Finding Gems: Vintage clothing is back in style and St. John’s fashionistas are loving the unique, one-of-a-kind look

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Fashion trends tend to go in and out of style, but whether they change with the seasons or eras, it can be difficult to keep up with the trends.

But with the latest trend, one thing is common: vintage is the look.

“It’s harder to find and not everyone has it,” said Mark Williams, owner and operator of online thrift store Newfound Clothing in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“It started as a way to stand out and have a one-of-a-kind wardrobe.”

Newfound Clothing is a pun, obviously referring to the province, but it goes deeper than that: all of the clothing Willams sells is newly found.


Mark Williams, 24, from St. John’s, owns and operates online thrift store Newfound Clothing. His passion for vintage clothing inspired him to find a way to make a career out of it when he saw others sharing his love. -Cameron Kilfoy

Resurgence of the vintage

Williams says her love for all things vintage began in high school. He didn’t want to start a business – that’s how it happened.

“When it started coincided with the resurgence of vintage fashion,” Williams said.

“I didn’t exactly say, ‘It’s exploding right now, I have to get on it. I knew there were no stores in Newfoundland for this kind of clothing and there was a shortage for this style of clothing, so I kind of decided to go for it.


“I knew Newfoundland didn’t have stores for this stuff and there was a shortage for this style of clothing, so I kind of went for it.”
—Marc Williams


More and more people were also interested in this look and he decided to use this niche to market his business. He wanted to meet the needs of a community that also wanted these one-of-a-kind pieces, adding that local thrift stores don’t usually provide style items.

“There are several reasons why I chose to act on this opportunity,” Williams said. “One, I haven’t seen a lot of people selling it; two, I like its exclusivity. Most of the items I bring are hard to find, which means you’re one of the few on the island who owns this piece. Third, history and quality – most items look new today and last a lifetime. »

The quality of the items, Williams believes, is a key factor in bringing the vintage style back to the fore.

“Today’s clothes aren’t made the way they were, they’re not made to last,” Williams said. “It’s fast fashion these days, which means you wear it many times and they want you to buy it again.”


Newfound Clothing is a play on words.  Obviously, this refers to the province, but it goes further - all the clothes that Mark Williams sells are newly found.  - Contributed - Contributed
Newfound Clothing is a play on words. Obviously, this refers to the province, but it goes further – all the clothes that Mark Williams sells are newly found. – Contributed – Contributed

Besides the quality of the dishes, Williams says social media coverage is inspiring young people to embrace the style.

“Young people care a lot about fashion,” Williams said. “It gives another level of exposure to (vintage) fashion. People look for the trend online and eventually everything goes back into fashion and it’s vintage’s turn in the rotation.

And Williams has no doubt the style will endure.

“Vintage will always have its people demographics,” Williams said. “It may not be as popular, but it will always be in style. Newfoundland is a special place, we’re not super fashionable here. So I think we might be late regardless. Even if there is a major change in the trend, Newfoundland could take 10 years to even adapt to this.



In search of gems

Justin Mullett hails from St. John’s and his goal as a self-proclaimed fashion trendsetter is to collect the most distinct and eye-catching vintage pieces he can find.

“I like newer brands, but it can be expensive to track every drop,” Mullett said.

“In recent years I have found myself frequenting thrift stores more and other platforms such as Grailed which have a wide variety of these older styles. I found joy in coming back and looking for these gems.



Style was what drove the search for these objects initially, but as he progressed through the collection he began to develop a connection to the story behind each piece.

“Usually when you’re buying vintage, the durability of the product is meant to last,” Mullett said.

“The designs and styling of the era, with faded looks or cracked graphics, is something you don’t see anymore. There’s something about having a collection like this that makes you feel connected to that time in the world or the fashion industry.


Justin Mullett hails from St. John's and his goal as a self-proclaimed fashion trendsetter is to collect the most distinct and eye-catching vintage pieces he can find.  - Contributed - Contributed
Justin Mullett hails from St. John’s and his goal as a self-proclaimed fashion trendsetter is to collect the most distinct and eye-catching vintage pieces he can find. – Contributed – Contributed

Mullett considers his style to be completely original, as he likes to mix new fashion trends with these vintage looks, which gives it more daring.

Since becoming a collector, he’s noticed other styles coming back as well, but he thinks the vintage look is here to stay.

“You’ve seen tye-dye make a comeback as well as even baggy clothing,” Mullett said. “But these have come and gone. It’s going to last, it’s something that people really like. More and more (people) are saving; I can’t see it going anywhere.

He adds that people won’t completely abandon the vintage style because of the ease and affordability of finding these items. He doesn’t think there will ever be a time when people stop saving and switch to buying new items only.

“Growing up, I noticed how older things, not just in terms of style, always seem to come back in style,” Mullett said.

“You even see it in furniture now. Although this is the current trend, it has been a trend and will continue to be one; I think the resurgence of the vintage look is just beginning to scratch the surface.


The designs and styling of the era, with faded looks or cracked graphics, is something you no longer see.  There's something about having a collection like this that makes you feel connected to that time in the world or the fashion industry,” says Justin Mullett.  - Contributed - Contributed
The designs and styling of the era, with faded looks or cracked graphics, is something you no longer see. There’s something about having a collection like this that makes you feel connected to that time in the world or the fashion industry,” says Justin Mullett. – Contributed – Contributed


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