Though I’m a typical broke college student, I still can’t help but gawk at the clothes and accessories from Free People. Recently, while scouring their website, I came across a tab at the top of the page titled Vintage Loves, and now I’m beating myself up for not discovering this sooner.
Little did I know at the time, but Free People’s Vintage Loves has become one of the biggest vintage businesses out there, each piece getting as many as 1,000 clicks. Intrigued, I got in touch with Vintage Loves Buyer, Ali to learn more about the business and where exactly the pieces came from.
When Vintage Loves started, it featured mostly simple vintage slips and hippie-inspired looks. Today, the business expanded its horizons to include other pieces that appeal to a much bigger audience – from those who dress like a tomboy or super feminine and flirty, and everyone in between.
Not only does Vintage Loves sell vintage clothing, but it’s begun to integrate objects as well. Ali recalls a vignette with old records that literally sold out in minutes, and at one point, they even sold a bike. Right now, there’s even a Vintage English Cast Iron Bed Frame up for sale.
Some pieces have been from high-end designers, such as Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, and Mary McFadden, among many others. The website is currently featuring a collection of vintage Missoni pieces.
Ali literally travels the globe, handpicking clothing and items for each collection, as well as attending auctions and flea markets. She also works with a network of individuals who buy, sell, and trade vintage clothing.
During her search, Ali makes sure to buy pieces that are easily integrated with Free People’s clothing line.
For now, Vintage Loves are only available on Free People’s website. Some of the pieces are a little bit on the expensive side, but they’re priced reasonably considering how special they are, and the extent that Free People’s buyer had to go through to obtain them.
New vignettes are added to the website every two weeks, and according to Ali, the items fly out the door faster than you can imagine. The vignettes are completely interactive, every specific comment or inquiry on an item is addressed directly by a Free People representative, and each item’s condition is evaluated on a scale ranging from “fair” to “mint.”
Though these pieces may be out of your price range for the most part, as they are for me, I still love pondering who used to wear this pretty lace party dress in the 50s or who used to rock this cut off, zebra print denim vest.
Last week, PW Style invited readers to submit any sort of DIY fashion or design project they were working on for the chance to have it featured on the blog. Sadly, only one reader accepted this invitation. This would have been much more disappointing however had that reader not been Veronika of Tick Tock Vintage.
Not only has the South Philly resident and third grade teacher amassed an enviable wardrobe of amazing vintage finds, but her expertise on second-hand shopping and restyling garments has been solicited by websites and magazines like Seventeen, ModCloth and Forever 21’s The Skinny.
On her blog, Veronika shares advice and photos of her latest alterations and thrifting adventures as well as her love of Philadelphia. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent the last few days just going through her beautiful photos of the city and very vintage wedding (which included many items that she re-purposed or handmade). You can also see and purchase some of her thrifted finds on Tick Tock Vintage Closet.
“Whenever I take a trip somewhere, I always Google thrift stores in the area,” Veronika says. If a garment doesn’t look or fit quite right, the skilled seamstress will find a way to make it work. “My mom taught me to sew when I was five or six and I would make costumes for my guinea pigs,” she laughs.
Should you see her creations below and and suddenly feel inspired to revamp your own garments, Veronika offers this piece of advice: “It’s best to keep projects simple if you’re just starting out—work on just hemming a skirt or changing out buttons.”
So anyway, without further adieu, I present Veronika’s three latest DIY style projects…
XXXL Choir Robe to Mini-dress
“It was an XXXL choir robe-ish dress with giant shoulder pads, the frumpiest neckline and possibly the worst sleeves ever. I first took the white panel in the bodice apart and cut it much shorter. I made the sleeves shorter, took the bottom hem up, and made the overall dress smaller.” More…
Suede Skirt to Clutch with Tassels
“It was a pretty simple project; I wanted a triangle shape at the bottom of the purse, like a real envelope. I also wanted to incorporate tassels somehow, and decided to use them as a weight to keep the top flap closed. The suede was not very stiff, so I cut Ikea placemats ($2.99 for a set of four) to the size of the rectangles in the front and attached it with spray adhesive. You can’t tell that they are there because the lining covers it all.” More…
Early 80’s pioneer woman dress to Russian sarafan-inspired dress
“I used RIT dye to change the color. I was originally going for navy blue but the color didn’t seem to hold very well. After washing, it turned to this light cornflower blue, which I’m okay with. I searched Jomar for colorful trim and added it along the waist, neckline, sleeves, and hem. There are five different kinds of trim in all.” More…