Black-owned vintage stores are always in vogue | Lifestyle

Three beautifully styled black women decorated the screen. “FUBU” and “Phat Farm” were scattered in the foreground, wearing remade vintage items, and they posed together for fashion photography, all of which were sensible and confident.

In the background, an instrumental version of Juvenile’s song began to be played, and we began preparing the lyrics, “Cash Money Records will take over in the 1999 and 2000s,” known to those in the know. In between shots, Shayla Janel Hill was in charge of directing and arranging the set.

Hill owns Houston’s online vintage shop Random and Chic. She is in the process of introducing the brand’s Y2K collection, which pays homage to the elite black fashion brand of the early 2000s. For many black fashion entrepreneurs and shoppers, the current resale boom is more than just a trend, it’s deeply rooted in their community and shared history.

The resale industry is expected to be worth $ 51 billion by 2023 and is growing much faster than traditional retail. While platforms such as eBay, Farfetch, Poshmark, and Tradesy dominate resale e-commerce, many independent sellers create their own sites and Etsy shops to market on social media. The Internet has created new opportunities for black-owned shops, but it is often overlooked or undervalued in national conversations about the resale industry.

“I understand the power of expression and what it looks like in the vintage world,” Hill said. “Black women are really a minority in this niche market, but there are many black women who love about ththth and love fashion. That is, we are taste makers.”

“My success is due to the black women,” she added. “I think style is innate to us, but for years I’ve had it embedded in my DNA as a gift. So many people don’t consider it a valuable asset, while fashion-related publications like this basically do what we do. I’m paying thousands of dollars to copy. “

According to a recent McKinsey report, only 4{1a2a5022a52b7f44d3c003be9afa129e2349806f3225e736ca8b1c4309d27447} of black companies survive the start-up phase. Lack of access to capital is listed as the biggest disadvantage, along with why racism and discrimination are well established.

Hill is working to address this by creating resources to educate and empower black women to enter the resale industry as entrepreneurs. She shares her knowledge and expertise through masterclasses, ebooks, and weekly business chats on Instagram Live (called “Chic Talks”). She recently launched a new initiative, Small Business Saturday. There, he posts a black business in the Instagram story of Random and Chic.

“The good thing about vintage is that it doesn’t cost a lot to get started,” Hill said. “At Small Business Saturday, I just wanted to share my platform. I’m dealing with vintage, so I only have one, so I’ll never let more than 200,000 people. I’m my own. We thought we could share space and help market other businesses at an affordable price because we wanted to see people win and give them the opportunity to invest in themselves. Come.”

Mariah Collazo, owner of Vanilla Vintage in Raleigh, North Carolina, quickly realized that black plus-size women weren’t well represented by online vintage distributors. “I first saw this problem when I was saving money in college and trying to find affordable clothes on a budget.” “Fun fashionable that fits in a big frame. Clothes were rarely found. If not available to everyone, sustainability doesn’t make sense. “

As a fashion and textile student at North Carolina State University, Corazo started a store as a side business and worked full-time after graduation. “I understand that vintage clothing tends to be a little smaller as body size changes over time,” she said. “Still, some of the used clothing brands I’ve seen online Some had a particular aesthetic and seemed to cling to a very exclusive idea. I think sustainable fashion is good, but I didn’t see myself in the field. I made Vanilla Vintage as a way to represent it. “

Remaking clothes was not always an option for black women, and it was inevitable. The Jim Crow Law in the South prevented black patrons from shopping in countless department stores for decades. Savings on black-owned stores, private homes, selling community tags, etc., reworking vintage and second-hand goods has become a powerful tool of expression and style.

The Black Church and the Historically Black Colleges held the long-awaited fashion show in the black community, providing space for dressmakers, hatmakers and other designers to show their talents.

The terms “rework” and “upcycling” have become mainstream terms these days, but black women have been using these techniques for centuries. Today’s black-owned vintage stores carry on the same spirit of creativity, and thanks to their ubiquitous social media, all of this artistry and ingenuity can be shown on the world stage.

Scrolling through the Instagram page of the Golden Bird boutique owned by C. Golden in Baltimore reveals a powerful image of fearless black beauty, including bold prints, statement jewelery and cleverly tied head wraps. I will.

Through the transatlantic slave trade, enslaved black women continued their ancestral cultural tradition of covering their heads in the United States. During slavery, some states even enacted laws prohibiting black women from appearing in public without covering their heads.

While these laws were a construct of colonialism and oppression, many black women used them as an opportunity to respect culture and traditions. Today, Golden regularly incorporates this ancestral tradition into her image. Her set includes everything from contemporary black art to vintage issues in Ebony magazine, making a clear statement not only about fashion but also about culture.

“Black women always feel like fashion trendsetters, so to speak,’cool creators’. We’re definitely making a big difference in the vintage arena,” said Golden. “Black women have a particular source and we sprinkle it on every action. See how vintage pieces are styled and remixed to give them a modern and fresh feel. I love it. I’m always doing my best to create looks that encourage women to curb fast fashion consumption and find creative ways to bring new life to historic clothing. “

She is also aware of the potential impact of her work on future generations. “I want my daughter to look at my brand and look in the mirror,” she said. “For me it has always been deeper than fashion. My purpose is to convey a message of beauty, strength, resilience and respect for the environment.”

For Simone Hines, owner of Erstwhile Style and Quondam Cult (a sister Etsy shop in New York City), dealing with vintage was a way to share history through television and movies. The work in her shop is used to style the characters “Underground,” “Peky Blinders,” and “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

“When I started in 2008, few black women were doing this kind of work,” says Hines. “Learn how to know vintage dates, identify their ages, and learn about the different fabrics, zippers, and features that help you narrow down the year, all of which you had to learn yourself. So I want to be the mentor of another black woman who is about to get started. “

Building relationships with people to procure and place special pieces and materials was important to Hines. Here it is important to foster sisterhood and cooperation.

“I believe it belongs to any space where you find yourself,” she said. “I’m a women’s show, but I’ve also built a lot of great relationships to help when I need to find something unique.” She works with the production team on several upcoming projects. I’m working on styling, but I can’t share the details yet. “One of them is related to Viola Davis. I can only say that!”

Returning to Houston and preparing to release a random and chic Y2K collection, Hill stopped to marvel at the quality of his work. She incorporated stitches, materials and construction. “This is high fashion for me,” she said. “Seriously, think about what they said. Fufu. For us, by us. It’s a very powerful statement.”

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