The Story of LAV
LA Vintage started from my love of vintage clothing. There is so much cool clothing already on this planet, you’ve just got to find it. It just makes sense to use what’s already here, before making more.
It was the beginning of 2019 and I was working part-time at Stirling Sports Riccarton, I was given the opportunity to trial putting two racks of my own vintage in the store.
I knew about the Rose Bowl, the Melrose Trading Post and all the vintage stores in West Hollywood. So I knew that LA was the place I had to go to source my American vintage. I booked a ticket to LA with my brother, took some empty suitcases and we left.
The first trip we didn’t know anyone or how we were going to source the vintage, but by the end of the two weeks we had filled up our suitcases and headed home.
We spent a lot of 2019 up in LA making connections with people and finding the best supply of American vintage.
Our connections up in LA supply most of the vintage stores you know from all over the world. We saw how worldwide the vintage movement was, we met buyers from Japan, England, Australia and all over the US.
We arrived back in NZ with our suitcases full of vintage.
I had to figure out all the logistics of laundering, tagging and physically getting our clothing into store.
When we saw it in Stirling Sports Riccarton for the first time we felt super proud, but also extremely nervous, (we had spent all of our money and time turning this dream into a reality). Luckily we sold out in a week or so, that’s when I knew we were onto something and we had to go back and source some more!
Other Stirling Sports stores saw how much people were loving the vintage and also wanted to stock our brand. The next trip up we were buying for 5 stores, that continued to snowball and only two years later we’re stocked in over 40 stores and started selling through our own website.
The first few shipments of vintage all arrived at our house. We were sorting, sending to the laundromat, tagging and boxing up orders for stores all from our living room.
My parents thought we were crazy having all this vintage clothing taking over our house. We processed one delivery to go out to Stirling stores in rugby club rooms, using help from friends over the summer and used some temporary office spaces, until we realised we needed something more permanent. That’s when we started planning for our first store.
We opened our first LA Vintage store in April this year. We decided to open it in a mall because we wanted to bring vintage clothing to everyone and make it super accessible. It felt right to finally give people an alternative to fast fashion in a big shopping centre.
That takes us to today! We have some really exciting things coming later this year. Thanks to you guys we can continuing to recycle, reuse and re-love clothing.