At its most basic, it possesses a scarce item of designer apparel to perform in. At its most obsessive, it entails being an archive for your favorite designer, studying, collecting, and reselling their rarest works out of pure love and perhaps a little one-up man ship. Archival fashion, strictly speaking, is any piece of clothing drawn from a designer’s previous body of work, but in recent years’ term has come to define specific elements from historically significant male collections. Archive clothing is essentially the fashion equivalent of stamp collecting, sneaker head culture, or Pokémon cards. But, unlike the folks queuing outside Supreme or Palace, fashion archives collectors are more interested in the past than the present. Because the entry point into the worlds of street wear and high fashion has become so accessible to many, archive clothing is seen as the last bastion of authenticity in fashion – no one owns a piece of archive fashion without devoting time and energy to researching and hunting for it, implying that becoming an archival fashion collector requires more than just money.
What Exactly Are Archival Pieces?
While technically, any old designer apparel might be termed an “archive item,” the phrase has grown to mean something more particular than any piece from a designer’s library. On the other hand, an archival item is typically one of a designer’s ‘biggest hits from their back catalog, usually a very rare or sought-after garment from one of their foundational or career-defining collections.
Have you been living under a rock for the last several years? If you say yes, I will educate you on ‘archival clothes,’ ‘archive pieces,’ ‘archive garments,’ whatever you want to call it. If you responded ‘no,’ you should remain and learn more about this fascinating topic on behalf of your left side of the brain.
Essentially, archive items are clothing from previous seasons of high-end designers. As a result, the word “archive” means “the archive or archives are a collection of papers and records that hold historical knowledge.” These items are precious owing to their age, condition, and the designer who created them. For example, Raf Simons’ older collections contain the most valuable archival items. Unfortunately, some of those artworks are destroyed at this time, owing mostly to Simons’ use of ‘Acid wash’ on some of them. As a result of the fabric breaking down over time, this item has holes and tears. In my perspective, it has a sick appearance.
In truth, the whole ‘archive’ notion has a more profound significance. The entire procedure is the main distinction between spending money online, shopping for the latest season, and purchasing the archive. So let me retrace your actions while buying the library. First, you learn about some crazy-ass item that you’ve seen shoot on social media many times. Second, if you don’t already know fashion style reviews and the exact clothing name, you must do so before you can begin the quest. Third, now that you see the garment’s name, what season it is, and what size you require… Oh, and there are several sizes (obviously).
Anyway, it’s finally time to search the internet for the outfit. You haven’t found it after a long day of turning the internet upside-down and inside-out, or maybe you did, but not in your chosen size. This means you’ll have to check all the marketplaces every day until one appears, and even then, you’ll have to be the first to get it because you’re probably not the only one looking for this specific item.
Congratulations; you may add ‘archival clothes’ to your lengthy list of hobbies if you manage to keep track of all the markets every day to look for this specific piece. That’s precisely what it is: a fixation with apparel, compounded by the reality that almost no one in your neighborhood owns the same item. This is due to a lack of market saturation, which is also why the components are so expensive.
It’s not that strange. People in your neighborhood may ask, ‘Why is this person always wearing this shredded old hoodie?’ But then, when you tell them, ‘that’s archival fashion, I paid over a thousand dollars for this sweatshirt,’ they don’t get it because they haven’t gone through it and can’t connect. It’s a pity, and I should make some new buddies.