Daughter Mona and I were thrilled by yesterday’s USA Today article on “10 Great Places to Shop for Vintage Clothing” for a couple of reasons: Not only was Cur.io Vintage included in the lineup—in some fabulous company to boot—but the very fact that the paper had run the article in the first place spoke to how vital a role vintage fashion now plays in contemporary culture.
As Mona pointed out to me this afternoon, the way we shop has made a very interesting full circle: From “dry goods” stores where clothes and accessories were boxed or in cabinets, to lavishly dressed windows tempting us in off fashionable city streets, to suburban malls with their sensory glut of mass-produced wares, to glossy self-service catalogs that one accesses via phone or internet, to… quirky, one-of-a-kind boutiques stocked with gorgeous, unique, well-made fashions with half a century and more of history behind them. (And the mash-up of Internet Age technology with garments from decades past that is the online clothing shop has to be the ultimate ironic twist!)
Anyway, as wonderful as it was to have a national article drawing up a crosscountry vintage shopping itinerary, I couldn’t help regretting deeply that no mention was made of how many of the shops listed were owned by Vintage Fashion Guild members. So let me take this opportunity to emphasize that point, and to state in no uncertain terms that–whether what you’re after is the perfect vintage piece, or information on a particular vintage label or designer–the VFG truly is the Ultimate Vintage Fashion resource.
Vintage Fashion Guild members are knowledgeable and ethical professionals–on three continents!– “dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vintage fashion” (as the website sums it up). I’ve been a member of the VFG for almost 7 years now (the organization was founded in 2002), and in that time the depth of knowledge and commitment of its members has never ceased to astound me.
VFG members include every kind of vintage fashion professional, from the creme de la creme of online and “bricks and mortar” sellers to stellar authors, museum curators, costumers, and major collectors (and I’m sure there are other categories I’ve overlooked). You can shop member sites via the button named that way on the site’s home page (and be sure to avail yourself of the search tool on the page it links you to, in the blue menu bar on the right–it’s a great way to locate all the available offerings of, say, a 50s novelty print circle skirt). Plus, in addition to the wealth of information on vintage fashion available at the VFG website in the form of articles (linked to on the home page) and the legendary Label Resource, there is lively, ongoing learning on the Forums (where questions about mystery items get addressed by the experts in the relevant genre or period of vintage fashion).
So, to sum up the kudos above—spend some time browsing the information-dense VFG website, and whether you are looking for an online or bricks-and-mortar experience, shop VFG members!
(Here are the 2 photos of Cur.io Vintage that ran in the USA Today article, along with a bonus photo of our March “rainbow of vintage color” window):