Our spring sale has arrived! We have discounted over 150 items, all starting at $9.99. Hurry before the sale ends next Friday, May 10th!
10. Vintage 80s Game Used Nike Dunk PE TYPS Kentucky Wildcats Custom Sneakers
Our first top 10 item of 2012 is this pair of game worn Kentucky Wildcats Nike Dunks from 1988. What makes this pair unique is that the mid sole and sole are from a different Nike model. Kentucky must have custom ordered the Dunk body with a basketball sole, commonly called a sole-swap, but almost never seen in a pair of vintage or pre 1993 Nike sneakers. Kentucky went on to have some very successful seasons in the Dunk going to a sweet sixteen and an elite eight. Players like Kenny Walker and Rex Chapman both dawned this iconic Dunk model while playing for the Wildcats. The Nike Dunk program was released in the fall of 1985 to coincide with the start of the NCAA Division I basketball season. Nike selected top schools to create special colorways of the Dunk, their signature high top basketball shoe. Syracuse, Iowa, St. John’s, Kentucky, North Carolina, Nevada, and Arizona all received custom colored Dunks to match their uniforms. The initial run of the Dunk was so well received that several schools decided to keep issuing them to their players. Although Nike had made custom shoe programs in the past, none of them were sold at retail. When customers found out they could be wearing the same shoes as Kenny Walker and the Wildcats or Chris Mullin and the St. John’s Redmen, they ran out to their local sporting goods store to cop, floss, and rock.
Originally formed in Salina, Kansas during the late 1880′s, Lee quickly became a major player in the work wear mercantile industry. By the early 1920′s, Lee had started production on the denim jumpsuit, a garment which helped shape Lee’s identity in the first quarter of the 20th century. While companies like Levi’s and GWG cornered the market on dungaree bottoms, Lee saw major growth in jackets, suits, and shirting. This shop coat shows the general wear and tear of wearing a garment on a production line. The Seiberling Tire company has a rich history and remains as one of the great success stories of the American rubber industry. Frank Seiberling was an original partner and owner in the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. He would later on sell his shares in Goodyear to start the Seiberling Tire Company in Barberton, Ohio. He was commonly known as ‘the little giant’ of the tire industry because of his determination. It should also be noted that he was a main proponent in turning Akron, Ohio from ‘small town’ to ‘tire capital of the world’. There is something very organic about viewing a garment so entrenched in the American car experience like this pre 1950′s Lee shop coat.
The Houston Astros have had no shortage of on field drama, from Nolan Ryan’s no-no in 1981, to Joe Niekro’s complete game which pushed the Astros to the play-offs in 1980, to Mike Scott’s famous no-hitter that clinched the division title on the last game of the 1986 season. These moments not only bring back a fond time in the history of the ‘Stros, but they also help fans recollect what was worn on field during this era. Yes, we’re talking about the notorious rainbow uniform. In the mid 1970′s it was blasphemy for the background color of a jersey to not be white or gray. When the Astros decided to go with the ‘rainbow pattern’ there was an immediate backlash. Baseball enthusiasts called them hideous and it became a running joke for uniform collectors. In retrospect these uniforms are as ingrained in Astros history as any of their feats and yes, that includes their World Series title. Regardless of the public’s initial response, when the throwback sports craze of the early 2000′s boomed the rainbow Astros pieces were so popular that at one point MLB licensee, Mitchell & Ness had a 6 month waiting list. When we recently acquired this game worn Astros warm up from a former Astros pitching coach we jumped at the chance to compare it to the retro. Enjoy.
The American clothing experience really starts and finishes with a discussion about the famous denim brand with two horses, Levi Strauss. Levi’s personifies both the immigrant entrepreneurial path of Americans during the late 1800′s and the post industrial revolutionist attitude that allowed design interpretation and innovation to take place. Although several other clothing brands helped to create the current frenzy and worldwide fascination for denim and work wear, Levi’s was the first company to invest money in reissuing their earlier garments. Several different clothing items have embodied an era or movement in the last 150 years, but the Levi’s jean jacket has to be considered one of the more distinctive examples. There have been over 30 different manufactured variations of the all cotton riveted denim dungaree coat. We recently uncovered this fantastic 80 year old relic, known as a first edition Levi’s jacket. The riveted sleeve tacks, cinch back adjustable tab, and the original silver plated buttons all add to the overall aura that this jacket resonates. It is our great pleasure to stock a garment that breaths and speaks to a forgotten age of American workmanship like this one does.
After receiving constant requests from customers wanting to shop our warehouse, we’ve finally cave! We are inviting the public into our space for a 2 day sale during the first weekend in December. You will find hundreds of vintage garments that are currently not available in our online store. A complete selection of our vintage grade will be offered during the sale such as sportswear, military, work wear, rock tees, footwear, and accessories. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing you there!
Before the introduction of nationwide train service in the mid 1930′s, it was very difficult for clothing brands to acquire new accounts outside of their stateside distribution. Because of this, it is not uncommon to find smaller work wear and utility brands almost exclusively in a specific region of the United States. During a recent buying trip to Michigan, we unearthed some very early denim jackets. These chore jackets definitely top our list as some of the nicest denim pieces we’ve ever sourced. Since we couldn’t choose between the two, we decided to highlight both of them in this weeks Pick of the Week. The first jacket is made by Lion Overall, a Midwest powerhouse work wear brand. Although we don’t know the details regarding the buy out of Lion Overall, we do know that their garments were last produced under the Lion Overall banner in 1938. A notable characteristic that helps this jacket stand out are the flat wreath change buttons. This removable button detail is a feature most commonly used on first issue WW2 Navy denim chore jackets. The great part about change buttons is that the wearer would be able to buy a new button if one fell off. The second change button jacket needs no introduction. It was manufactured by one of the most important clothing companies in American history, Carhartt. The details on this jacket are phenomenal. It has a slanted watch and pen pocket and fantastic heart shaped change buttons. These details definitely make this jacket the grand-daddy of Carhartt pieces, and one of our all time favorites. Finding 90 year old denim is a stretch in today’s marketplace, but finding two in impeccable condition is something that just doesn’t happen too often!
Vintage clothing can be an eye opening experience. We are forever on a search for the unattainable ‘white whale’ vintage garment. Whether it be a WW2 denim smock or an early professional sports warm up jacket. The reason this business is such a labour of love is because on the rare occasion, they pop up. This coat is one of our ‘white whales’. What makes it so rare are the ball and chain zippers. This style of zipper was usually manufactured by Talon and were attached to the chest pockets on outerwear garments during the 1920′s to the 1940′s. The construction of this zipper would allow the wearer to unzip the pocket with ease by pulling on the ball part of it. These zippers were used sparingly on higher end garments because of the cost involved in manufacturing them. When we acquired this wool lined jacket with two slant ball and chain zippers, we were excited to say the least. It is exceedingly rare to obtain a jacket with two ball and chain zippers. This design detail adds a fourth dimension to another ravishing pre-war car coat.
Everyone remembers their first pair of jeans, that amazingly broken in tee, or that one pair of sneakers your Mom had to virtually sneak out of the house and throw away because they were long past their expiration date. The nostalgia of garments we once owned have propelled the heritage clothing and ‘retro’ phenomenon felt in the men’s contemporary clothing market over the last 15 years. Integral garments associated with the current vintage work wear and athletic boom take on another level when you see them shrunk down in a youth or children’s size. It’s incredible to see the craftsmanship throughout these garments and how clothing brands use them as design inspiration to replicate their stitch patterns, fabrication, and tagging. Vintage children’s clothing has become a growing part of the collectible vintage market with a burgeoning amount of seasoned fashionistas and vintage clothing hoarders dressing their kids in these fantastic garments of yesteryear.
During its heyday, salt and pepper fabric was the cloth of choice worn by America’s workers in factories, yards, and garages. This ‘convert fabric’ gets its name from the natural ‘speckled’ effect created throughout the weave. More durable than basic denim and cheaper to produce, salt and pepper garments were manufactured by companies as a lower price option for basic work wear attire like utility shirts, chore jackets, and shop pants. Due to its commonality in the marketplace, the weave, slub, and color variance in the fabric would help brands stand out from the crowd. For instance, J.C. Penney’s version differed greatly from what Montgomery Ward had to offer. J.C. Penney’s fabric was darker in color which helped to hide the stains and dirt associated with a workers tough day on the job. Today you can find reproduction salt and pepper garments available in the contemporary men’s fashion market as the work wear fashion trend continues to run strong. Recently we ran into a nice collection of early 1950′s salt and pepper work wear garments which include these three jackets. To the men that wore it the way it was meant to be worn, and to the purveyors that continue to wear it right.