1016 ER Amsterdam
Instagram ID: @zippervintageclothing
Who are you and what is your role within the store?
I am Agnes Giles and part of a 40 year old family business, which I started with my partner John Giles in 1979. Our children have always been part of the business and since 2 years our son Danny is officially owner of Zipper Vintage Clothing. We do our buying trips as a team mainly in the USA, we select our goods by manually going through bales and bales of clothing. In our Amsterdam warehouse I am in charge of unpacking, sorting our goods and preparing each item for the store, this includes selecting, cleaning, repairing, pricing each item individually.
Can you describe what kind of store you have, or working in?
Zipper sells unique pre owned clothing from certain historic periods. They are selected pieces of vintage clothing based on their fashionable characteristics for todays image.
Which brands are the core of the store collection?
As we sell only vintage items we have a lot of different brands in store. Most of the denim brands we’ve sold over the last 40 years are Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler. But also work wear brands like Carhart, Dickies and lesser known brands but Classics like Osh-Kosh, Key and Big Smith.
We once found an old stock of Guess jeans bales, hidden in a warehouse. It felt tricky to buy the lot, Guess jeans were not a well known brand in Europe and some of the bales were damp.
We took a chance, and within the change in look: low waist to high waist we made a killing, we eventually sold them all.
Is there one brand in particular that is selling the best at the moment, which one is it, and why do you think it’s so successful?
We sell all kinds of denim brands, but Levi’s stands out the most. Especially Levi’s 501 original fit, which has been in our collection for more than 40 years. Levi’s 501 is still the iconic pants that everybody knows and recognize, b because of Levi’s 501’s long and interesting history.
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
My indigo blue 1950’s Levi’s ‘big E’ 501 jeans.
How important are social channels to the store these days?
Social media is an essential part of running any business nowadays. We still believe that true vintage hunting needs to be real life and hands on, but we do understand and use the power socials.
What kind of music are you playing mostly in the store?
If you find yourself in one of our stores, you could be met with any kind of music. From grunge punk to modern Hip Hop or some singer songwriter Sunday laziness.
Are selling other goods as well next to clothing, if so, what kind of products?
Our core business is mens and women’s vintage clothing, but on our buying trips we do find vintage shoes, bags, hats and ties. As an example, in the States we have a secret hook-up where we can handpick deadstock sunglasses going back as far as 1983!
Our accessoires are a mix of new and old stock 70’s 80’s and 90’s earrings, necklaces and rings.
What can we expect in the future of the store?
Corona has taught us a lot this last years. We have now (finally) started to build a small online shop, where among our regular vintage items we will be offering an amazing collection of collectible vintage t-shirts. For the coming year we are expanding the business, so we can showcase even more of our insane amount of vintage inventory!
As I am trying to draw back from the business, I hope I will have more time to sort through my personal collection of specialty items that I gathered over the last 40 years.
From stacks of the beautiful 1950’s gabardine shirts to the hundreds of old Levis that I have set aside over all those years of vintage trading.