Vintage clothes are more popular than ever. From old-school band tees to designer pieces, fashion seems to live in a cyclical pattern where returns and comebacks are inevitable. So, why are we fascinated with the old? What sustains this retro phenomenon?
Our culture craves pieces that are unique, one of a kind, and authentic. This is for sure an idea that Chase and Coady Cheek believe in.
By day, Chase works as a business coordinator for Publix, and Coady is a real estate agent and property consultant for Goldsmith Property Solutions. But, on the side, you can find the Cheek twins rummaging through hidden fashion treasures and bringing life to limited thrifted pieces. What started as a hobby turned into a full-out business for these brothers.
Find out more about why these two decided to sell unique vintage pieces through their business, Oldskoolwear.
The Lakelander: Why did you both decide to start Oldskoolwear?
Chase: Oldskoolwear actually began as a prior hobby. We started developing a passion for limited T-shirts, taking extra time to thrift and select the “soft” tees. We wanted to provide a way for people in Lakeland to get their hands on these pieces at a reasonable price. Growing up, we loved shopping at our local boutique thrift shop, House of Funk. With a similar vision, we took this idea and ran with it. We think the older styles, or “old school” clothes, always seem to have a uniqueness in and of themselves.
TL: Why the name “Oldskoolwear”?
Chase: Saying that something is old, but cool, is typically referred to as “old school.” So, we decided to call our shop Oldskoolwear. Although many of our pieces are vintage, some have a new-school flare because of the popularity. We wanted to appeal to those wanting older/vintage clothing that can be worn anytime, anywhere.
TL: Where do you typically find pieces for the shop?
Chase: We find our clothes all over. We shop at local thrift shops here in Lakeland but also enjoy hunting in the surrounding cities. Because of our Instagram presence, we’ve gotten to know other popular thrifters worldwide. If the piece is what we’re looking for, we will make a deal to buy or trade with these thrift shops online. Every once in a while we’ll land an old piece at a local yard sale.
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TL: What are qualifying factors for putting items in your store?
Coady: We have been asked this question a lot. I guess it’s trying to have a feel for what items you think others would like. But we’ve also had success thrifting pieces that are attractive to us. We love the thin, single-stitched, visually distressed tees with old tags. In a lot of cases, we recognize an “oldskool” tee by the tag. Also, older brands are making a comeback. The amount and condition of the graphic “cracking” are very appealing. We try to find vintage shirts that display the year they were printed. For Oldskoolwear, the older the better!
TL: Outside of online, where are other places you guys can be found selling items?
Coady: Outside of Instagram, where we conduct a bulk of the business, you can find our items at random pop-up shops throughout the community. We’ve recently started exploring what it takes to collaborate with other clothing vendors in town and look forward to making our items more available. When you actually get the opportunity to touch and feel some of the tees we offer, it changes the game!
TL: What are future goals for the store?
Chase: Lord willing, we would be open to taking Oldskoolwear to another level! As mentioned, we want to provide access for more people to get their hands on these tees. With an increased marketing presence, it may allow us to reach the handful of folks throughout Lakeland that may not have heard about us. We desire more opportunity to meet people and share our love for this market. We would love to have a featured spot in some of the boutiques around town and maybe the opportunity to open a shop of our own in the future. Just as we had access to growing up, it would be cool for customers to experience a buy/sell store geared toward the Oldskoolwear brand right here in the Lakeland area. Not just for the college kid or young adult, but for the older customer looking to part ways with his original band tees.
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TL: How do you want customers to walk away feeling?
Coady: We want our customers to walk away feeling excited and cared for. For some, just having the opportunity to get their hands on a piece of something rare is enough. For others, a particular piece of clothing may spark a memory of a moment in their past that builds emotion. Clothing can be pretty overpriced now, making it difficult for someone to express their style without spending a good amount of money. We want customers to experience these types of clothes … clothes they fall in love with, at an affordable price.
To checkout Oldskoolwear, visit their Instagram shop here.