Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Three Things We Learned From BoF's Piece on Vintage Fashion

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Vintage Hermes, via BoF

In a recent article, Business of Fashion takes a look at the value of vintage—how it's defined and what makes it cost so much. Here's the breakdown:

What exactly is vintage?
Nowadays, anything that is more than 10 years old can technically be considered vintage. But here's a more nuanced definition, courtesy of Decades owner Cameron Silver: "Vintage implies that it has archival value...When we first opened in 1997, everything had to be at least 30 years old, but now, with such a seismic shift in fashion...some of those pieces that still seem current are certainly collectible." Examples Silver gives include pieces by Tom Ford from the Gucci years, Christophe Decarnin at Balmain, Prada from the mid- to late 2000s, and Phoebe Philo for Céline.

When did it become such a thing?
BoF spoke to a rep from Christies’ auction house, who attributes vintage's current popularity to the red carpet. “Ten years ago, people weren’t wearing vintage Chanel to an Oscar presentation unless they had a pre-existing relationship with the house,” she said. Those celebrity endorsements worked their magic, and soon magazine editorials were working in archival pieces. Now, it's so popular that even upscale department stores carry curated vintage selections: Liberty's Dress Box Vintage and Bergdorf Goodman's Coquette Atelier being two examples.

How is it priced?
In a nutshell, supply and demand. “Whether the piece was a collaboration with an important designer or artist, whether it’s rare, whether it’s still produced, discontinued or re-released: these are all considerations,” explains a rep from Heritage Auctions. “In very basic terms, the most important factors are brand, model, condition, material, and colour—in that order.”

The complete article goes into further depth and is well worth 15 minutes of internet time if you've got it. Check it out here.
· The Art and Science of Valuing Vintage [Business of Fashion]
· Coco Rocha Will Be Wearing Vintage to the Met Ball Tonight [Racked]
· Enjoy a Trip Into Lingerie History With This 1979 Victoria's Secret Catalog [Racked]