Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Real vs. Fake The Debate Goes On

When someone tells me how horrible fur is I first tell them that I wear vintage fur.  Vintage clothing whether it's fur or any other material  is  an eco-friendly recycled substance. The vintage  piece has not been produced using modern forms of energy, labor or trapping.  Which more often than not are harmful socially and environmentally.   When that person gets super wrapped up in the inhumane treatment of an animal that's been dead for over twenty years and proclaims faux fur I then ask them for a  social and ecological breakdown  of their outfit.  How much environmental waste was produced in the making of your new faux fur piece?  Try a gallon of oil.  How much water was used? Try 40 million gallons. What is the amount of toxic runoff used by textile factories to create that piece? Was your piece made in the US? Chances are it wasn't which means you are participating in the loss of American union jobs, and most likely  you are stimulating   child labor along with  inhumane tactics overseas.  I once had a woman  wearing both  a faux  fur coat and  fake Coach bag   proudly proclaiming it's purchase   in Chinatown. To go along with the bag and the fake fur  her entire outfit  read like a who's who of third world countries. I gave a little breakdown on her bag and how it helps to fund modern day slavery, the sex trade, and or probably terrorism as many of those international crimes are known for receiving their funds from counterfeit merchandise. She attempted to tear me down for my vintage fur, I told her that her faux fur's composition was plastic and was therefore not biodegradable and had created a number of environmental hazards for thousands of years to come. I then asked her is it okay to wear clothing that says I don't care what happens to jobs in the US, or humans in other countries. I worry about animals and not working class people or people from poorer nations who don't look like me.  Vintage fur is vintage clothing and is  environment friendly. Think about that the next time you purchase a brand new faux fur piece or any new article of clothing. Ask yourself, what is the carbon footprint and what is my social responsibility.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The One That Didn't Get Away

At my last Vintage Shaun sale, a client  stated to me that I kept all the good stuff for myself. I was  shocked, as I know for a fact that some of my most favorite pieces I have parted ways with in a bittersweet way. To quote The Notorious B.I.G. "Never get high on your own supply." It would be  sabotage for me to hold on to pieces for the sake of my vanity rather than to be a prosperous business.   Now, there are pieces that I choose to hold on to for archival reasons, I have quite a few projects in the works and some pieces are more educational and inspirational than anything else.   Between inventory and archives, there is one piece I can't fathom parting ways with.

The vest seen above was originally a coat. Found in horrible condition it was listed as being constructed in 1959 some fifty plus years ago. The sleeves were hanging on by a thread. The collar was worn and there were rips and tears all throughout.  What many  would have passed on,  I saw a diamond in the rough. If  it was unable to be salvaged to it's original state, I would have happily reworked it  into something more modern.  Luckily, I took it to an amazing  craftsman who brought this piece back  to life. An older gentleman with a great eye and very knowledgeable of fashion, crafted it into the long vest seen above and encouraged me to wear it with a contrasting jacket underneath to bring out the beauty of this piece. Even with a pair of jeans and combat boots it's a rather luxurious garment. Vintage just happens to be glamorous because we live in casual times.  I never thought about selling this and I've gotten a number of offers. Maybe it's sentiment or rather the rarity but this vest will just have to stay with me for the time being. Sorry not, for sale.