In recent years, shopping vintage has shifted from strictly classic (1970s fashion and earlier) to the new embrace of 1980s fashion and 1990s trends as what many in the industry call “contemporary vintage.”
With a new generation of vintage lovers discovering secondhand style and unleashing their finds on digital marketplaces online, the ’80s and ’90s are leaving a stronger impression of “vintage” on everyone and anyone who wears vintage fashion.
The birth of ASOS Marketplace illustrates just how the contemporary vintage industry has grown. This United Kingdom based e-tailer opened a secondhand marketplace for the sales of vintage, secondhand and independent designs in 2010 to offer customers of its modern fashion offerings the chance to curate and sell collections of their own fashion tastes. What transpired after launch was an attraction of sellers and buyers of mostly ’80s-’90s contemporary vintage styles.
So after exploring ASOS Marketplace and discovering its great contemporary fashion finds, I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you so you could check out these shops for yourself. And if you’re a seller? Perhaps their success will inspire you to reach a new audience of buyers by selling your collection on ASOS Marketplace.
While Etsy, eBay, Yardsellr and other online marketplaces remain the go-to destinations to buy and sell vintage in the United States, ASOS represents an emerging international market of vintage sellers predominantly based in the United Kingdom but also representing sellers from around the world.
With more than 400 UK-based boutiques and 25 from the US already selling on ASOS, there’s no doubt this marketplace is growing to become one of the go-to contemporary vintage destinations on the world wide web.
Is this the first time you’ve heard of ASOS Marketplace?
Contemporary Trend #1: Colored Suits
‘80s Teal Green Suit, $187.20
There’s nothing more daring – or ’80s – than a head-to-toe colored suit. Especially in teal, this 2-piece is a powerful statement of contemporary vintage style.
This Canadian-based vintage seller also sells on Etsy, but it’s her professional photography with a light-hearted edge of ombre-colored hair and a floral crown that makes Honey Moon one of my favorite contemporary fashion muses on ASOS right now.
Contemporary Trend #2: Art Deco Style Sequin Jackets
’80s Art Deco Sequin Jacket, $54.60
The ’80 did the ’20s in all the right ways: Drop waist dresses, beaded chemise frocks and delightful designs a la the Art Deco styling so quintessential of the Flapper look.
This fitted sequin jacket may have been produced in the ’80s but its Art Deco designs (best described as an emphasis on geometrical shapes and architecture) throw it back another 60 years to a Golden Era of fashion.
This American vintage boutique just opened a brick & mortar store in Dallas, Texas. Their contemporary wares (sequins, fringe, feathers, liquid gold and black leather are favs) bring forward only the best styling of recent era’s past.
If in Dallas, visit AA Vintedge at: 109 E. Oak Street, Suite 900 (upstairs at the Opera House), Denton, Texas 76201
Contemporary Trend #3: Southwest Ponchos
Black & White Poncho, $62.40
Ponchos double as short caftans or if worn for practical purposes, an easy pullover for a quick jaunt outside or hanging around the bonfire on a cold summers’ night. Especially when lightly styled (like this subtle Southwest-inspired motif), a poncho can be a great statement piece without needed to say very much with your outfit at all.
In what feels like a revival of the entire wardrobe of Fresh Prince (from Will to Carlton and Ashley to Hillary with some Saved on the Bell saved in for good measure) Disciples Vintage is where the most devout of the ’80s and ’90s worship the street-smart and avant-garde-awesome of this Los Angeles -based vintage shop.
Contemporary Trend #4: Heart Printed Sweaters
’80s style heart patterned sweaters – perhaps secondary in awesomeness to holiday themed sweaters – are ready-to-wear for year-round lovin’, especially when of the oversize variety that can be easily combined with boots and leggings.
Forget e-tailers when you can have some E-Vintage.
With more than 1,500 garments and accessories listed, E-Vintage feels like the department store of ASOS boutiques. It’s no wonder they call themselves the “E” of “Vintage.”
Contemporary Trend #5: Faux Fur Coats
Blonde Faux Fur Coat, $132.60
Faux fur is most always preferred, and especially so when purchased secondhand. Whether you’re buying it from your grandmothers’ era or from just around the style block circa 10 to 30 years ago, investing in a fur is more fashionably functional when its vintage.
Liar, liar … your contemporary vintage outfit is on fire.
The marketing and style aesthetic of LIAR feels a lot like America’s Nasty Gal, who are perhaps eBay’s most prominent story of vintage & secondhand marketplace to self-made company success.
And with ASOS so new to the scene, whose to say LIAR isn’t next?
Contemporary Trend #6: Leather Biker Shorts
’80s Red Leather Shorts, $54.60
The ’80s did so many things wrong, and then they did just the right amount of things right: Like colored leather biker shorts that need no explanation … only your vintage fashion love.
This London-based brick & mortar focuses on fashion-forward trends that if you didn’t know they were secondhand, feel pulled from the racks of British street-shops like Topshop, River Island or Dorothy Perkins. The store’s team of fashion buyers operate similarly to a modern fashion chain, scouring the globe for garments that no one else has (but everyone wants).
If in London, visit Mint Vintage at: 71-73 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 8EL, U.K
Contemporary Trend #7: Abstract Print Trousers
The extreme prints of ’80s and ’90s ethnic motifs are perfectly downplayed with a solid colored top and subtle shoe or black heel. Especially when of the fitted and tapered kind, a pair of abstract bottoms with such artistic styling as these will gain collector’s value as the years go by.
An American shopper can’t help but smile at Gone Retro’s opening page to its ASOS shop: The kitschy Americana behind a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and Warner Brothers Studio jacket are so bad-they’re-good.
Part of the allure of wearing the ’80s and ’90s is the challenge of seamlessly integrating the ridiculousness of these flashback fashions into your wardrobe. With so much creative inspiration packed into one shop, you’ve got no excuse not to give Going Retro (and the ’80s and ’90s) a stylish shot.
If in England, visit Gone Retro at: 83 High Street, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1AT
MORE WAYS TO SHOP & SELL VINTAGE ONLINE
Other Platforms: Where to Buy Vintage Fashion Online
eBay: ’90s Fashion Trends As Found on eBay
Tophatter: 10 Reasons to Sell on Tophatter Now
Spend Less: How to Get Cheap Vintage Clothing
Careers: How to Work in the Vintage Fashion Industry