Ever been in a thrift store? The racks upon racks of clothes can be overwhelming and a turn off for the unfamiliar shopper who doesn’t know where to begin. “Patience is key,” says Sean Brown, who’s himself a perfect example of this value.
As a co-founder of The Art of Reuse, Sean and his Toronto-based team spent 6-months exploring thrift shops and hand-selecting navajo-inspired pieces to present as part of a one-day shopping endeavor called Interim. “We’re trying to change the thrift shop experience across the board,” Sean told The Menswear Journal. “We try to take you away from the brand name and look at the authenticity of the clothes.”
There’s nothing about these garments that make you think they came from a thrift store. All people see are the pieces from labels like Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and Woolrich Woollen Mills. The only tip off is the price — nothing in the retail space, located at 258 Bergen Street in Brooklyn, exceeds $50. It’s as if a personal shopper did all the work and presented you with the best-of-the-best.
But there’s a catch: customers can purchase only three items and Interim is only open one day per location.
The biggest mistake men will make when trying to pull off the navajo look is “not understanding how to unify,” says Sean. There are a lot of patterns, colors and exuberant pieces, which can come across as too hard on the eyes if worn all at once.
“If you’re gonna go with something this crazy,” he says, motioning towards a fully-patterned button-down, “go really light on the tones.” Pair it with dark denim and let the stand-out garment stand out.
This navajo shop, open for tomorrow only, is store number four for The Art of Reuse’s Interim experience. The first three were held at varying locations around Toronto, and each focused on a different theme.
“Here’s a heads up,” says Sean, “for the next shop we’re looking for a space on the west coast,” which will be focusing on another big trend: camouflage. Just as for this installment, the team will scour the thrift shops and pick their favorite items that best embody the trend.
Stay tuned and keep a look out.