Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Italian Designers and understanding the meaning of the word "Vintage"

I was out and about the other day treasure hunting for all things wonderful when I came across a new store. There aren't many stores in the area that I haven't been to..since I am afterall, best at the shopping part of what I do. I stopped and went in to see if I should add the store to my must frequently visit list. Upon entering I discovered a plethora of racks chalk full of sweaters, jackets, blazers, dresses and shoes galore.

Quietly I began sorting through the racks. It only took me two or three racks to discover that this was apparently a store that marketed to teenagers only. Now I am a professional shopper and know fully that a unique discovery can be found in the most unlikely of places. I didn't let the disturbing assortment of American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch and WetSeal deter me. For the sake of AlleyKat's, and vintage fashion lovers I continued seraching the racks..hoping to find at the very least ONE designer piece. Who am I kidding, at this point, I would be happy with a wannabe designer.

At some point as I was making my way through the store I caught the attention of one of the store clerks. I am not sure what gave me away. Was it because I was the only person in the store over the age of 15? Maybe it was because I wasn't carrying 45 garments around with me, clinging to them like I had just found the Hope Diamond. Whatever it was, the store clerk took pity on me and came to ask if I needed help.

Store Clerk: "Are you finding everything okay? Is there anything I can help you with?"

Me: " I am actually looking for vintage you have anything by Italian designers?"

Store Clerk: " Sure!. We have lots of different you want to start with the dresses?"

Having peaked my excitement, because I had not yet perused the dresses I happily followed her to the back of the store where she starts thumbing thru a large rack. Pulling a light blue one out she turns it around and hands it to me.

Store Clerk: "How about this one? The color would look great on you."

Me: "Thanks..but it actually looks fairly modern, who is the designer." I ask as I reach for the label.

Store Clerk: "Oh..It's a Mossimo. Quite popular around here."

Okay. So at this point I have to remind myself to close my mouth. The deer in headlight look of horror has taken me over. I couldn't help byt ask myself the same question over and over in my head.

"Did she just say Mossimo?..Did she just say Mossimo?..Did she just say Mossimo?"

I did say Italian designer right? Where am I? Is this one of those trick shows? Is a camera going to jump out and say Gotcha? Something...there has to be some type of rational explanation for this.

I must have been silent for an awkward length of time, or the deer in headlight look of horror was more noticeable than I had intended. She immediately put the dress back on the racks and began asking me an array of questions again.

Store Clerk: " I know you said you were looking for vintage materials. Maybe some of the shirts over here are what you are looking for."

I realize that the designer incident alone was enough to send most people running and screaming from the store. But I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. It's that old standby again. The golden rule of treasure hunting. Unique items can be found in the most unlikely of places.

I followed her to a rack of button down shirts. I immediately knew there wasn't going to be anything at all there worth going thru. But before I could tell her that she has pulled one from the rack and says...

Store Clerk: " Here you go. This one is vintage."

I take a quick glance and say politely tell her that No, it is not a vintage shirt.

Al look of confusion comes over her face as she turns the shirt back towards her, scrutinizing what must have been the label.

"Yes it is..see here", She says as she points to the tag. "It says it is vintage."

I take a quick glance to the tag and read "Heritage, Vintage Style".

Before turning and then promptly running and screaming from the store. It is safe to say that this store in particular will never be graced by my presence again.

Do you have any treasure hunting stories of horror? Please share.


Tart Deco said...

Ouch! Been there. I have been finding a lot of this happening at Estate sales and yard sales. Of course for yard sales I always take things with a grain of salt, but estate sales should know better.

~AlleyKats~ said...


Agreed!!! I tend to expect people to know what they are doing when they work somewhere..I have come to expect people that work in fashion retail to know the difference between vintage and modern..but maybe that is just me.
I agree that with yard sales it is a take what you can get basis..and that applies to the knowledge of the item as well. I can't tell you how many times people will try and tell me every object they have is "rare"..expecting you to OOOHHH and AAAAHHH over the walmart brand salt shaker. Sorry people..not me.
Happy Hunting Tart!