Vintage Armani, Missoni and Moschino Clothing Leading New Trend in Youth Fashion – WWD
It was predicted that the “hot vax summer” in New York City – when newly vaccinated youth would emerge from more than a year of isolation – would herald a moment of aesthetic excess and opulence in fashion.
And while some shoppers – especially college-aged and younger ones – have gushed for this kind of frosty, glittery pink Y2K revival, there was another more minimal style stream that started to flow. Welcome to the unexpected rebirth of Italian couture.
Old skinny suits, ultra-thin trench coats, logo T-shirts, loafers, unique knits and high-cut pleated pants by brands like Giorgio Armani, Jill Sander, Gianfranco Ferré, Missoni and Moschino find a new generation of fans in the second-hand market and escape the hands of some of vintage’s most avant-garde dealers. Polite, unrestricted, and versatile, these garments – especially models produced in the 1990s and early 2000s – are emerging as a sort of antidote to the cheeky social media fashions of the past 10 years.
“This Instagrammable clothes and shoes thing that is so photogenic but you can’t step an inch in it, I just think it’s such an unbearable place for fashion. I think people have that kind of experience of. real life now and that fantasy doesn’t hold. People are looking for real world clothes, “said Zoë Zissovici, whose offerings are mostly vintage Italian from cult Instagram account Maj Kiosk.
Zissovici, originally from Ithaca, NY, is based in Rome and part of a new generation of American vintage dealers who have moved to Italy to source and sell online to the American public. She, along with other similar resellers, post vintage items in themed “drops” and ships clothing in bulk to a US-based middle man, who then sends individual orders to buyers in the field here. In the tradition of Italian tailoring, much of the clothing she sells in the summer is made of lightweight cotton, linen and silk, while the colder months see heavier pieces in wool and satin.
“Most of my clients are in the United States and mainly in New York, I think in Italy there isn’t as much vintage buying culture. I have made pop-ups here and there is hesitation. He doesn’t have the same hold he has in America, ”she said.
Another similar Italy-based Instagram reseller called The Zoo is run by Christine Messersmith from California and her business partner Will Howell-Jackson from England. They too are sourcing vintage costumes, separate pieces and novelty items from Italy’s vast landscape of open-air second-hand markets – where the supply, at the moment, seems relatively limitless.
“What happened is women in their 40s and 50s put all this Y2K stuff on consignment. I think people think it’s really ugly so there is a lot available [for us to buy]Said Howell-Jackson.
Their clients, also mostly younger buyers based in the United States, “are on the aggressiveness of culture in general and try to downplay their life and make sense of it,” Messersmith said of the evolution towards more streamlined styles.
While the duo sell a lot of items from Blumarine, Roberto Cavalli and other small Italian brands, it is Armani that is the best-selling among American buyers. “A bespoke Armani piece is so timeless that it is a uniform. Armani is something that will sell no matter what, ”Howell-Jackson added. The zoo recently took over a list of US-based vintage stores that they ship wholesale orders of Italian vintage to – a new business strategy they’ve created given the demand here for Italian cuts to. the old one.
For an example, head to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Chickee’s Vintage boutique – frequented by Harry Styles and Zoë Kravitz – has a wall of vintage Italian pants that has become something of a new, uniform destination. Shop owner Kathleen Sorbara attributes this to a post-COVID-19 cultural shift towards comfort and simplicity.
“I think now the trends are moving so quickly and people are going back to basics, minimalism and personal style. Armani specifically is just full of classic silhouettes, ranging from dresses to pants or a button down shirt, you can’t go wrong, ”she said.
Last week, her store released a new collection of vintage Armani suits, dresses and t-shirts in her online store, much of which sells out on the same day.
“It’s the Y2K style, but not the Depop-y genre,” Sorbara said, referring to the cheeky Paris Hilton-type early 2000s styles circulating in more traditional vintage shopping circles. “Because this kind of Y2K is getting so popular, the counterculture is made up of these luxury brands from this era. This is the other side of the coin. “