One Columbus company has been rocking vintage long before 2013 — six years, exactly — and is bringing its idea of vintage wear to students.
Clothing Underground opened on North High Street in April and has been attracting customers with back-to-school sidewalk sales.
The store is located next to Johnny Go’s House O’ Music across from the Wexner Center for the Arts, and this is the store’s first physical location.
“We couldn’t have picked a better spot,” said Josh Harden, owner of Ghetto Vintage and Clothing Underground. “There is a great energy with all the students walking around.”
Clothing Underground is an extension of the online store, Ghetto Vintage. Ghetto Vintage has been in operation for six years. Before opening Clothing Underground, the company converted a 1960 airstream into a mobile store.
Along with the move from an online store to High Street, Harden felt a name change was needed.
“We changed the name because we didn’t want to limit ourselves to just vintage,” Harden said. “We want to bring all kinds of fashion forward pieces into the store.”
Harden said the company is focusing on “up-cycling” with the latest extension. The design team reworks vintage pieces into unique, modern looks, such as 1980s high-waisted denim Levi’s, which are one of the most popular items this season, Harden said.
“We love the challenge of taking current runway and street styles and interpreting them with secondhand and vintage items,” Harden said.
Harden went on to explain the company aims to provide clothing appropriate for a casual young consumer. The team looks for items that are trendy, affordable and wearable, Harden explained. So, unlike many vintage stores, Clothing Underground houses little formal wear.
“It has a little bit of a hipster feel,” said fourth-year communication and English major Shelby Bradford. “It’s very appropriate for Columbus and campus.”
The store’s re-vamped Ohio State tank tops have been a hit for the beginning of football season, Harden said.
“We take old OSU tees and re-work them into sexy tanks and crop tops,” said Harden. “They sell out the same day they hit the store each week.”
Harden said the OSU gear sold out for the first home game and will be back in store by Friday.
Prices range from $10 to $25 for products like shorts, dresses, tops and jewelry.
Ghetto Vintage and Clothing Underground source their vintage goods from a variety of places, Harden said, adding that the group spends the summers traveling to festivals and flea markets, buying products and networking.
“We have longstanding relationships with other vintage dealers and collectors from all over the country,” Harden said.
The company maintains high standards so the idea of “secondhand” or “vintage” doesn’t become synonymous with “used” or “old.” All clothing comes to the Ghetto Vintage warehouse in Columbus where they clean and inspect each piece.
“Our store is highly curated but not overpriced,” Harden said.
Some students have taken advantage of recent sales and found themselves pleased with the store’s vision and quality of products.
“These are nicer clothes compared to other vintage places where stuff can be raggedy,” said return-shopper Alisa Burnside, a first-year in architecture.
Clothing Underground is located at 1898 N. High St. The store’s hours vary by day.