Why Buying Vintage Clothes Is ‘The New Luxury’

I’ve asked Mathew Cohen, the owner of the MHC Vintage on 555 Parliament Street, to dress me in 3 different outfits for 3 different occasions. Each look consists of vintage clothing, accessories and footwear that we picked together and voila! 

  The Casual Day   
Denim jacket w/ studs (1970s made in France ) $88
1994 dead stock Hanson band t-shirt $160
Pink silk and lace slip dress 1940s $90 
Brown leather boots with tan python skin heal $110 
Purse1980s Chanel look in pleather and brass chain $25   
Bracelet 3x pearls strands magnet closure 1960s $33 
Sunglasses, brand unknown made in Italy (early 2000s) sparkly plastic $50  
In The Office  
Suede skirt made in USA 1980s $45 
Blazer pink dyed cotton denim very fitted made in France $55 
Black 1980s super tailored gauze blouse new romantic type shirt made Italy. $64
Necklace faux lapis and faux gold metal Chain  $25 
Leopard pony skin pumps 1990s/2000s $45  
Purse 1970s faux patent leather and croc embossed strip in middle feminine attaché case on long strap $33 
Special Occasion 
1980s made in Italy for creeds boutique Toronto fitted long sleeves, sheer net with sequence paisley attached to poof off tulle miniskirt with bow on waist:  $260 
Boots vintage RCMP 80s -90s men’s in size 8 :  $110  
Evening bag: 1980/s faux suede $25  

If you live in Cabbagetown you must have noticed MHC Vintage’s window display. Its cool and creative window stops anyone in their tracks. 

I asked Matt how he plans these:

‘As for planning the shop window, honestly, its pretty organic. It could be a pair of shoes, a t-shirt or the weather. It really just depends on what is happening that day. I like to try to display my own personal style coupled with the creative vibe of the shop.‘

About Mathew:

How did you first get into vintage clothing?

‘When I was living in Paris working as a designer, I shopped vintage as a means of inspiration for pattern making. I was buying pieces more or less based on the silhouettes, fabrics and construction of the garment. These elements I used as a reference for creating modern pieces whether it was for myself or for the people I was working with. The weekly trips to the Paris Flea market fuelled my passion for vintage. I became friendly with Parisian vendors and began to accumulate more and more pieces which ultimately left me no alternative than to open a shop in the market, since I was already selling pieces and styling my friends in vintage from my Paris apartment, it didn’t seem like a far stretch, and it worked.‘

What are the big changes in how vintage works today compared to when you started?

‘I think the biggest change in Vintage is the demand. It has become very popular in the last few years.  There are a lot more individuals selling it, and it has become quite difficult to access good pieces at affordable prices because everyone is essentially looking for the same thing. I also think now what one person deems as Vintage is not exactly what another does. The age group of the buyers has changed so it’s extremely important to be relevant before the trend occurs. For example right now 90’s and 2000’s is fashionable. One needs to anticipate and stay ahead of the trend. You are buying on instinct and good design.‘