Shelves full of vintage clothing are set up once a week outside In Your Ear Records on West Campus, taking street fashion sense to a new level. Now you can get your fix of clothing, from timeless pieces to old album t-shirts in this renewed era of fashion.
Xavier Andreu, who runs the street rack, called ‘Follow the Thread’, and his Instagram account, said he initially launched the rack alone, but soon teamed up with Deondré Jones, who runs High Society Vintage.
Andreu, who works at In Your Ear Records on Commonwealth Avenue, said his boss suggested he sell his second-hand clothes outside the record store, weather permitting.
“[It] It was kind of an idea I had in mind because I have a friend in New York [who] sells on Canal Street,” Andreu said. “I was really inspired after spending time with him.”
Andreu said he and Jones are trying to keep their student prices low.
“We understand, you are students,” Andreu said. “You deserve to be able to look good for a cheap budget.”
Andreu said he considers the BU pop-up to be really special because of all the friendly businesses on the street and other passers-by supporting them.
“We sold some clothes to the cops that came in…you think they’re going to harass you or something and they’re like, ‘Oh, how much for that jacket? ‘” Andreu said.
One of the pop-up customers, Jacob Schmitt, a sophomore at the College of Fine Arts, said the clothes are always trendy and cool and he likes to shop there whenever he is in a “thrifty” mood.
“Their selection seems organised, feels a bit closer to the Boomerangs at Cambridge,” Schmitt said.
When asked what kind of clothes they look for when shopping, Jones and Andreu agreed that there isn’t a rack that goes untouched.
“We touch, I would say, close to 1,000 pieces of clothing every day, sorting through and looking for the four or five things that we might pull out of the store,” Jones said.
Jones said with more people drawn to thrift due to the rise of social media, there has been increased competition in thrift stores. “Follow the Thread” has over 1,000 followers on Instagram where they post their unique vintage finds.
As the street rack grows in popularity, Jones said it’s been really cool to watch him grow with his friendship with Andreu.
Andreu, who is also an avid record collector, said he always wanted to buy clothes with his favorite artists on them, but he specifically got into conservation about four years ago. He said he started going to thrift stores to buy finds now considered vintage that he couldn’t afford when he was younger, like Jordan Brand shoes.
“Researching records made me look at clothes more carefully,” Andreu said.
Andreu said when he was younger he would go to the Brimfield flea market in central Massachusetts to look for records and pick out shirts featuring artists he liked, like a Miles Davis t-shirt that he had found.
Jones was also drawn to organizing and saving through music. After giving up writing and producing music, he turned to curating clothing from the music scene.
“Fashion and music really go together,” Jones said. “I focused on music first, then as I got a little bit older in high school, I was able to buy my own clothes and things like that, I started getting attached a little more [of] the fashion.”
One of Andreu’s colleagues at In Your Ear, Albie Prager, said he gave Andreu a pair of bell bottoms and skinny jeans to sell because he no longer wore them.
“I can fit in skinny jeans, but someone in their 60s [isn’t] wearing skinny jeans,” Prager said. “Mick Jagger can do it, who was one of my idols at the time.”
Jones said he also dreams of styling artists for music videos and films.
“I would like to have an inventory stock of [clothes] that a movie that might be about high school kids in the mid-2000s might need in a wardrobe,” Jones said.
Today, Andreu and Jones aspire to open a store and have a real point of sale for their second-hand finds.
“Every week, several people ask us where our storefront is,” said Andreu.