July 5, 2013 / Branding, News /

“Don’t throw that out, it will be back in fashion in no time” At the time, when you’re told you think they’re delusional. As a child you can’t understand the concept, we are taught from a young age that when something gets old you throw it out and move on. You grow and evolve. The concept of evolution and the way human beings have functioned and advanced for centuries.


By definition a product will go through four stages in what is deemed the product life cycle. It begins with an introductory stage, similar to that of a child’s birth, when the product is given the gift of life. A growth stage, when the item learns to walk, play and socialise, learning about life, love and the world. A maturity stage, when the product leaves home and takes its first big steps into the world, evolving and changing to suit its environment. Finally a decline stage, when all those years of hard work are behind them and it’s time for the product to settle down.


In a general sense this has been the case for most products for decades. When a product reaches the end of maturity and an introduction to the decline, its seen as the end, the death of that item. But what if it was possible to reverse the aging process? What if these products deemed ‘declining’ or ‘past their prime’ could spring back to life and grow!




It seems to be an ever growing trend in today’s market. Concepts, products and ideas that where once deemed ‘dead’ coming back to life through the acceptance and adventurous nature of a new consumer generation.


The fashion industry in particular has always had an open mind to the concept of ‘vintage’ clothing.  Vintage clothing; (coming from the period 1930 to 1980) Bell bottom pants, men’s top hats, women’s leggings, sash belts, slender ties, suspenders, grease soaked hair styles, High tops and denim jackets etc. Have all come and gone and come back again in the fashion industry.


But what does the future hold for other industries and markets?


The gaming industry saw a staggering boom in 2000 of ‘retro’ gaming consoles; Sega master drives, Nintendo 64s, Atari, pinball machines and ‘old school’ arcade gaming systems coming back into popularity.




The music industry has seen the rebirth of vinyl records and vintage record players over the years. Coupled with the remakes of classic ranging from Michael Jackson to Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Hendrix to Johnny Cash.



The film industry has also embraced the trend with famous films of the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s continuously being remade; The Avengers, The A-Team, The Italian Job etc. Even new shows such as the hit TV series ‘Mad Men’ has started a cult of youths in tailored cut suits with greased back hair.


But what’s with the fascination?


Evaluation of the trend provides a number of possibilities as to the popularity of Vintagism.


As the old saying goes “they just don’t make them like they use to”. Vintage products were not mass manufactured with the ferocity and haste of items in the 21st century. To take clothing as an example, vintage clothing tended to be hand stitched and created to last. Coupled with this, clothing had its own personality and meaning. It was rare to find genuine and well stitched garments in multiple locations ensuring individuality for the owner.


There is also a sense of innocence connected with vintage items. Stress and responsibility free times when the business men and women of today had not to worry about meetings and deadlines, rather which game to play next at the arcade or what to dress their toy in. It almost seems to be a chance to escape back to a ‘happier’ time of virtue and contentment.


Whatever the reason may be for the growing trend that is Vintagism, it’s beginning to take many industries by storm, and I feel here to stay. Personally, I love the idea of a bit of history behind my products, something with individuality and a story to tell. So before you throw out those old pair of brown, cord pants, or that vibrant rainbow shirt you think you will never wear again. Remember …  “Don’t throw it out, it’ll be back in fashion in no time”.