A product can be defined as authentically vintage if, in addition to reflecting the charm of the past, it has some requirements related to the aesthetic and manufacturing rarity of that product:
Date: it is necessary to consider the age of objects and garments. Products can be defined as vintage if they date back at least two decades earlier (20 years earlier) to the contemporary period. Where the products are older than a century (10 decades or 100 years earlier), we speak of antiques.
Quality: the products are characterized by a design and a fine manufacturing, as well as being difficult to reproduce. Often vintage products are “unique pieces”, when referring to handmade objects. The fact that the product is of high quality is a fundamental requirement whether it belongs to a well-known brand or to an unidentifiable manufacturer.
Style representative of a specific era: the products are often iconic products, which embody the social and customs characteristics of a specific era. This is why many vintage objects, which identify designers and artists and a particular historical moment, become works exhibited in museums. It is precisely the link with the past that gives the products a particular value and often distinguishes them from the counterparts produced in the contemporary era, created in series and widely available.
Brand: to define a product as vintage it is not essential that it belongs to a famous brand because the name refers to the intrinsic quality of the product. At the same time, over time pieces have been created that, precisely because of the designers who created them or the testimonials who made them famous, have become iconic and have remained famous in the collective imagination, becoming the most sought after, desired and renowned.
Merchandise rarity: due not only to its unrepeatability in the contemporary market but also to the materials used in the production of the product - which have fallen into disuse or have become unobtainable - or to the production process, based on particular processes that are no longer carried out today due to the excessive cost.
Vintage clothing is a sector within the second-hand clothing industry that is showing steady growth and it is a popular choice in contemporary fashion circle with high end consumers, celebrities and press, all taking a keen interest in second hand choices.
There is evidence that in the field of fashion, in particular, wearing a vintage dress is a stance: recycling the existing to be sustainable. In fact an influence can be attributed to growing ecological and ethical concerns among consumers. Because vintage fashion mainly consists of second-hand garments, it doesn’t involve the production of new ones; secondly, choosing to wear vintage fashion helps consumers break the vicious cycle of fast fashion trends; finally most retro garments were actually made to last, much like sustainable fashion. So, choosing vintage clothes will usually allow you to reduce waste. In practice, the interest in vintage is part of the intertwining of change, time and circularity which is the exemplification of an eternal return of the imperfect where nothing reappears externally as it was.