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What is vintage — and gay? | Philstar.com
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What is vintage — and gay?

Patti Sunio - The Philippine Star
What is vintage â and gay?
Fed Pua of It's Vintage.
STAR / File

It’s Vintage’s newly-opened second branch is set to be the next hotspot of the fashion-forward, the nostalgia-charmed, and those simply looking for what’s unique, personal, and out-of-the-ordinary.
t’s Vintage is having a moment — and we’re living in it. It’s pretty special, to be honest, witnessing firsthand this Filipino “girlie”-led, strong and independent, supremely niche boutique make its way to its second branch. Yup, that’s shop number 2 for you!

In true spectacular fashion, It’s Vintage officially opened the doors of its new branch a day after the Lunar New Year located an approximate 15-minute walk or a couple of kilometers away from its other store in Legaspi Village.

“We’re really, like, Legaspi-Salcedo girlies,” says Fed Pua, owner, founder and master curator of the shop. While, for sure, locations far north, such as in Quezon City, or the south were viable options (“I’m a north girlie,” he says), Pua shares how the community in Makati have always been more than welcoming to them. “I feel like the neighborhood here has accepted us so much,” he says.

Fans of It’s Vintage, which first launched in 2017, have been requesting for more categories, more clothing options, and Pua and his team are only glad to be able to offer this bigger space.

"Is this vintage enough?": Posters of 2008 Eraserheads reunion concert and Girls Generation's first album released in 2007 epitomize It's Vintage's perspective of new vintage in their second store.

No hard rules

“I asked myself, what is vintage… and gay?” Pua says, jokingly, when prompted to share how he thought to design the space. It is, in fact, the overarching theme — and the vibe — that ties together all the elements you see inside.

For starters, this friendly neighborhood vintage shop greets you with a nostalgia-inducing stuffed toy wall: There’s a generic brown teddy bear and Care Bears, a few Doraemons and Winnie the Poohs, to name a few.

Inside are racks and rows of vintage favorites. On one side, you’ll find the band tees, souvenir and promo shirts, Hawaiian polos, motorbike jackets, and Levi’s and Wrangler denim jackets. For the girlies, there are Harley Davidson baby tees and lace, mesh, and see-through crop tops in funky prints and patterns you’re sure to have not seen elsewhere. A prep-school chic mix of Burberry and YSL outerwear is also in the lineup, and so are the crowd faves: the racing jackets, and the latest release of race polos, which usually take months to source.

There’s also a table of accessories, from the Matrix-esque sunglasses to pendant necklaces and rings that wield their own power. A vase, made by Pua’s friend, Sorsogon-based ceramic artist Mikee Naval, sits in the middle, “It’s Vintage” painted on it.

A vase by Sorsogon-based ceramic artist Mikee Naval watches over The Matrix-era sunglasses.

On the walls are posters we actually wish were on sale, too: a 2008 Eraserheads reunion concert, a Girls Generation poster (“I’m like, is this vintage enough?” Pua says), an In the Mood for Love poster when it premiered in Cannes, a Sofia Coppola collage, and more. These are from Pua’s personal collection, some dating as far back as 10 years ago, one from a recent trip to Morocco, and a few sourced from eBay.

Last but not least is the dressing room, a world of its own with its royal blue sky backdrop with white clouds painted on it, plus full-length mirrors that urge group and solo selfies and outfit checks aplenty. Browse through the goods with music we consider classics, from The Beatles to Elton John, or songs from choice soundtracks of the films we love.

“When I come to the store, it feels like it’s me, like it’s home. I treat it more as a room than as a retail space,” Pua says of the interior design. “In your bedroom, you wouldn’t put, like, a random design, right? You’d go crazy and do whatever you want.”

Whatever you like

“Whenever I’m shopping, I think of the people in my life,” Pua shares. “It weirdly sounds so endearing now that I’m hearing myself say it! But that’s really the process of how I do things. I feel like I’m shopping for myself and my friends, like I’m a personal shopper. That’s why I’d like to think there’s something for everyone here.”

The appeal of vintage, for Pua, is how each piece of clothing “comes from a sincere place.” “It feels more personal because you know that a piece of clothing has lived a life,” he says.

“I think that’s what consumers can take away from vintage, too… something that you like has meaning. There are stories behind the clothes,” he adds. Consumers get more options at a vintage shop, compared to, say, a fast fashion brand or mass-produced clothes that every other girlie may be wearing. “It’s about dressing up more intentionally every day,” Pua points out.

Curating a meticulous mix goes hand in hand with a lot of self-restraint, for sure. And for Pua, it’s about asking himself: “Do I really like it or am I only keeping it because it’s valuable, or like, expensive? Because I curate the stuff, I see a lot of super-expensive, rare vintage stuff,” he explains. “And my task is not to be attached to them — because I know that someone else will love it more than me, no matter how rare it is.”

* * *

The second It’s Vintage store is located at 124 San Agustin Street in Valero Plaza, Salcedo Village, Makati.

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