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12CRITICAL3-popupIn today's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica goes on the Vintage Streetwear tour. He ably proves his credibility on such matters by revealing that hidden in his closet is the very same style of Tommy Hilfiger hockey jersey that was worn by the late rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard in the video Mariah Carey made for "Fantasy" back before she was completely loopy and he was dead.

With that cherished memento in mind, He time-traipses through that sneaker fetishist's paradise that is Flight Club's consignment store, recently relocated from Mercer to Greene street. It is here that he indulges his inner-urban-geek losing himself in the minutiae of this particular clothing genre like a trekkie at Comic-Con.

For a few years, Flight Club’s consignment store... has been a place of comfort, as close as I can come to shopping in my own teenage closet. This is commerce as sense memory, as narcotic, as personal museum.

Talking to the store’s affable manager is akin to a college class in defunct fashion, trading minute details about fabric choices or stitching patterns on lines that haven’t been in production for two decades.

We understand. Sometimes we get a twinge of that feeling when we wander into Leffot.

But that's not enough. In search of a greater fix, he explores the newer competitor Community 54, but it is here that he seems to remember one of the cardinal rules of retro-wear: If you wore it the first time around, then walk away. Leave it for someone else to discover.

Critical Shopper: Where the Racks Hold Ghosts of Our Youth By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Flight Club New York 254 Greene Street near Waverly Place, NoHo
Community 54 54 Clinton Street near Rivington Street, Lower East Side


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