With period series gaining popularity thanks to major streaming platforms, vintage-inspired fashion has been a buzz all over the internet. From steal-the-style articles to shopping suggestions, many have been aboard on this frenzy. Yet finding authentic vintage items that have an inclusive size range that addresses a diverse community is nowhere near easy. Realizing the inherent problem with the vintage market, California native Unique Vintage has been designing and producing vintage-inspired items in an inclusive XS-5X range, covering more than five decades of styles since 2000. By encouraging their customers to express what is unique about their individuality through their designs, Unique Vintage operates ahead of today as it re-interprets the silhouettes of the past through a contemporary mindset.
““Inclusivity and diversity are two of the biggest components of our brand and are both core values for us as a company,” Unique Vintage PR and Marketing Coordinator Sarah Valdes said. We’re so proud of who we are and what we’ve built that we want to be able to share that with our customers and community.”
PR and Marketing Coordinator Sarah Valdes spoke with Fashinnovation on behalf of the CEO, Katie Echeverry, and the UV team.
From a Weekend Hobby to Go-to Website
Two decades ago, Unique Vintage was founded by Katie Echeverry, who started designing vintage-inspired items as a weekend hobby. Realizing that high quality and affordable vintage items were hard to find, Echeverry took a chance and turned her hobby into a dream job. She designed and produced her own vintage-inspired items ranging from dresses to swimwear, accessories to shoes with sizes from XS to 5X, and put them online on unique-vintage.com.
“That’s why Katie took this idea of creating vintage-inspired clothes and making them in modern ways so that any woman can wear them, not having to worry about the style, the sizing, the availability — our clothes are made to make everyone feel like they belong in them,” Valdes said.
Today Unique Vintage is a go-to store for size-inclusive and diverse vintage-inspired items.
Past-Silhouettes with a Mindset Ahead of Today
Unique Vintage displays pieces from the 1920s up to the 1970s. Whatever your favorite era is, Unique Vintage offers size-inclusive clothing, accessories, and shoes of the period. Its sister brand Smak Parlour takes inspiration from the mod style imported from London in the 1950s and early 1960s and offers a wide range of clothing from skirts to jumpsuits in XS to 5X.
“We have everything from quirky chic to bombshell style, from the girl who just wants to look super sexy or for the girl who likes bright colors and fun pieces,” Valdes said. “So really, we like to take every customer into consideration when it comes to that.”
Operating in the intersection of vintage and the modern, Unique Vintage is all about empowerment and joy that fashion can bring. By drawing inspiration from vintage pieces and merging with modern fashion, Unique Vintage creates contemporary pieces that anyone can wear in today’s age.
“So we’re working on ways to create joy through fashion, which ultimately means we’re looking at a vintage style we love that we know our community really likes, and we think about ways to recreate and re-imagine it,” Valdes said.
Everything that Unique Vintage produces is put through a lens of vintage inspiration with an awareness of current trends. The brand’s modern touch on silhouettes of the past fills its owners with a special feeling of uniqueness.
“We believe part of the role of our brand is to provide styles and products to women of all shapes and sizes as a way to express themselves through styles that really celebrate who they are individually,” Valdes said.
In addition to numerous styles appealing to a community with diverse interests, Unique Vintage works on license collaborations. Barbie, Jaws, I Love Lucy, and Harry Potter are some of the names that the brand has worked with before. Soon Unique Vintage will be coming out with a collection for the cult-classic movie, Grease.
Diversity, Inclusivity, and Empowerment Are at the Core of Unique Vintage
Founded by a woman and predominantly run by women, Unique Vintage empowerment is a natural and organic goal for Unique Vintage. Its approach to vintage styles allows its customers to express their individuality confidently. Unique Vintage aims to make people feel joyful and ready to take on the world when they wear the brand’s pieces.
“We feel that part of our role is to help our customer feel empowered anytime they put on a piece of Unique Vintage clothing, no matter who they are, where they are from, or what they look like, how they identify — that’s our goal, just to make anyone that puts on our clothes to feel empowered,” Valdes said.
XS to 5X: Styles for All Body Sizes and Shapes
Producing inclusive sizes was an organic process for Unique Vintage. Realizing that plus-size women have a much harder time finding authentic vintage or vintage-inspired clothes, starting at sizes 10-12. Inspired by the vintage silhouettes and improving them for the contemporary mindset, Unique Vintage produces their clothing in an inclusive XS-5X range to address their customers’ diverse needs, leaving them feeling beautiful and empowered.
“Every person that I have come across and seen Unique Vintage says ‘Wow, those clothes are beautiful,’” Valdes said. “All of our models look so beautiful in our clothes regardless of their size, all of our customers look gorgeous, and it’s just something we’re so proud of.”
Actions Speak Louder
With inclusivity and diversity as its core values, Unique Vintage takes a holistic approach by setting an exemplary tone in the fashion industry and its active engagement in philanthropy work. From donations to help in-danger animals due to Australia wildfires to on-going projects with Los Angeles LGBT Center, Unique Vintage helps and supports communities worldwide. During the summer, the brand showed solidarity with Black-owned and Black non-profit organizations through donations. In addition, the brand wants to focus on women empowerment targeted projects this year. “It’s so important to us as an organization that we use our platform to help give back to the community and support organizations that align with our core values of inclusivity and diversity,” Valdes said. “We’re always proud to partner with these great groups and look forward to doing more in the year ahead.”
By Elif Kesikbas