The era of fast-fashion is slowly becoming a thing of the past. ThredUP’s 2021 market research shows that more and more consumers are turning away from buying new things in favor of resale. The company estimates that by 2025, resale market turnover will reach an impressive $77 billion (just think about those numbers!). The main role here, of course, plays an environmental concern – the fashion industry is traditionally considered one of the most “dirty”, and one only release upcycle-collections and transition to eco-friendly materials problem not solve.
However, it’s not only about ecology. More and more buyers are interested not so much in the modern collections of fashion houses, as in their history. Things created by Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and other geniuses of the XX century have a special charm, and to find such a treasure on the resale market is not just a good luck. It is a real event! But the archival collections of Jean Paul Gaultier and even the disgraced John Galliano are no less loved. So it is not surprising that we have begun to hear the words “vintage”, “retro” and “antiques” more often when it comes to fashion acquisitions. Another thing is that, not having understood the terminology, we often use them incorrectly. At Oskelly we’re all for using terms correctly, so here’s a quick lesson in how to show off your purchases the right way
What is antiques
In simple terms, an antique is a rare vintage garment that is most often found in museums and private collections. As a rule, it is unsuitable for everyday life, because there is a great chance to damage the product (and who would think to put on a corporate party or a party, say, a silk dress-polonaise of the XVIII century?) Any spot or hitch on such a product would be a real tragedy. And all because antique clothing has an artistic value. It’s practically impossible to reproduce in modern conditions, as the technology of embroidery and dyeing fabric has been lost. It is a true rarity, which belongs behind a glass, but not in the closet.
What is vintage?
In the case of vintage items, the terminology is more vague. Researchers are still arguing about the time frame: someone suggests that clothing that was made at least 15, but not more than 100 years ago, should be considered vintage. Others denote a narrow time interval from the 20s to the 80s of the last century. And according to the expert opinion of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a thing can be considered vintage if it was created from 20 to 99 years ago. Anything older is an antique.
But age is not the only (and not the most reliable) factor to focus on. Thus, clothes may fall into the category of “vintage” only if it is a reflection of a fashionable era, takes into account the main trends and trends at the time when it was created.
But perhaps the most important criterion is still exclusivity. Dresses sewn in a factory for the mass consumer cannot be considered vintage. The scarf, which was knitted by your beloved great-grandmother, deserves a worthy place in your family history – but alas! It can’t be called vintage either. But the iconic Chanel jackets, handmade in the 60’s while the legendary founder of the fashion house was still alive, are already vintage. And thanks to the development of modern resale platforms it has become much easier to find such fashionable treasures. For example, on the official Oskelly website, you can set up a filter to find luxury Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Hermes accessories over 15 years old, but in good quality, that are already considered vintage.
What is retro
Are you confused yet? Then let’s deal with the concept of “retro”! Fortunately for us and for you, it’s much easier. Most often it is used in reference to modern clothing that was created in the style of a particular era. For example, a retro new-look dress inspired by the ’50s era. Or white collars with the funny name “peter pan”, which were popular in the ’40s and suddenly came back to us in 2021 – this is also retro. Despite the fact that these pieces are created in our time, they all take into account the main trends of the era to which they refer us.
And what is an archive?
When it comes to terms, it’s impossible not to mention archival collections. In fact, these are all of the brand’s old collections (even those that came out just a few years ago). And this is also one of the key trends in modern fashion, when creative directors of fashion houses curtsy to their predecessors (and, of course, to themselves!), re-releasing the most successful models from the archives of the brand.
For example, in 2021, Raf Simons released a special Archive Redux collection featuring 100 iconic Raf Simons pieces, which, as he put it, “reflect the different periods of the brand’s history. His Prada colleague Miuccia Prada recreated dresses from the spring-summer 2014 archive collection the same year. And on the anniversary of his brother Gianni’s death, Donatella Versace released an entire collection with iconic pieces created by the legendary designer (although with a slightly modernized silhouette and design). Self-citation and crisis of ideas, say the skeptics. A successful marketing ploy, a chance to remember the history of the House and rethink its heritage – we say. And, as practice shows, archival models are no less popular than the fashionable know-how.
What brands’ products are considered to be a good investment
Now for the most intriguing question – which pieces on our list would be considered the best investment in your closet? The answer will be both simple and complex. So, antique items can certainly be called an investment, but alas, not in your closet (as we found out, wearing them in everyday life is quite problematic). The value of things from archival collections, which were created over the past 10-20 years, over time will increase at times, so they can be called a good long-term investment. But vintage is already valued now!