New One-of-a-Kind Vintage
One new vintage boutique just went live today, and it features gems from Armani, Dooney & Bourke, Betsy Johnson, Pendleton, Missoni, Ungaro and more. All items are legit one-of-a-kind, which means when they're gone, they're gone...
Urban Renewal Diary: Longest Yard Sale In The World
It has been a very busy past couple months for us here at Urban Renewal, and one thing that kept us on our feet (or driving a U-Haul) for over a week was the World's Longest Yard Sale; aka the 127 Corridor Sale. It's more than 650 miles of yard sales that span from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan along Country Highway 127.
Right off the bat, we were finding great deals, and that got us really excited for the next four days (and more than 700 miles of driving) ahead of us….
The range of goods was amazing: from normal yard sale junk and people's collections and collectibles they'd finally decided to part with to vintage dealers with pricey antiques.
People were set up in fields, parking lots, community centers, churches, fairgrounds, and randomly on the side of the road.
Great deals ran amok and we were trying our best not to go overboard…but trust me, it was tough. All in all, it was an amazing adventure!
- UO Renewal
Urban Renewal Diary: Vintage Street-Style in Austin
This month, we headed down to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest, and see how people there wear vintage. We heard that Austin's South Congress Ave. was the best area for great vintage, and man, did we hear right! We found a little area where a mini music fest was going on complete with tents full of vintage and, of course, a tent serving BBQ.
One of the tents was occupied by Scott Willimack, owner of Big Rig Vintage, and Lindsay Lipscomb of Gypsy Sun. When we asked Lindsay 'Why vintage?' she responded, "I love that every piece has history and a story behind it…" They have 16 years in the vintage business between the two of them! There they are above.
The next tent over housed Molly and Brian Salvi of Squash Blossom Vintage. They told us that while there are a lot of tourists in Texas who tend to go toward the more traditional pieces such as pearl snap shirts and cowboy boots, Austin has its own vintage style that is reminiscent of Stevie Nicks and Anita Pallenburg. The urban cowgirl and bohemian looks with a lot of '70s influence is very apparent! This is Molly in all of her vintagey glory. We love her shades!
Over the next couple of days, we ran into tons of people with amazing style. One overlying theme that we noticed was denim done right! Whether it was in a '70s-style stovepipe, or head-to-toe mixed shades, denim is always a staple. Above is a perfect example—none other than The Watson Twins
Here is Jillian, a 23-year-old from Austin, wearing amazing salmon-colored stovepipes and a girly blouse tied at her waist.
We were impressed by the guys' style, too; layering it up with t-shirts, vests, tanks and sweaters…and don't forget the leather jacket!
Clara, 17, and Johanna, 19, are from Sweden and in the band First Aid Kit
. We love the boots-with-skirts look, and those jackets are amazing!
All around great style, what else can we say?!—UO Renewal
Urban Renewal Diary: The Start-to-Finish Process
&itemCountThe Urban Renewal team is a proud recycler of gently-worn goods that are used to create all the wonderful one-of-a-kind items you see in our stores and on the web. Here is a sneak peak at two of our new items—the Denim Patchwork Short and the Polka-Dot Headband—soon to be heading to a store (and website) near you!
For the shorts, we first source and order a bunch of vintage Levi’s that we purchase by the piece. When ordering, we set up a specific “grade” that we want. A grade is the specifications in the item such as quality, size, colors, fabric content, etc. They come shipped to us in bales of 100lbs., and this (above) is what it looks like after the bales have been opened.
Next, the jeans are measured for our desired shorts-length and hand cut, and washed to get that frayed look at the hem. Then we dig through bales of vintage “remnant” fabric to find the best prints to make the patches out of. Each set of patches is arranged one by one and pinned onto the shorts for sewing.
And then, voilà, a finished pair of shorts!
The polka-dot bow headband is created out of an assortment of printed tops, skirts and dresses that we bought mixed by the pound. Since the headband is small, we also use scraps from other styles we have made to help reduce waste and utilize as much of every garment as possible.
Once all the pieces are cut out, they are taken to sew and assemble the headband. Elastic is put in, the bows tacked down and threads are clipped…..all by hand and one at a time!
And here is a finished product. Hard to believe this started out as a frumpy '80s dress, right? So adorable!—Urban Renewal
Renewal Score of the Month: Koos Van Den Akker
We found this amazing jacket at an estate sale in New York during one of our monthly scavenging trips. We search high and low for amazing pieces, and boy did we hit the jackpot with this one!
Koos Van den Akker is a Dutch designer who we've looked to a lot over the past couple of years, and his claim to fame was the sweaters he created for friend and dedicated fan Bill Cosby. These sweaters, best known as “The Cosby Sweaters” have been an obsession of ours for quite some time now, and we're going full-force with this inspiration for fall!
Van Den Akker's painterly delight in mixing colors, patterns and textures in unusual, often one of kind garments make his works highly collectible, visually stimulating, and always a sought-after treasure.—Urban Renewal
We love Pequitobun, a line of vintage, reworked jewelry. It's edgy, yet so pretty and wearable!—Urban Renewal
My Vintage Secret: Sparkle Socks
The sparkle sock project is so cute and original—love socks for spring!!—UO Renewal
Renewal: Behind the Seams DIY
It's almost February, which means that the winter blues are settling in. Remake a vintage sweater into some seriously hot pants with this DIY from Behind the Seams.
Vintage Score: Fairisle Sweaters
We are really loving these cute, girly sweaters reminiscent of Princess Diana. With details like puff sleeves, all-over prints and shoulder buttons, you can throw on a blouse with lacy collar detail and your favorite pair of jeans, and you are set!—UO Renewal
Urban Renewal Diary: January
We had amazing and surprising month of scores in our Urban Renewal world. First came a visit to a rag house in Los Angeles. Rag houses are huge warehouses full of recycled and vintage textiles sorted into 100 lb "bales" piled high to the ceiling. This is where we regularly scour and dig for raw materials that go into our remade collections. On this particular trip we were searching for distressed denim for Fall 2010.
Then mid-month came a surprise call from an associate announcing an auction of her amazing vintage archive, which was used to inspire designers world-wide.
Here is her collection before we purchased it:
And after we loaded it into our rental truck to take it to its new home in Philadelphia:
And once we were able to dig in and sort it out, we discovered scores galore:
Coming soon to an Urban Outfitters near you!—UO Renewal