Vintage fashion in style

SAN ANTONIO – Vintage is in vogue. 

Whether you're into glam or funk, mod or big, bold shoulder pads, you can find fashion to fit your retro vibe as more and more small businesses peddling nostalgia pop up. 

"I feel like people are waking up to sustainable fashion, and just because something is new, that doesn't mean it's necessarily better," said Whitney Scott, who runs Wingtip Betty. 

Scott was among some 40 vintage vendors setting up for an event called Bricktopia at the Brick at the Blue Star Complex in Southtown. The free event runs from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday.

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Vendors are peddling throwback clothing, jewelry, magazines, hats and even art made out of old eight-track and cassette tapes. 

It seems nostalgia sells. According to the resale industry,  secondhand fashion alone is as much as an $18 billon a year business and is growing. 

Scott said her buyers range from junior high age to the older generation.  But, it's the under-20 crowd that is really into vintage finds, she said.

"A family will walk in and mom will say, 'I wore that in high school. Why do you want this?' and the kid is, like, 'No, mom, it's hip. I swear,'" Scott said. 

Shopping for second-hand items is nothing new. It got a big boost during the Great Recession as people looked to save money. Ten years later, it still has broad appeal, although the reasons may have shifted.

"People are becoming more socially conscious and understanding that fabrics that are used to make fast fashion aren't biodegradable and stay around way too long," said Ann Enzminger, of Mermaid Farm. 

From so-called mom jeans to big jackets,  fashion of the '90s is especially popular, according to the vendors. 

Frugality and eco-consciousness aside, vendors said many people just like the fun of finding something unique.

Quality is also a big factor, Enzminger said. 

"They don't make it like they used to," she said. 

About the Authors:

Marilyn Moritz

Providing information that betters someone's life. That's what Marilyn Moritz likes the most about her job.