Vintage Douche

Lately, I keep reading about “What Goes Around Comes Around,” a vintage clothing shop in New York where hipsters get their old jeans and military jackets.

The first time I heard about this place was a piece in Time Out about style mavens. The co-owner and “style director” of WGACA is a guy named Gerard Maione who exemplifies everything I hate in a man.   You know, arrogant, vain, self-congratulatory, fame whore, perpetual five o’clock shadow a la Richard Nixon (or that guy in Entourage) and a preening fashion style.

Everything about his screams douche.

While I’m mad, let me also say how much I hate stores like this one. They’re selling an old Stones t-shirt for $795, which is just stupid. The real problem is that they ruin things for regular people who used to find treasures in thrift shops. Thrift shops are plundered by “pickers” who sell the good shit to vintage stores, and voila, there’s nothing left but Forever 21 and Old Navy crap. Fuckers.

I’m still mad!

How about this: a fatwa on “thrifting” as a verb. or “thrifted” as an adjective?

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72 Responses to “Vintage Douche”

  1. Esme Green Says:

    fan-bloody-tastic

  2. Sister Wolf Says:

    Esme – HA, perfect! Love it!

    My Life is Vintage- Yep, I have seen the Japanese pickers blazing through a rack at lightning speed. I don’t like it. Re selling to WGACA, don’t you resent their mark-up after all your hard work, or not really?

    I notice that they sell counterfeit “vintage Chanel” jewelry on their website and they sell it via Shopbop as well. But perhaps it just Buyer Beware when it comes to Chanel.

    Whatever you have to do to support your kids, well, you have my blessing, that’s for sure. I know I’ve done much worse!

  3. Erika Says:

    Audi, I would love to meet up with you . I will send you a message. There’s a free Kate Spade event downtown at Bloomingdales on the 4th.
    I love Free stuff. I’ll send you the invite thing and hopefully you can make it to that.

  4. David Duff Says:

    Sorry, I haven’t gone senile, not due ’til next Wednesday, but my comment should have been attached to the post above. Yesh, thanks, I will have another, make it a large one . . .

  5. vintage pink Says:

    I have a vintage shop too, and let me tell you-if it werent for people coming in to sell us stuff, I would close the doors.
    There is nothing to be found in thrift stores-they are hiring more fashion savvy people to go through the donations, and pick out the good stuff to sell elsewhere for more money.
    Or they are starting their own “vintage” sections and charging like they are a real vintage shop for damaged stuff.

    The guy from NYC was in my shop buying for his. Think about that. He flies, stays in a hotel, eats and rents a car. Buys my stuff that isnt CHEAP and still makes a bucket of money.
    The Japanese do that to us too.

    Rent is what really determines the cost of things at a vintage shop. If you dont pay out a ton, you dont need a ton coming in.
    If you look, none of us-besides that NYC dude-are driving a Mercedes.

  6. Sister Wolf Says:

    Erika and Audie – I’m so happy when people fall in love here, like HelOnWheels and David Duff! Let me know if you meet up. xo

    David – I thought you called him “her” in reference to his metrosexualtiy. No harm done, carry on sir.

    vintage pink – And that’s why he’s a douche.

  7. HelOnWheels Says:

    @SW – re. Duffster…EEEWWWWWWW!! Seriously, bleeeeccchhhh. Nothing personal, Duff.

  8. Sister Wolf Says:

    HelOnWHeels – SHIT. Was it you and JK, then? Or am I just hopelessly lost? (Sorry Duff, she knos nothing of long johns, obviously)

  9. David Duff Says:

    Poor woman doesn’t know what she’s missing!

  10. Emmett K Says:

    This was an excellent post. I live in a fairly small town in Canada and I shop at thrift stores like the Salvation Army and Vintage stores, but everything is dirt cheap between $2-$30. I was SHOCKED when I went to Toronto, Ontario to a vintage store and everything was beyond ridiculously priced (not all of them were like this but a few were). I saw jackets $300+ , recently I had gotten similar ones at the Salvation Army for under $10!!

    What really blew me away was the fact that the prices were so out of control and over the top and the stuff at the vintage store was NOT designer! How can they justify the price tags? I prefer the fun of scouring thrift stores for great deals and finds rather than paying an extra few hundred dollars for someone else to do the work.

    Em K

  11. My life is Vintage Says:

    @ SW – We really don’t resent the fact that they price their items so high. We come from place where we work on a margin, if we can 3x our money we buy it, and are happy, if we can’t do that we don’t waste our time. We sell in bulk and fast, so the more we sell the more we make and have no emotional attachment to anything ;). WGACA generally pay good wholesale prices and that is what keeps us doing business with them. Although they ran into financial difficulty a few years back when they launched their line of clothing(a little cheesy if you ask me, but to each his own) it did not take off like they were expecting and it really put them in a financial bind, so therefore we have not sold them anything in approx a year and they still owe us a small amount.

    The retail end is brutal….. the rent, employees, paperwork, and bullshit you have to deal with is stupid. We had 3 stores at one time and it is simply not worth it, we get to travel and do our own thing, it is glorious not be to tied down!

    Happy thrifting, hunting, searching, buying, snapping up or whatever! It is fun! and you never know what you will find. I would recommend going to second hand stores in low income areas or outside of a major city, stay away from trendy areas and such, you have a better chance of finding good stuff in the suburbs or smaller towns. Make a day of it or overnight trip! Good Luck

  12. Aja Says:

    My sister just got a La Petite Salope dress from an actual thrift store in San Francisco. Seriously, it was $35 (full price $1200). I was so green with envy my head almost exploded.

  13. Sister Wolf Says:

    Aja – Shit, my head is exploding if it’s a size 4.

  14. Aja Says:

    Cover your walls cuz your head’s going to explode.

  15. hammie Says:

    Well as an Aussie living in Ireland I’ve learned to say “charity shops” .

    I used to say I was going to London to look for vintage clothes in Oppies, but purists say that my designer bargains from the 90’s don’t count as vintage according to the 20 year rule, so I invented “Thriftage” as opposed to True Vintage.
    I really don’t care as long as it is well made and a zillion % cheaper than when the first poor sap bought it at full price. (sorry saps, I do love your impulsive purchasing then donating power)

    Sadly, these trips no longer “pay for themselves” (as I used to explain to Mr Hammie)

    AS IF I would EVER buy a Cashmere Armani full length coat at full price! but I “claim the difference” when explaining how ecomomical these trips really are.

    because the pickings are indeed very slim these days and I absolutely REFUSE to shop in Tragic Hipster Second Hand “Marketstall High Street Shops”

    If it ain’t going to charity then what is the guilt assuaging point?

    xx

  16. hammie Says:

    ps. I have stood beside “dealers” asking for a large discount in the Hospice Store in Queensway. A discount on items donated by people who want the money to go to a charity supporting those with terminal Cancer to finish their lives in comfort with dignity.

    a fucking discount!

  17. Veuve Says:

    I’m with you. Shopping at thrift stores (which I’ve been doing since I was in college) has become much less fun. Either the pickers get the really good stuff or stores like Goodwill have wised up and pull anything halfway decent so they can auction it on their website. I don’t want to begrudge them the money, but it sucks for us low income folks who depended on them for fashion thrills.

  18. jen thunder Says:

    (My Life is Vintage- do you have an email? I would love to talk to you about your experiences pickin, sellin n’ dealin. I can be reached at
    jenthunderhorse@gmail.com)

    I have to agree fully with PennyDreadfulVintage- since the takeoff of ebay people are donating less and finding other avenues for their goods (garage sales/flea mkts/relatives) to bring in extra income in a worldwide economic downturn. And it is also right that thrifts have become savvy in listing their rare collectible goods online or seeking antiques/vintage people to price and advise them on their inventory. I think if there’s anyone to be mad at, be mad at your local charity that doesn’t keep the goods within the community (through selling online amazon/ebay) that supports it and also never even gives the community the chance to buy it.

    Vintage sellers work hard to gather an inventory of one-of-a-kind items and educate themselves on the minutia of costume history in accurately dating pieces and determining rarity–> in addition to shop overhead, this is why a vintage rock tee will never be sold for super-walmart-sale-cheap. What if vintage stores did try to mimic fast fashion in their prices instead of rarity determining value; the selection of such vintage store would dry up in a day. That vintage store would no longer be your favorite store if they couldn’t raise enough money to invest back into their store and new acquisitions.

    For the WGACA folks- they cater to designers to sell designers back their pieces from the 60’s. They’re a private showroom that I’m sure a ton of people utilize to ‘get inspired’ and then leave without buying anything. I think it interesting that they’ve worked so hard to conflate vintage-(ie worn, secondhand, used, usually stigmatized clothes) with covetable couture high-fashion. Designers and design houses also cultivate relationships with buyers all over the world to bring them originals they can knock off: I happened into a private meeting between a designer’s mens team and some sort of vintage sourcing independent person who were viewing a table with a bunch of ‘thrfited’ vintage satchels with price tags attached- the team going to buy a vintage bag from her not because they wanted to use it but they were going to use it for a prototype.

    As a grad student, I also research thrift stores and used clothing- what goes where and ends up where, and find this video below really mind-blowing in looking at the fashion design industry and hyper-consumption.
    Shantha Bloemen’s film “Tshirt Travels” is fucking superb in exploring how global trade/IMF Debt politics result in USA 80’s mtv or Nike shirts on kids in Zambia

  19. Hortense Says:

    Can’t help but like ‘thrifted’ and ‘thrifting.’ I do both nearly every day, and the word ‘thrifting’ brings nothing but happy associations to mind. It’s my temporary livelihood this ragpicking thing. Granted I don’t hoard. I just go in and buy the best, leave the rest. The problem with most ragpickers is that they’re greedy, unscrupulous, and have no eye for quality. I sort of blame Marc Jacobs’s grunge days for this precedent–he used to have his “muses” grab and bag all kinds of shit to copy directly for his line (in silk of course).

    Expensive “thrifted” vintage is a bugaboo. Fifty dollars tops for something pristine, maybe more for rare designer… anything more is robbery. It’s rags that would have ended up in the trash, you opportunistic, self-important idiots! Jane and Mommy are excellent examples of the thrift smugness.

  20. Erika Says:

    I had a great thrift moment the other day. I was trying on a full length sequin dress, not quite sure about it. I noticed a man watching me. I think he was one of those thrift picking types. So I bought it. In hindsight it was a great buy and a nice add to the collection but part of it was that I found it annoying to have someone watching me to grab it if I didn’t want it so he could re-sell for more. Screw him, let him find his own things.

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