Review of Kim Kardashian West’s effect on the vintage clothing market

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I have a hipster complex about Kim Kardashian West and her love for archival clothing, as a diehard lover of vintage pieces. I would like to think that my obsession started long before KKW started releasing in its stellar collection of old Gucci, Versace, Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier. I love the story behind these clothes. A late-’90s Tom Ford-era Gucci tank top still looks to me like it just left the nimble fingers of an Italian seamstress; an early ’90s Jean Paul Gaultier Soleil top stays light as a feather and still flaunts the right amount of subtle nipple. Plus, I get high from the thrill of research. I’m guilty of scrolling RealReal late at night, trying to find Jil Sander pants with a pleat in the front or a delightfully dweeby Prada Sport sandal. I have daily eBay alerts and have set several calendar reminders for auctions. Finding the perfect archival piece is like falling fiercely in love.

For several months now, Kim Kardashian West has also been enjoying hot designer relics. At first, I was excited when she started stepping out of the Tom Ford-era Gucci. This slinky black dress from Spring 1998 was truly a hit; the fabric has smoothed over every curve, and it fits like a glove. And the 20-year-old intertwined G-thong was out of control, shamelessly riding up her lower back! These strings aren’t cheap: they literally sell for thousands of dollars. KKW sent me into a spiral where I was constantly thinking about that infamous Gucci thong, thinking about flossing like some weird philosopher obsessed with basics. Where did she find it? (Where is she assistant source?) Was it new? Were the beacons intact? Did she rent it? She resurrected a moment in fashion history for me. I even found out it wasn’t really a thong in itself– it was originally a swimsuit piece. Thanks Kim!

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It doesn’t stop at Gucci. Lately, KKW has expanded its wild world. In March, she stepped out in a rare Azzedine Alaïa cheetah-print bodysuit with matching little gloves, so rare it was valued at around $10,000. He looked just as furiously hot and incredibly daring as when he first appeared on the Fall 1990 Couture show. The next day, I started feeling peeved: KKW stepped out in a catsuit similar from the same collection, worn by none other than Naomi Campbell. Excessive? For me, yes. These are museum-worthy looks: Wearing Alaïa couture two days in a row is like hanging a Da Vinci sketch in your living room and having another one hang up in your bathroom.

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Kardashian West and his over-the-top fashion trends aside, the KKW effect on old clothes also made me paranoid. Who outbid me for this Gucci halter top I set an alarm for at 2 a.m.? Why do all the Jean Paul Gaultier Soleil tops seem sold out on The RealReal? Boring, of course! But I’m also happy about it. It shows a hot Versace dress worn by Naomi Campbell herself in the fall of 1996 and displays the original image from the runway. Her sisters Kendall and Kourtney have jumped on the Jean Paul Gaultier bandwagon and are likely looking back at Gaultier’s Spring 1994 Les Tatouages ​​collection right here on Vogue Runway. She shows the world how fantastically Manfred Thierry Mugler can sculpt couture. So that no one forgets, Kim wore two outfits to the Thierry Mugler show in Montreal at the end of February, including a pink off-the-shoulder dress from the Les Méduses Fall 1999 couture collection and a white mini dress from the Spring 1994 collection. Hell, she even worked with the designer himself for his super-skinny silicone dress for this year’s Met Gala. How many times can someone ask Mugler himself to make a couture dress? Well, it was the first time he’s done a piece in collaboration with the house in over 20 years, aside from Beyoncé’s 2008 tour wardrobe.

Of course, this whole phenomenon has made it harder to find vintage, as if Kardashian West has caused a crazy domino effect on fashion fans who now want all the same things I wanted a long time ago. Again, I can’t complain. I searched harder and I always get what I want. I recently purchased the Spring 1998 Gucci Exposed Strap Skirt for just over $100. Like I said, I’m an experienced hunter, and the trend has only made me smarter, faster, and yes, a much better clicker. Also, I know a lot more about these clothes than when I first wore them. Thanks again, Kim.

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