The Deadstock Depot was my first legitimate vintage shopping experience. I’ve been to vintage stores before, but never have I experienced the flea market vibe the traveling vintage tradeshow offered. It was a grind. Clothing is presented like a free for all royal rumble. The environment? There are no champagne flutes being passed around like a high end department store, but had Travis being blasted throughout the venue as predicted. It was elbow to elbow with like minded consumers competing to find elusive diamonds in the rough.
The process is akin to being an NBA general manager. Those who travel to the backwaters of the world scouting for the hope that they can find the next Pascal Siakam. Just like the league’s higher ups, there is a rush you get when yo u finally spot that elusive piece. Everything stops. The crowd you’re fighting with, the blaring music, none of it matters in that moment. You realize have an outright steal on your hands. THE POWER OF JAWNZ IS REAL.
My Siakam took form in a pair of vintage Air Jordan basketball shorts. The bred like color blocking on the shorts instantly brought memories of the GOAT MJ years. The silhouette is very 90’s, slightly cropped, but not slim with a wide opening. The shorts feature both the Nike name and swoosh along side the Jumpman, a rairty in modern Jordan apparel. You felt the synergy between these and the recently released Jerry Lorenzo’s super hyped Nike Collab. These shorts are from the golden age of 90’s sportswear. I asked myself how something worthy of endless fire emoji can be hiding in plain sight? I held the shorts with a death grip. Spotted the vendor owner and gave him the thirty dollars he asked for as quick as I could. When you find a jawnz that speak to you this way, you don’t even bother to bargain. The highs of vintage shopping are hella high, and the chase is definitely part of it. It’s the one form of shopping where price doesn’t dictate how special clothing can be.
We are Drawn to The Rare and Unique
In the flex culture we are dressing in today, rarity and uniqueness reigns supreme. All of us are willing to spend the extra coin to clear what the internet deems a worthy fit pic for TRIPLE DIGIT LIKES ON IG! The rise of dressing for followers means a couple of things. We are consuming clothing at an unprecedented rate. No one wants to be called out for gramming the same piece twice. And we are willing to shell out large amounts of cash for pieces that are deemed exclusive. This is why so many of us don’t even flinch at the idea of dropping a solid 1k for a pair of sneakers. Or are willing to spend a few more stacks on Virigil’s Louis Vuttion bags and accorecies.
Playing off High Fashion Characteristics
Vintage changed the game. It has allowed a lot of us to obtain rare and unique clothing, without having to leap through sky high financial hurdles. It’s leveled the playing field for all clothing enthusiasts to chase exclusivity. But why is it so appealing? Other than price, it plays off the same allure of it’s high fashion counterpart. You get an opportunity to own something that is seen as finite. Not everyone will have the chance to own and wear basketball shorts from the early 90’s. The more time spent sifting through the endless racks, the more special that top or bottom becomes when you finally land on it. It instantly injects the piece with some personal context. It ensures that it won’t be just something that lives inside your closet like an outdated fast fashion top.
The Sustainability Bonus
It’s hard to ignore all the added bonuses that add up when you opt for vintage instead of brand new. Yes, affordability is the reason many of us opt for vintage.. When you buy vintage it leaves no carbon footprint. No amount of extra water needed and reduces chemical pollution and landfill space. Sustainable fashion practices are not going anywhere. It’s been a talking point in the world of women’s wear, but is now become a talking point in menswear. This is the new reality, so get used to it.