Euphoria: Vintage in the Modern World

Like most people, I came across ‘thrifting’ accidentally: in my YouTube recommendations eight years ago. I saw videos upon videos of people looking through piles of old clothing in search of that one good piece. Now, I find myself doing the same at thrift stores throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The pinnacle of thrifting could be seen culturally, especially through Euphoria, an HBO show from the showrunner Sam Levinson. 

Heidi Bivens, the costume designer for the show, has said in an interview with Fashionista that most of the clothes consisted of “vintage pieces… [that] had a timeless quality to them”. Insisting on “using vintage pieces that don’t necessarily look vintage, like it could be from today”, Bivens adds to the original look of the show and the realistic style in Euphoria.
Barbie Ferreira's character, Kat Hernandez, wears a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier shirt. 

Zendaya's character, Rue Bennett, wears a vintage Pineapple Connection Hawaiian shirt. 

Alexa Demie's character, Maddy Perez, wears vintage Dolce & Gabbana jeans. (all photos from shopyourtv) 

Biven’s approach hints at some of the main reasons as to why people (such as myself) enjoy thrifting so much. Besides its overall benefits on the environment, for many, thrifting is more about the hunt. The search for that one good piece is well worth the time spent looking through piles and piles of clothes. Many shoppers come out of stores with unique pieces not on the current market, often at a fraction of the cost at retail value. 

Thrifting in major cities, such as New York and California, is relatively easy; however, I know a lot of major cities may not have access to a wide selection of thrift stores.

This is where the online market has fulfilled this void. For people who do not have access to vintage stores, such as Beacon's Closet, L Train Vintage, Melrose Vintage, or Buffalo Exchange, the online market has exploded with a variety of options. Online marketplaces such as Depop, eBay, and Etsy are easy ways to thrift online. The most important tip is to be extra precise with measurements. Even Urban Outfitters revamps vintage pieces with their Urban Renewal collection. 

What's even more interesting about the cultural impact of thrifting and vintage options is its infiltration into the luxury market. Places such as Treasures of NYC, RE/DONE, and What Comes Around Goes Around specializes in providing vintage luxury pieces. Specifically, RE/DONE remakes vintage jeans and re-sells them. 

The one thing I can say is that if you want a vintage piece to act quickly and remember, if you missed out on a piece, there will be another piece that may be as equally desirable. I find that people who are iffy about thrifting and vintage shopping overall are more uncomfortable about the idea of wearing someone else's clothes. 

I always thought of it like this: if you've ever had hand-me-downs from an older sibling, extended family member, or friend, then you have participated in some form of thrifting! 

Bivens' styling, which uses what the fashion industry calls a mixture of "high-low", is a modern example of how you can combine new clothes alongside vintage pieces to create new outfits. Personally, I use local thrift stores to find thick cotton flannels. For example, I went to Beacon's Closet in Brooklyn where I found a thick flannel for around $10 that was originally priced at $128. 

It's now become one of my favorite pieces to wear since the weather has changed. Vintage shopping, or thrifting, is here to stay and frankly, I'm glad it is. 

It's a great way to be creative with your wardrobe without shelling out a ton of money to do so (unless you go to one of the more expensive vintage stores but then you are truly getting the cream of the crop vintage stuff but frankly if you're not digging through piles of clothes are you really thrifting?) With this in mind, it easy to conclude that the vintage market spans from a random shirt found at Goodwill to your vintage Fendi bag. Either way, the next time you see a purse you would die for, don't be surprised if you end up hearing, "Oh, this? It's vintage."