The global fashion industry in 2017 was worth $2.5 trillion. Fashion is trendy and expressive, which is why people pay a lot of money for the newest styles.
The thing about fashion is that it’s cylindrical. Designs come and go, and the industry circles back to them in later years. The industry is driven by art and popular culture, both of which are dynamic and volatile.
One fashion trend that has currently stuck for some time now is vintage and retro designs. Everyone seems to be pulling of stunning looks in both casual and formal designs from past decades.
The retail market has been quick to catch up, which has led to a mass popup of vintage clothing stores. Here are the top seven online stores where you can buy vintage-designed clothes and accessories.
Ragstock is not exactly new in the vintage business, or indeed in the fashion industry. Founded in 1954 as a retail store in Minneapolis, Ragstock has expanded to thirty-eight locations in the country and has built a massive online presence.
They are one of America’s oldest and longest running retailers of vintage clothing for both gents and ladies. So, they know a thing or two about vintage styles from the 50s through to the 21st century.
Their homepage features the newest vintage fashion trends and a selection of the season’s clothing items, from jeans, boots, hats, fancy packs to sunglasses.
Their blog is packed with advice and tips for the vintage fashion lover. Most of the posts are about how to rock specific retro designs and information about vintage fashion and styles.
2. Archive Vintage
Founded in 2006, Archive Vintage was the first vintage store at the time presenting vintage fashion clothing items with a clean, modern look. It is the home of unique designer and haute couture pieces collected through the 60s to early 2000s.
The founder, Kerry Bonnell, who also runs the store, is a fashion collector and enthusiast. She has worked as a stylist on editorials for magazines such as Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Italia. Having also managed fashion retail stores, Kerry is well versed in matters vintage fashion.
Archive Vintage aims to promote the re-use of garments. The site feature pieces from top designers such as Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake, Thierry Mugler, and many others.
The site itself is rather minimalistic and features high-end lady wear designs and accessories.
3. Unique Vintage
Unique Vintage has come a long way from what started as a hobby for Katie Echeverry, the owner and founder of the vibrant online store.
Based in California, Unique Vintage aims at reproducing vintage styles that are ready to wear for the current seasons. Some of the designs on sale here, such as the Wilshire flapper dresses, date as far back as the 1920s!
The store has an extensive collection of modestly-priced vintage-inspired clothing for both men and women.
Although you’ll probably not find any classic rock t-shirts in their inventory, Unique Vintage has a wide selection of casual wear for both sexes. You also get a choice of accessories to complement the various styles.
One interesting feature of this site is the ‘shop by era’ option that categorizes designs by the decade.
4. Assos Marketplace
Assos marketplace is not so much your conventional online store. It is a marketplace assembling a multitude of vintage boutiques and small labels under one platform.
The name is an acronym for ‘As Seen on Screen.’
The store was founded in 2000 to promote vintage fashion designed or sold by small clothing businesses. Only twenty stores signed up at the beginning. Today, the store is home to over 700 independent boutiques and labels.
Currently, there are over 300 vintage fashion boutiques on the platform from all over the globe. The variety of styles and designs provided by such a diversity of sellers make Assos one of the largest vintage fashion destinations online.
The site has convenient navigational features that let you select clothes from particular parts of the world.
ModCloth is a San Francisco-based online retailer for vintage-inspired women’s clothing.
The online store recently made popular news after being acquired by Walmart. The announcement came as a shock to many of the brand’s fans, but things have generally calmed down.
After the acquisition, the store began venturing into the physical retails space. Walmart is continuing to expand the brand into FitShops in various locations. Buyers can visit these shops to try on samples and get styling advice.
ModCloth has an impressive collection of rather affordable vintage-designed clothes, shoes, and accessories. They sell everything, from jackets, sandals, dresses, and even wedding dresses with a vintage touch. They also stock a small selection of home décor items.
6. Nasty Gal
You’ve probably heard mention of Nasty Gal in conversations about trendy fashion. The company retails fashion clothing items aimed at young ladies and customers from all over the world. The store was a big hit soon after launch and has since grown into a huge worldwide retailer.
Nasty Gal is not strictly a vintage clothes store. However, they have a rich inventory of a variety of retro and vintage-designed clothes and accessories.
The store has a unique collection of casual wear to suit the modern young woman. Most of them, such as bandana tops and ruffle denim shorts, are inspired by the 90s and 80s pop styles.
7. Beyond Retro
Beyond Retro is a U.K-based retail store with physical shops in the U.K and Sweden. They specialize in retro and vintage fashion for both men and women.
They ship both designer wear and popular branded products such as Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, and Puma. Most of the designs are casual wear such as dresses, jackets, and T-shirts.
Beyond Retro takes data collection very seriously to keep up with vintage fashion trends. The company has people attending fashion events. It also has sophisticated data analytic systems predicting future trends.
More Vintage Clothing Stores are Emerging
Social media platforms, especially Instagram, are awash with new upcoming vintage clothing stores that are testing the waters on social media before going live. This means we will see a more diverse selection of shopping spots, and hopefully new designs (or should we say new old designs?).
This list is comprised of some of the most popular vintage stores today. There are hundreds more that didn’t make the cut, but that doesn’t mean they are no good. You have the unlimited liberty to shop around for your favorite vintage clothes.
Check out our blog for more information.