of vintage pieces will serve to help the slow fashion movement and encourage people to see second-hand clothing as cool and ambitious.”

The good news is that, just like a bottle of France’s finest Chateau Margaux, vintage clothing will only go up in value, which means it’s a trend that’s likely to stand the test of time. “The coins we sell will become increasingly rare and valuable over the years,” says Chester. “There will always be a demand to buy a piece of fashion history.” There certainly will be – unless you’re looking to revisit the wardrobe of a weary Troubador, whose idea of ​​vintage might have been a little naïve.

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