This Couple Turned A Vintage Clothes Gig Into An E-Store, Sold 36K Items
Clicking on Vintagewknd’s online clothing store is like transporting yourself to the late 90s / early 2000s.
Their collections feature outfits inspired by pop culture classics like Archie Comics, Barbie and even Winnie the Pooh.
Nostalgic trends from yesteryear are curated with the discerning eye of a contemporary fashionista: think of Emily in Paris-inspired looks and cottagecore outfits.
From bespoke corsets to floral-print ruffled skirts, Vintagewknd is determined to make vintage accessible to everyone.
“While other brands cater almost exclusively to the interests of the niche audience (like hypewear, classic vintage styles from the 70s-80s), we have always strived to make our clothing a sustainable alternative on the market. fast fashionable mass market, ”says Eileen Tan, Co-founder of Vintagewknd.
“We wanted to create an appreciation for vintage styles in modern fashion.”
Turning savings into a full-time job
Eileen and her co-founder and partner Eden Tay were only 23 when they first launched Vintagewknd in 2015.
The brand started with an initial investment of just S $ 2,000. “At that point, I had just finished my university studies and Eden was just starting her studies,” said Eileen.
“At first, Eden and I worked on Vintagewknd as a side concert, a kind of little passionate project on Carousell. We did it all on our own.
Between 2016 and 2018, the duo held full-time jobs. In addition to running Vintagewknd part-time, Eileen was working full-time in an oil and gas company and Eden was completing her college degree.
In December 2018, the two took the plunge and launched Vintagewknd as a full-time project.
We started to experiment a lot more with new products, reworked items and external pop-up stores. We also went from a home facility to an office, hiring our first full-time employees.
– Eileen Tan, co-founder of Vintagewknd
To date, Vintagewknd has relocated over 36,000 vintage and reworked items.
A social media brand, the online store has 28,000 Instagram subscribers, with more than 30,000 online store visits per month.
Sustainable fashion for the masses
“It was a pretty natural process for us to think about thematic collections,” says Eileen. “Since we’re all 90s / 00s kids on the team, we’re certainly not short of ideas and pop culture references.”
Vintagewknd is a treasure trove of pieces inspired by children’s shows that define the era. Kim Possible has a dedicated section of knitwear, polo shirts and sweatpants built around the teen crime-fighting aesthetic.
Fairy-obsessed adults can find respite from the brand’s crop tops, cropped skirts and contrasting-colored jeans so often seen in popular Winx Club animation.
“These references to children’s TV shows / cartoons really resonate with our audience. It’s also fun for us to revisit our childhood / teenage obsessions! “
Right now, everything popular on Tiktok and Instagram is setting the defining trends for 2020, Eileen says. Social media is driving ‘hard and fast’ trends, and new trends are popping up every week.
Street styles from the 90s and 2000s, as well as vintage alarm clocks via the cottagecore aesthetic, have been all the rage for some time. Think of scarves as tops, bell bottom jeans and peasant style blouses.
“Social media… is by far the most effective way to reach as many people as possible every day,” says Eileen.
“It also allows our customers to form communities that revolve around our brand, (via a) Telegram community group… or IG Lives.”
Despite Vintagewknd’s fast-fashion aesthetic, the brand has remained remarkably true to its mission of sustainable, accessible fashion.
Eden and Eileen travel “a few times a year” to find articles and to liaise with contacts abroad.
This includes creating a network of individuals to process and pre-sort vintage items directly at garment and fabric waste collection factories, largely in Japan, the United States, Hong Kong and d ‘Europe.
We work exclusively with existing materials and do not produce any new fabrics. We sell items in their original condition or rework them to fit current trends.
– Eileen Tan, co-founder of Vintagewknd
Economy has less impact on the environment than fast fashion
The barrier to entry for vintage wear is low, Eileen says. “We are aware of the many small stores that do thrift stores and sell on social media, and some are doing it very well too!”
Thrifty brands have become all the rage as a rising generation of eco-conscious shoppers are turning to second hand clothing instead of fast fashion brands for their style solution.
Prolifing on telegram channels, Instagram dashboards, and even Pinterest boards, local vintage stores are known to source and sell clothes that can cost as low as S $ 2 to over S $ 600 a piece.
Limited-edition branded items from brands like adidas, Nike and other pop culture brands have circulated the internet, attracting consumers whose niche tastes are quickly becoming mainstream.
“Success for us before is very different from what success means for us now… I would say the climb gets harder and harder as we continue to scale up and refine our processes,” Eileen continues.
Vintagewknd, a primarily online store, shares entirely virtual relationships with its customers. “Our brand has a laid back tone and we believe in building community.”
“We’re also focusing more on creating content that also allows the customer to experience our articles virtually,” she says.
Despite the virtual concentration, Vintagewknd made his turn in physical space. The brand has participated in ARTBOX, Geylang Bazaar, mall events and monthly inside sales, with the next event scheduled for November.
Vintagewknd could also launch a “traveling” store in the future, popping up at events and malls around the island.
However, its founders remain “convinced” of the viability of a permanent physical store. “But we’re certainly not ruling it out,” says Eileen.
“We definitely believe that (the vintage economy and fashion industry) will grow. We would like to be a gateway… (for) consumers (to) enjoy current fashion without harming the environment.
Featured Image Credit: Vintagewknd
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