October 26, 2011: Party Like It’s 1999
Retro is hardly what it used to be. In the “old days”(and now I’m not sure when the old days actually were), according to The Wall Street Journal, in the world of fashion, clothes and accessories were considered “vintage” if they were at least 30 years old, while newer pieces were labeled “collectibles.”
But for some reason ’90s fashions are hot, hot, hot right now-and selling for big bucks at vintage stores in New York City and Los Angeles. The experts say this is a nascent trend, so if you get started now, you’ll still be a bit ahead of the game.
In fact Juliana Cairone, the owner of Rare Vintage in Manhattan, told the Journal that ’90s fashion is less expensive than actual vintage because it’s still relatively undiscovered. But Cairone claims, “It’s only going to become more desired.”
Now, we’re not exactly talking ’90s grunge wear. Cameron Silver, who owns Decades, a vintage shop in Los Angeles, told the Journal that the most “collectible labels” include Prada, Tom Ford for Gucci, Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Helmut Lang, Alaïa, Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, Comme des Garçons and Christian Lacroix.
Silver says the ’90s were “a different world aesthetically” (i.e., handbags without the now ubiquitous brand logos). Essentially, everything old is new again.
There are a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs here. If you already sell vintage, start the hunt for ’90s fashions now. Thrift stores may be a good place to start, since not many people know the value of these pieces yet. Or if you’re lucky, ’90s clothing and accessories can be found in the attic at your parents’ house. This might also be a great time to head over to eBay or scour estate sales.
In this still challenging economy, secondhand clothing stores are performing well. You can specialize and serve niche markets (just a few years ago, teens were snapping up vintage tees from rock bands). But fashions change quickly, so make sure you stay on top of the trends.