IT'S MATEREAL speaks to Dutch Fonzie on sustainability, celebrity influence and why we should all shop small.
What is your approach to sourcing vintage garments? Is there anything in particular that you look for?
Growing up in Florida and spending most of my days at the beach I’ve become very particular when it comes to my personal swimwear and I think that translates to how I source as well. Everyone wants to feel their absolute best, especially while wearing a swimsuit so I try to source pieces that will make you feel just that. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some awesome individuals who’ve owned beach/swim stores in the 80’s-90’s and have remaining excess stock. Making connections and reaching out to people is a key to sourcing!
What do you think has made consumers see vintage as the new investment market and style playground? Why has shopping small become a trend?
I think the current shift in consumer attitudes/habits toward shopping vintage is due to many things. A major factor is the consumer awareness of how dangerous the impacts of fast fashion are. I also think self expression plays a big role. Consumers love the idea of being able to express their true unique selves with one of a kind vintage fashion!
How important is the role of celebrity/influencer exposure on small and sustainable brands?
Celebrities joining and embracing the vintage craze has created a massive impact for small businesses like mine. Celebrities will always play a leading role in trends and when you see your role model or fashion icon wearing something then it’s immediately cool.
What was it like seeing Bella Hadid in your pieces?
Honestly seeing Bella wearing my vintage bikini was one of the coolest moments of my life. The idea of someone as influential and iconic in the fashion world as Bella choosing a piece from my shop was the most insane and rewarding feeling. I literally pulled up her Instagram post 100 times that day and just smiled.
Why do you think sustainability is important for the future of fashion and the world?
Learning to shop sustainably is something so crucial for our future. The impact fast fashion has on our environment is catastrophic. The fashion industry is the second highest polluter of clean water and is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. Working conditions enforced by these industries are inhumanly cruel and should be avoided at all costs. By shopping second hand you’re shopping sustainably, shopping ethically and shopping for more unique and high quality pieces. It’s a win win for everyone.