Fashion and style are not the same. While peers, media and more can dictate fashion, style is something more innate and personal. It can be versatile. One day, a person’s style can be casual, like jeans and a T-shirt; another is more formal, like a suit. Fashion tends to be of the moment – season in, season out – but style is something that stays with someone for months, even years. While one may be out of fashion, everyone has style.
Unique Vintage is a retailer whose style and fashion harken back to the days of sock hops and drive-in movies. Think cigarette pants, full-skirt dresses and bandeau tops. While that may not be a conventional style, Unique Vintage has a loyal following of customers who appreciate the vintage cuts and designs from years past while making it feel contemporary.
In the early 2000s, Katie Echeverry, founder, chief executive officer, Unique Vintage, was a pharmaceutical sales rep who spent her weekends scouring flea markets looking for vintage dresses to sell on her online shop out of her home in Burbank, Calif. Her shop quickly gained a following who were searching for vintage outfits like hers. Due to high demand, Echeverry left the sales world to work on Unique Vintage full time.
As online sales grew, Echeverry opened a brick-and-mortar boutique in her hometown in 2008. Currently, Echeverry and Unique Vintage have 60 employees who work online and in the retail store.
“It was just for fun,” says Echeverry. “In no time at all, the orders started pouring in faster than I could keep up with the demand of the online business while sourcing true vintage.”
In 2017 Unique Vintage launched its first licensed vintage collection with Mattel’s Barbie. The Barbie x Unique Vintage collaboration featured original Barbie outfits from the ’50s and ’60s, including the iconic Chevron-striped bathing suit. The collection was successful and was covered in publications such as Associated Press, WWD and BuzzFeed and on “Good Morning America,” which led to an ongoing partnership with Mattel, and opened the door to other co-branded partnerships with additional licensors.
Want to learn more? Check out the December 2021 issue of License Global now!