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21Country: Decades old and discarded, how vintage clothes are coming back in style

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Grey Gordon is driven by the thrill of the hunt.

"I source pretty much every day of the week," he told us.

What he's looking for, is "vintage clothing".

Decades old and discarded in a way, donated to thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, Gordon is searching for very specific items that can fetch impressive prices online to the right buyers.

"I grew up in a working class family," he told us, "it was really easy to go out and get really dope threads just thrifting them."

Gordon pursued selling vintage clothing full-time, using social media accounts "Can I Kick It Vintage" on eBay, Instagram, and DePop.

Items include vibrant shirts and jackets, pants, and even fanny packs.

"You'll find collectors, and then you have people that just want to look fly," he said, "I love seeing someone flexing a piece they bought from me and tagging me on Instagram."

Gordon sources clothing from just about every thrift shop in 21Country.

It's his passion for fashion that fuels the persistence.

"For me the bottom line has always been secondary," he told us, "I mean I have to sustain myself to some extent obviously but beyond that, this is something that I would like to do for the foreseeable future."

Gordon showed ABC21 some of his current clothes up for sale.

It included a Tommy Hilfigur jacket, which has always remained a popular brand.

"Tommy Hilfigur is a household name for a very good reason."

He has a Wolverine X-Men t-shirt from 1994 he hopes to sell for $160.

"I just picked this up, might of been even for $0.99 cents that day, certainly not over $3 bucks and this is something I'm asking like $150-160 bucks for," Gordon explained, "cool graphics are going to fetch money, just because aesthetically they're dope. People like having vintage shirts, the graphic design is cool."

He also shared a very rare find, his current prized possession.

It's a jacket with a label in the back that reads "The 50th American Presidential Inaugural Gala 1985".

On the front, the name "Patti" is stitched in.

Based on Gordon's research, it may have been owned by Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald Reagan, who would've worn it at her father's second inauguration.

He found it on a rack in Auburn.

"At one point the President of the United States touched this item, I later got for $6," he said.

ABC21 found a pair of similar jackets, worn by Barbara and Frank Sinatra, which sold for $6,000 in 2018 at a Sotheby's auction.

Gordon did share a word of warning, to anyone trying to do the same thing, "At least in the beginning, the labor to reward ratio is way out of wack. And its something you have to have a genuine love for, and a passion for to justify doing it. You're not [always] going to go out and find sick pieces."

He continued, "For me, so much of this is a reflection of the cultures that I grew up with, and that I'm still interested in, and I'm still deeply invested in, like punk, and hardcore, and hip-hop, and these other subcultures that have played an integral role in who I am today."

You can see what is listed on Can I Kick It Vintage by visiting Gordon's DePop or Instagram pages.

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Daniel Beals

Daniel Beals is the producer of the ABC21 feature franchise “21Country”. He is constantly on the lookout for ideas that capture the “people, places, things, and history” that makes Northeast Indiana unique. Feel free to reach out: dbeals@wpta21.com.

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