Thursday, April 2, 2015

Calling modern-made clothing “vintage” is a disservice to real vintage

Please allow me a small rant. The term vintage applies only to items that were made at least 20 years ago. Why does this distinction matter? What’s the difference when it was made?

Just one example: I’m working on listing a dress, made in the 1950s to early 60s of heavy silk satin with blue velvet flowers. Designed and sewn in the U.S., it was sold in a local department store. The construction is couture quality. Can you go to your local store and find anything like this now? Does the first page of a Google search for “vintage dress” show anything like this? Are any of those Google-search dresses unique?

So maybe you don’t care if your dress is made fancily. I’m not a big label snob myself, but...

Are the new “vintage” dresses on the first page of Google using fewer of our resources? Were they made by fairly paid workers? Will they last?

Does any of this matter? I think it does.


Toiling Ant said...

I agree! This is exactly why I call my designs retro. They are a throwback to former styles, *inspired by* but not accurate copies of mid-century designs (or couture techniques!). I think it's an important distinction.

Unknown said...

Blargh! This makes me crazy! I buy a lot of vintage on ebay/etsy, and am so tired of my search results being polluted with "70s does 20s" or whatever else random association a seller has tried to make. (I realize both of those are vintage eras, but hate the cross-posting that happens!) I'm also tired of sellers trying to pass off modern clothing as vintage. I've gotten more than one dress lately that presented as vintage in pictures, the seller SWORE was vintage, and then ended up being from Anthropologie.

denisebrain said...

Amanda, I go crazy with the scattered results from searching vintage too. I blame sellers who deliberately mislead, but I'm even more peeved that Google's algorithms see fit to weigh vintage-inspired up with vintage. I'm afraid many buyers will not make it past the first page of search.

Toiling Ant, THANK you for making the distinction!