VINTAGE ON MARKET
Available at Spaceboy Clothing, 711 N. Market St., www.spaceboyclothing.com
The items on the vintage wall at Spaceboy Clothing have lifespans that have extended far beyond the intentions of their original owners… the men who wore those leather jackets, the family that posed in front of that Ansco Readyflash camera, the babies who slept in cribs under the watchful eye of a golden angel playing violin, and yes, that person who woke up one morning and thought “You know what this room really needs? A big, frilly bust of a conquistador.”
All those people have grown, aged, changed. Some are undoubtedly gone. But the things they left behind create tangible connections to the past, and Noah Gabriel has been gathering those connections for most of his life. The co-owner at Spaceboy has organized the vintage side of the store since Spaceboy opened eight years ago, and though his personal tastes lean toward ‘50s collectibles, the selection for sale is far more eclectic than that.
Noah spoke with us about what’s old and what’s hot and why they’re the same thing:
“I've always collected vintage stuff. It's something I've always done, going to auctions and yard sales and thrift stores, whatever. When we first got into business here on Market Street, nobody understood what we were doing. They'd would just come in and say ‘What are you selling? Old clothes?’ And I would say ‘Yeah, if they're vintage.’”
“Right now, it's like 1997 again. The kids come in with box cuts and African chains and a lot of the stuff that was popular in urban culture in the ‘90s is popular again. And in ‘97, the ‘60s were popular, so some of the '60s styles are coming around. “
“It’s mostly youth coming in and buying the clothing. They're just starting to understand vintage and wearing something that's older, and they’re starting to want unique pieces that they can't find everywhere else, mixed in with new things.
“Vintage jackets, army jackets, are very big. They've always been big. But finding ones from the Vietnam era or earlier is becoming more difficult, because when Operation Desert Storm rolled around, the patterns of the camouflage changed to a newer, more digital-looking style. That classic Vietnam military style is very popular.”
“But the biggest thing that’s a surprise to me is how many people my age, in our 30s and 40s, bring their kids in and say ‘Hey, this is a telephone. ‘ Or ‘this is television, this is a camera, this is when they used to be separate things.’ It’s funny to see people of our generation have to explain to their children what a camera is. It’s almost like it’s a history lesson.”