Vintage is fashion's best asset. While new with tags — a.k.a. NWT — is a way of life for many folks, others are eager to own something someone else already wore, because it's better for the planet, more personal and a wearable piece of history. With vintage, shoppers discover one of one band and commemorative T-shirts. But, with the industry's growth comes competition — the good stuff is increasingly harder to find.
Cue: Local Vyntage, a Boston-based brand that creates merch for bygone businesses.
On the brand's site, you can shop by city; for now, Local Vyntage services Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, New Haven, NY, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Springfield, Tallahassee, Tampa, Washington DC and Worcester. However, you can also shop by closest area. The store will then cater the selections to your current location, pulling T-shirts and sweatshirts from stores, restaurants and other destinations that might overlap.
For Pittsburgh, for example, where I live, there are tees for the old Kaufmann's department store (a precursor to Macy's): two demolished venues, Three Rivers Stadium and Civic Arena; and Hills, a discount store that closed in 1999. In other cities there are odes to old amusement parks, tributes to tape rental stores, homages to famous pharmacies and references to sunken ski resorts.
According to Local Vyntage founder Chet Winnicki, his brand is less about resurrecting old IP — to be frank, I don't know if what he's doing is technically legal — and more about resurfacing uniquely American memories we all have stored deep inside our psyches. Local Vyntage is "about celebrating your local memories," he says. "We know how much you love to reminisce about the good old days and all the things that make your city unique. It’s part of who we are. We want to connect people and help them share their memories."