Thursday, April 25, 2013
WOW Focus: Shop // AND STILL Vintage Sportswear Boutique.......Super Dope
If you’re into vintage sportswear at all, you probably already know about And Still. If not, you definitely should! And Still is the world’s best destination for all things 80’s and 90’s sports apparel and hip-hop. We’re not talking dingy old thrift store finds here. This is crispy, deadstock product that looks like it was made last week, not 20+ years ago. Starter jackets, Salem caricature t-shirts of your favorite 80’s sports star, Raiders ZUBAZ pants, that Charlotte Hornets snapback hat you had in third grade…they have it all. Kirk Tilton, co-owner of And Still and the authority on all things in vintage sportswear, took some time to answer a few questions about the shop, his favorite scores, and even a little sneaker talk. Check out the words from a vintage genius, and make sure to stop by And Still the next time you’re in LA. Just don’t blame us if you leave with three Starter jackets, a Harold Miner jersey and a pair of Xavier McDaniel shoes!
Zack Schlemmer: What up Kirk! First, just give a quick introduction of yourself and the history of And Still / For All To Envy.
Kirk Tilton: What up Zack! For All To Envy started over a decade ago back in New Hampshire after realizing a 9-5 wasn't for me. I had always gone to thrift stores and flea markets to hunt for vintage but it was Ebay that opened my eyes to the business side of it. My first big flip was a heather gray 1986 Mets/Red Sox World Series (insert Buckner joke here) tee that I bought for a couple bucks at the thrift store and sold it for $80 on eBay. After that I never looked back. Fast forward to 2009, I moved to LA and partnered up with Jeremy at And Still who had been open on La Brea for a little over a year. He had the store front, I had the internet on lock, it made sense….and dollars!! Together we supply the world with the best vintage sportswear from the 80's and 90's!
ZS: I won’t ask the question, “Where do you find all this stuff?!” because I’m sure you get asked almost every single day... plus a master never reveals his secrets…but where is the craziest place you have ever made a vintage score, or just a memorable story?
KT: As you said, a master never reveals his secrets, but here's one for all the Sole Collector readers out there. Go to the yard sales of washed up athletes. You know, the Jose Canseco's of the world. These guys are always looking to make a buck and will sell anything, I mean anything. At the last Canseco yard sale I bought 40 sealed Bash Brothers posters for $1 each (http://www.andstillclothing.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1197).
One of the most memorable digs was back in NH before I moved out to LA. I was at the flea market and found a guy selling boxes of vintage baseball cards and some memorabilia. I started talking to him and come to find out he used to own a sports store in the 90's. I threw out the million dollar question "Do you have more stock?" He replied "I have two storage units full." Before he could even finish his sentence I asked if I could meet him there the following morning, he agreed. I went the next day to find 2 storage units literally filled to the ceiling with sneakers, snapbacks and apparel. The sneakers consisted of Ewings, Mutombos, Larry Johnsons and any other non Jordan/Nike endorsed player from the 90's. The hats were a mix of brands like Sports Specialties, Starter, Universal and G-Cap. All in all, it was like I had died and gone to deadstock heaven with the gatekeeper being an old drunk named Dick (that was really his name).
ZS: I assume your personal collection is nuts. What’s the one piece you’ve found that’s now in your personal stash you could never part with?
KT: I'd probably say my game worn Larry Bird jockstrap, you'd have to pry it out of my dead hands! Kidding, but that would be awesome…..wouldn't it? The thing or should I say things I would never sell are actually not sport related. I have a crazy vintage hip-hop t-shirt collection that I've amassed over the years and they're pretty much going to the grave with me. Name a rapper or group from the 80's/90's and I have it in the stash, even R. Kelly! As far as sports gear, I don't think I'd sell my Xavier McDaniel Celtics jersey because I'd be worried if he found out he might have a flashback and think I was Wes Matthews…..we all know what happened there!
ZS: The true connoisseurs of vintage sportswear will always seek out your product, but has the resurgence of current brands like New Era and Mitchell and Ness producing tons of vintage-inspired apparel made you sweat at all?
KT: In the words of Alfred E. Neuman…."What, Me Worry? I actually think the retro wave has made the vintage product more valuable and sought after. A lot of people might have ever known about a specific design until the retro came out and then when they find out its a remake they seek out the original. On the other hand some people don't care if its a retro or vintage and just want to match their outfit/sneakers, to each his own.
ZS: In the past year, you’ve done the awesome And Still Player Hats and Pocket Tees… Is there any new product on the way?
KT: We just dropped our And Still custom vintage crewnecks for the Holidays, the response has been amazing so far. We hand pick deadstock vintage crewnecks and re-work the sleeves with graphics to represent each team. We also have a few new And Still designs dropping just in time for that holiday shopping rush. (Editor's Note: Available now at And Still's Online Store)
ZS: Since this is Sole Collector, let’s talk about kicks for a minute. I know you usually have some crazy old deadstock shoes like LA Gears or Ewings in stock at And Still…what’s in the shop right now?
KT: People don't really know we sell vintage sneakers because they aren't displayed in the store. Its kind of a secret society, you have to know the password in order to get access (Hint Hint "Sole Collector"). We have a little bit of everything in stock right now and we sell most of them on our eBay store, that seems to be the best market for vintage kicks.
ZS: What’s the one shoe that you’re still hoping to find in a dusty warehouse somewhere?
KT: Nothing crazy, just a deadstock in box pair of OG Jordan 1's in my size (10.5, in case you guys are ever wondering what size to send me).