14 Dec, 2008
Poland’s recycled style
Posted by: Michał In: p for press
So here’s something for all you fashionistas. A good article in today’s New York Times about Poland’s latest fad – second hand shops:
Thrift stores here have become impromptu laboratories of the changing mores and attitudes in a country adjusting to newfound wealth. Young Poles here in the capital are now confident enough in their ability to buy new clothes that they at last have taken to wearing old ones. Those eking out a living on fixed incomes, especially retirees, still lack the means to do otherwise.
But until recently, second-hand shops in Poland were frowned upon. One wouldn’t like to be seen shopping in them. NYT explains why it was so and why this attitude has changed now:
The pronounced stigma of buying used clothes in a poor country was once a powerful deterrent for shopping — or at least admitting to shopping — at secondhand stores, known here by the derogative colloquialism lumpex, which translates as something like bum export. That stigma has been replaced among the young by a playful attitude toward vintage clothing and bargain-hunting that would not be out of place among their contemporaries in London or New York.
The whole article is really more about social issues really than fashion. Well worth a read if you’ve got a spare moment.
One quote from the piece struck me as this is something many of my friends who’ve been to Poland observed too:
“Older ladies here are proud and so fashionable,” said Ania Kuczynska, 33, a fashion designer in Warsaw. “You can see that they aren’t very rich, but they’re elegant and they have their own style.”
They would never ever wear a soiled polyester Arsenal T-shirt with trackies, she is saying. I think.
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