Summary by Emily Estabrook
Rachel explained how the vintage market operates. Interest in vintage clothing is based on many factors including individuality and unique styling, nostalgia, quality of construction, high-quality textiles, value as a collectible, and the celebrity use of vintage clothing. The vintage clothing trend began in the seventies but has become enormous in the last ten years. Today’s trends include garments by designers such as Schiaparelli, Pucci, and Courreges. Styles from the fifties and sixties are currently dominating the market, while accessories seem to be timeless.
The way this method of retailing works is through “pickers” or professional buyers who scour flea markets, estate and yard sales, antique malls, thrift stores and auctions to find items that possess quality and a look from the past. A trade show in New York entitled “The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show” features fifty sellers. This is popular among designers and celebrities. The buyers must keep in mind the clothing is old. Items must be looked at carefully for damage and cleaning techniques must be kept in mind also. As popular as this form of retailing has become, there are some negatives for the consumer. Typically, vintage items cannot be returned; a limited availability of stock and sizes exists; some stores don’t have dressing rooms; and wear will deteriorate these items. The plus is that when you buy an item of vintage, you are getting something that others will not have.
Rachel showed her collection of vintage jackets by displaying them on mannequins.
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