It’s been a while, let’s say years, since I’ve had the chance to go vintage shopping and actually fallen in love with a piece. As most of you know, I started my journey into the digital realm with my online vintage store and quickly built a business for myself by selling vintage and second hand pieces I had naturally accumulated over the years.
There’s always going to be an on-going battle of keeping my content aspirational yet attainable as I get older, my taste evolves and my career grows, so naturally my income does to. I acknowledge that I began with vintage by wearing pieces that I found in thrift stores for five or ten dollars. At the time I was 19, I’d been living out of home since I was 18 and working as a retail manager whilst studying and interning. To say I had disposal income was hilarious – every dollar was accounted for and it took me a year after I graduated high school to save the money I needed to invest in my own private education and to pay off my car loan.
I started in vintage as a way to express myself as an individual as a young teenager trying to find herself, but deep down perhaps I was also so drawn to it because it was what I could realistically afford and allowed me to indulge in my love for fashion without being late to pay my rent. Although I enjoy investing in high quality and luxury pieces these days, I always keep in the back of my mind to style it with pieces that are still affordable like these blue jeans.
A reader recently wrote that I wasn’t realistic for wearing luxury items because my young readers couldn’t afford these pieces, to which I explained that if you can’t afford the exact same piece, I hope it simply gives you the inspiration to find a similar piece and style it in a similar way. I stopped wearing vintage many moons ago because so many of you were complaining that you couldn’t purchase the item. Now, people complain that I’ve changed and I don’t wear it anymore. As I touched on before – it’s an on-going battle.
I hope you all know that I question daily the content I’m creating, the activities I’m doing and the clothes that I’m wearing. I acknowledge that some experiences are surreal (if you’re rolling your eyes about being #blessed don’t worry, I am too) and I acknowledge that we’re living in such a strange and over saturated time for the fashion and media industries. Despite my career shifting in ways I never predicted (I set out to build an e-commerce empire with Gary Pepper Vintage), I still can acknowledge where I started and appreciate how this is the core of who I am as a person and my story so far.
The point of this story was really to reflect on how I began in vintage and how stories can come full circle. I can’t believe after all these years I can still feel this way about vintage. I can’t believe after all of the pieces I own this coat is one of the most commented on.
If you’re still here and you’re still reading, I just want you to know that I am so grateful for your support and for being on this strange journey with me. My goal has always been to inspire others with my work, my outlook on life and how I see the world through the Gary Pepper lens.
I guess what I’m trying to say is; thank you.
Photographer: Carin Olsson