Is ‘Vintage’ Clothing Over? – The New York Times

Resale websites have come a good distance because the daybreak of eBay. Formerly app-primarily based, the ever-rising secondhand website Depop not too long ago added net checkout, functioning as a cross between Instagram and a gross sales platform. Its 10 million plus customers have handles and followers. There are hashtags, you possibly can “like” objects and there’s a a lot stronger deal with styling and aesthetic. The coolest picture of the day will land you on the house web page, and bam, you’re Depop-famous.

Depop releases its customers’ stats weekly, and sellers evaluate their worldwide rating. They’re at all times fast to congratulate one another in personal group pages on Facebook — and so they need to. It’s fairly good enterprise. A current research by ThredUp, which payments itself as the most important resale and consignment retailer, valued the U.S. resale market alone at $20 billion, with an expectation that it’ll develop to $41 billion by 2022.

According to Depop, classic clothes, usually that means clothes that was made at the very least a decade in the past, made up 40 p.c of its gross sales worldwide final yr.

One Depop vendor, Cory Barnette (or @rainydaysweatpants) of California, is already adopted by over 15,000 customers, after only one yr of buying and selling.

“My brand aesthetic is ’90s-sportswear inspired, that’s what’s nostalgic and cool to me,” Mr. Barnette, 29, stated. “I sell my own style and things that I would wear. I spend up to five hours a day just sourcing items, and now customers approach me to find pieces for them.”

The hours thrifting at Goodwill facilities, flea markets and secondhand shops have definitely paid off. The finest piece he’s discovered? “A ’90s Gianni Versace Venetian silk shirt that I got for $8. I sold it for $700.”

Other fashionable websites for not-that-outdated classic embody Mercari, Poshmark and Vestiaire Collective, which most notably had a recent collaboration with Yasmin Le Bon, the model. Ms. Le Bon sold her “archive collection” through the platform, with treasures such as a black wool Alaïa mini-dress, a silk Emilio Pucci shirt and a quilted Chanel Mademoiselle patent handbag. None was terribly old.

There’s undoubtedly a flock of young influencers driving buyers to recent eras. Kim Kardashian West has been donning nothing but vintage Versace lately. “I’m on such a ’90s Versace kick,” she was quoted as saying not long ago, and her younger sister Kylie has been spotted in a lot of Tom Ford-era, 1990s Gucci. If it’s not Versace or Gucci, it’s Fendi-monogrammed anything.

“Influencers for sure dictate what secondhand shoppers are looking for,” Mr. Barnette said. “They might not always get the same high-end brands, but will create a similar look from that era with what is available to them through vintage.”

But in an age where everything and anything is instantly re-sellable online, might the very concept of vintage be on the wane?

Amber Butchart, a fashion historian and lecturer at the London College of Fashion, doesn’t think so.

“I used to be a buyer at a vintage brand, and we were having this conversation 10 years ago,” Ms. Butchart said. “People have always been worried about the future of vintage fashion, and convinced it’s over, that there will be no more vintage, but it’s not going anywhere. There has always been a secondhand market, as long as humans have been wearing clothes.”

However, Ms. Butchart said, “The industry is definitely changing, and fashion cycles are becoming shorter. Before, the cycle was 20 years, but now it can be five. So we’re seeing trends coming back as soon as five years later.”

But who can name a bona fide trend of five years ago, anyway? What was happening clothes-wise in 2013 again?

It is difficult to predict what the future of vintage will look like, and what styles will be remembered favorably from the last 10 years.

“When we’re living through an era, it’s quite difficult to have an overriding view of it as a whole. Or be able to imagine how future generations might look back on it,” Ms. Butchart said. “We can’t say that we won’t be able to look back at the 2010s in the future, and recognize fashion from that period. That’s never happened before in history.”

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