As a teenager, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James used to collect vintage sports jerseys. It’s how he met his now agent Rich Paul, according to Lebron a book written by Jeff Benedict. James was interested in Paul’s Houston Oilers jersey when they bumped into each other at the Akron, Ohio airport.
Vintage clothing has recently become a trend and exploded onto the fashion scene with the likes of Bad Bunny and Snoop Dogg wearing vintage clothes. Vintage sports clothes from the 1980s and 1990s are some of the most popular among collectors, with some best-selling pieces of clothing fetching a price tag of hundreds of dollars.
Vintage Clothing is considered clothing from a previous decade generally over 20 years old. Other than for the aesthetic, one reason that vintage clothing is so popular is that many of the pieces that are sold are rare with few duplicates of the same piece according to Jessica Oliver of Two Shot Clothing.
In Nebraska, many of the vintage pieces of clothing sold involve Nebraska Athletics, especially the formidable Nebraska football teams from the 1990s that won three national titles.
Singles Stich Lnk is an Instagram page, owned by Dawson Coudriet, with more than 4,000 followers. After he resold vintage clothing for extra money, he turned it into a large, vintage clothes-selling business, as a verified Depop seller.
“I have always been into fashion and sneakers,” Coudreit said. “I started reselling vintage when a friend of mine got me into it. I was just looking for something different from what you get at the mall to add to my closet.”
Many of the pieces of clothing that are re-sold by vintage sellers are found for cheap at either second-hand stores or at estate sales. But it takes much more than just buying a piece and turning around to sell it to make money quickly.
“Some people think that you can just walk into a second-hand store and find a piece that will get you rich quick,” Coudreit said. “When I go out looking for pieces sometimes, I spend all day looking and only find maybe one or two pieces to resell. Sourcing is a big part of what I do, and it takes time to build the relationships I have.”
Courdriet has pop-up sales on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus quite regularly, where he sells almost only exclusively Nebraska vintage clothing.
“Nebraska vintage is popular everywhere in the United States,” he said. “But since I’m from Nebraska a lot of my sourcing from other places sell me their Nebraska pieces. Being from Nebraska I know how big Husker athletics are. The on-campus sales I do are some of my biggest days of the year.”
Home2Home is an estate-selling business in Lincoln that sees a lot of vintage clothing at their sales. With vintage clothing becoming more popular they have seen more resellers coming to their sales.
“It seems to always be young people that are into the vintage clothing that we sell,” Leia Noel owner of Home2Home said. “We have seen the popularity of vintage clothing rise a lot in the last three to four years.”
Though Noel said she knows that vintage clothes are popular she can’t put her finger on why exactly old clothes are so popular.
“When I look at the clothes, I see things that I would have worn over 30 years ago,” Noel said. “I just don’t understand it. Lots of the Nebraska clothing we sell are from teams in the 90s, teams that these kids weren’t alive to see. The only thing I can figure out is that they want something unique.”
When Home2Home set up for a sale it tries to take into account the vintage clothing that is there and market it on its Facebook page. The hope is to get resellers to come for the clothes. It works too with vintage resellers lining up outside the sale before it opens.
“When we first open a sale on the weekend it can be a little bit of a mad rush with the amount of people trying to find the items they want,” Noel said. “We always try to put the vintage clothes in the areas that are accessible, and since we see most of the resellers every week, we try to direct them to the items they are interested in.”
Noel said that the vintage clothes they have can be valuable, but she tries to try to refrain from making the prices of the vintage clothing too high.
“When we set up for a sale, we only have a couple of days we are there to sell the items so we still want to make sure as much as possible gets sold,” Noel said. “Now though we do know that Nebraska and other sports team’s items are worth more and due price those a little higher than the rest of the vintage clothing.”
When going to vintage clothing shows like the one that The Bay, in Lincoln, hosts every month you see all kinds of people. They all have different reasons for getting into vintage clothing.
“I just wanted something that was unique,” Conner Miller an avid vintage clothes collector said. “I’ve always liked the old-school look of a lot of the sports teams from the 1990s.”
According to the resellers, the most popular pieces in vintage clothing are of the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls teams or NASCAR pieces from the early 2000s when Dale Earnhardt Sr. and a young Jeff Gordon ruled the sport a bygone era for many of the young people that are into vintage clothing.
“No, I don’t follow NASCAR nor am I old enough to remember Michael Jordan but the pieces of clothing from that area have a lot of color to them and really pop,” Miller said. “I think those pieces from that era are popular just because they are so different with the colors and designs they have.”
Vintage sports clothes have always been around for those who were into it. Lebron was into it over twenty years ago and it is still a trend. Nebraska may just be catching on to the trend but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t here to stay.