The trend for vintage clothing as fashion exploded in the 1960. Prior to this, the trading and wearing of old clothing had different connotations. All levels of trade in old clothing were well supported by the increasing speed of fashion change from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the growth in consumer availability of these trends. As the commercial constituency for fashion increased, the growth in trade of old clothing was incremental as the quantity of these goods increased.

But vintage clothing was mostly associated with the older folk and frowned upon by the younger generation. However, this has changed, more and more young people have taken to this trend.  Wearing vintage has become a distinguishing marker of individual style. Vintage consumers and vintage retailers appear to share the viewpoint of the movement towards vintage fashion that has been assisted by a reaction against mass-produced fast fashion, as consumers strive for more individuality in their styling and garments.

Vuyokazi Sicwetsha, owner of Vee Vintage Lovers (VVL), started her vintage clothing brand after this realisation. “I noticed that whenever I wear items from my vintage collection, I would always get compliments, even from people I look up to when it comes to fashion. Twice last year I had to give away some of my vintage items because some friends loved the fit. From that point on, I decided to start the business because,” says Vuyokazi.  

The popularity of vintage has also been linked to a change in consumer attitudes towards wearing and utilizing second-hand goods. Because the vintage garment is unique, it also suggests that the wearer is individual, separate from the increasingly and obviously shallow process of fashion.

Vuyokazi describes the VVL customers as bold, confident, elegant and vivacious. “I believe that my consumers stand out from the crowd and whenever they show up in any event, they draw attention and turn heads.”

Alongside the retailers, a cluster of designers have been steadily drawn toward old clothing, either literally, in the reworking of found fabrics or garments, or indirectly, in their swag and dress history to create a modernised style for the post-modern consumer.

“With Vintage fashion, you always win as it’s almost impossible that you’ll see someone wearing the same vintage item. Vintage fashion is timeless! The dresses that I wear can be passed on to generations. Vintage clothes are made from quality fabric that does not lose colour, which means your clothes will last forever.

VVL clothes retail at affordable prices. Their dresses are priced at R250 and skirts atR180 a piece.

For more on the VVL range visit https://www.instagram.com/veevintagelovers/