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Vintage styles ranging from the 1960s to the early 2000s are returning and creating a boom in vintage shopping

Yasmin+Morales+works+the+counter+of+Generation+Cool%2C+while+Carlos+Morales+checks+out+the+vintage+arcade+games.
Ellen Nangia

Yasmin Morales works the counter of Generation Cool, while Carlos Morales checks out the vintage arcade games.

As students face pandemic life, some have found themselves exploring the depths of fashion. What is more entertaining than raiding fossils found at the bottom of mom and dad’s closet or a rummage sale? Vintage styles are returning in full force, and students and businesses around campus have prepared for the renewal.

Kiersten Russo, a junior at the University of Arizona, is studying neuroscience and cognitive science. She is a digital creator and small business owner of Desert Bee Vintage. She finds and resells sustainable, slow fashion vintage items on her Instagram.

Russo said she believes that shopping eco-friendly has become increasingly popular and the return of older styles supports sustainability, unique fashion choices and the pleasure of finding one-of-a-kind pieces.

She started selling her secondhand finds for those who feel that thrifting is an unsuccessful and tiring trip. However, when it comes to affordability versus sustainability, students often still opt for fast fashion, as explained by Russo.   

“The draw of fast fashion is still hard to steer away from, and I do still purchase from non-sustainable brands sometimes,” Russo said. 

Russo’s current hunting ground consists of Goodwill, Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange, as they offer her a range of unique pieces. 

“I would say about 75% of my closet has come from those stores,” Russo said. 

RELATED: Thrift shopping gaining traction in clothing industry

Generation Cool is an eccentric vintage store run by “Slobby Robby,” located on Fourth Avenue. Carlos Morales, an intern at the long-established store, explained their flamboyant and trendy take on true vintage items. 

According to Morales, the appeal of vintage shopping comes from changes in pop culture as people want the opportunity to return to the good old days. 

“Up until phones and the abundance of technology, pop culture and sports were at their high,” Morales said. 

Generation Cool sells classics, from vintage action figures to high-end clothing. The walls are plastered with T-shirts and sweatshirts ranging from $30 to $1,000. 

Yasmin Morales, Carlos Morales’s sister, is a UA student and has worked at the store for over a year. According to Yasmin Morales, there is a huge interest in Generation Cool’s products because of their scarcity. 

People pay top dollar because the “general public isn’t supposed to have it,” Yasmin Morales said, commenting on one of their most expensive pieces, a $1,000 Yo MTV Raps Leather Jacket. 

Some vintage items are meant to be everyday apparel but others are statement pieces. Whether in support of sustainability or the commotion of wearing an eye-catching ensemble, thrifting has come back as the most trendy way to shop. 

Check out Desert Bee Vintage and Generation Cool on Instagram for more information and inspiration. 


Follow Ellen Nangia on Twitter 


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