It was better before! Vintage and retro enjoy a nostalgic place in our daily lives, part a fun cyclical trend that transforms the tacky into the iconic.
It was better before!
In a troubled economic and social times, many have fond memories of a time when thoughts of “tomorrow” didn’t bring concerns about financial crises and mass unemployment. It is hope and even happiness that fuel the sometimes deliciously regressive need to surround ourselves with objects from the past to better imagine the future.
Suddenly ‘has-been’ morphs into fabulous
Vintage design is emerging as one of the strongest trends of recent years. Enlightened amateurs and stylish trendsetters have been scouring flea markets seeking treasure for many years now, and now the phenomenon has won wide popular support – evidenced by the global success of the series Mad Men, and the current craze for vinyl, Polaroid photo effects and hipster style.
Communication professionals and trend scouts have not made a mistake. In recent years, objects with retro lines have invaded the shops of today (cameras gloved in leather, Formica furniture, audio systems with the aesthetics of yesteryear, retro packaging, etc.) with the promise of a way of life that does not sacrifice modernity and new technology. This is known as neo-retro.
Something new out of the old
Many brands have chosen to resurrect their ancient icons to tell a new story. In its ads, Dior offers us Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. The watchmaker Bell & Ross goes further by presenting a collection of vintage wristwatches from the 40s, even if the brand itself has only been around for about twenty years.
More reasonable consumption
The success of the retro phenomenon also reflects a change in the mentality of today’s consumers. In an unfavorable economic context, where recycling and reusing are widespread, many prefer to repair a piece of furniture or object rather than investing in a brand new one. For Nathalie Rozborski of Nellyrodi Beauty, “People are sick and tired of Kleenex consumption. They are looking for durable, reliable values. They increasingly opt for resourceful, clever consumption”. A commitment for some, a need for others, vintage culture is built in opposition to the current ‘throw-away’ era.
We cannot talk about vintage style without looking at the cyclical nature of this great trend. The old French winemaking word ‘vendage’ becomes ‘vintage’ in English, a style that returns to the codes and key objects of 15 to 20 years ago. A great motivation for carefully keeping your clothes, gadgets and current objects; you might just bring them out in a few years and they will be furiously trendy!
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Another French term, Entre2rétros, is used to describe the stylish trend upcycling, or giving products a different and more beautiful second life. Designers Virginie Nantas and Céleste Bouchayer recover scraps of automotive fabrics, safety belts and leather, and transform them into beautiful bags and fashion accessories. Discover their retro products with evocative names here.