Q&A with Tori Freedman, Freelance Vintage Buyer & Consultant
Oh-so-vibrant and oh-so-talented, Tori Freeman, an LA native currently located in Philadelphia, tells all on sourcing her timeless vintage finds, on her Philadelphia to-do list, and on the pants that make her feel just like Stevie Nicks. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to vintage shop like a pro, now’s your chance. Or you can just check out her finds in the vintage section.
First off! Tell us about yourself and how you got into vintage sourcing?
T: I was born and raised in the Los Angeles Area and recently relocated to Philadelphia with my boyfriend and our cat Onyx.
As a teenager, I was always shopping on a budget, but things like fabrics, silhouettes, and brands were very important to me, so vintage was a way I could afford my dream closet. Each piece always felt unique and I remember thinking up stories about where the clothes had been before I found them. Also, my boyfriend’s grandparents owned a second-hand clothing store, so vintage had always been a part of his life. Many of my greatest memories are being at the Flea Market super early in the morning, watching the sunrise, meeting great people and selling great vintage.
Do you remember your first vintage purchase?
T: I don’t remember my very first purchase, but I definitely remember my first favorite purchase! It was a pair of LA Blues denim, they were high-waisted, wide leg bell bottoms, in a super blue wash with great oversized tortoise buttons that cinched in the waist. They fit like a glove! I remember every time I wore them I felt like Stevie Nicks.
What's your vintage sourcing process like?
T: Almost all of my weekends are spent adventuring outside of the city and finding vintage warehouses and local flea markets. Starting early in the day is key! Having an idea of key silhouettes or trends you are looking for is important and helps to keep you focused. I create mood boards with inspirational images and fabrics to help get inspired and have a clear vision of what I am looking for.
Why do you think people are especially into vintage right now?
T: The current state of our country plays a huge role in how and where people are choosing to spend their money, and clothing is no exception. Vintage is a way to give back to the community, as many second-hand stores and flea markets support local groups and people- like Philly Aids Thrift in Philadelphia, and the National Council of Jewish Women/Council Thrift in Los Angeles. Shopping vintage rather than new is also a way to reduce our footprint on our Earth, as well as give a second life to beautiful pieces instead of taking additional resources to produce something new.
Do you have any tips for us in determining a steal vs. a fake when it comes to vintage?
T: One of the most important things I look at is fabric! Fabric and content are key when shopping vintage, so always look at the content label! I like to stick to natural fabrics like silk, cotton, linen, and cashmere. I also buy a lot of sterling silver- when it comes to silver be on the lookout for pieces that are stamped with marks that identify the silver content, someone’s signature, or indicate the region or town where the piece was made.