Vintage is at the heart of thrifting, and there's nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt for those special pieces that have been pre-loved and that carry a unique history with them. Whether it's a pair of vintage Levi's jeans, a classic Chanel bag, or a one-of-a-kind 70s dress, vintage items offer a chance to express individual style and to add character to any wardrobe.
In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in second-hand sales, and younger consumers are leading the charge. As sustainability becomes an increasingly pressing concern, more and more people are seeking out second-hand items as a way to reduce waste and environmental impact. This has led to a boom in vintage and thrift stores, online marketplaces, and clothing swaps, making it easier than ever to find unique, pre-loved items.
Celebrities have also played a major role in the popularity of vintage fashion, both on and off the red carpet. From Zendaya's vintage Versace at the 2021 Oscars to Harry Styles' iconic Gucci suit at the 2021 Grammys, stars have been embracing vintage looks and using their influence to inspire others to do the same. The red carpet is often filled with vintage Mugler, Paco Rabanne, and other iconic designers, showcasing the timelessness and enduring appeal of vintage fashion.
Beyond the environmental and style benefits, shopping for vintage and second-hand items can also be a more affordable option. High-end designer items that would be out of reach for many at full price become more accessible when purchased second-hand, and unique vintage finds can often be had for a fraction of the cost of new, mass-produced items.
In short, vintage fashion is at the heart of the thrifting movement, and its enduring appeal shows no signs of slowing down. Whether for environmental, economic, or stylistic reasons, more and more people are embracing pre-loved fashion and rediscovering the joy of the hunt for those one-of-a-kind pieces that make a wardrobe truly special.
We talked with Stefany Mohebban, a very good friend of Housing Works, who just a few days ago curated an amazing selection of vintage clothes at our Soho Thrift Shop, and we asked about her passion for vintage.
HW: How and when did your passion for vintage start?
Stefany: I started thrift shopping when I was 15 years old. I would ride the train into the city from Long Island and spend an afternoon walking around Manhattan and shopping at all the thrift stores I came across. That’s when I began to collect vintage and mix it into my wardrobe. My first vintage purchase was a 50s swing coat with a fur collar. I still have it 25 years later!
HW: What do you like the most about it?
Stefany: I love the uniqueness of vintage and the way it can take an average looking outfit to the next level. It catches your attention because it’s not like what you’re seeing in stores. It also sparks my imagination and makes me wonder about its previous owner and their life!
HW: You've been collaborating with Housing Works for quite some time, what drives you to support our organization?
Stefany: I like to give back when I can and supporting an organization like housing works has always felt like a very good fit for me and my belief system. Housing works plays such an important role in New York City and I feel very connected to that as well.
HW: Can you tell us about the event you curated at our Thrift Shop in Soho last week?
Stefany: The event included an amazing array of vintage that spans several decades. It had a good balance of quirky, high end men’s and women’s clothing and accessories.