The VFG’s Roots
In the year 2000, eBay was practically the only game in town, and its Vintage Clothing & Accessories forum was where a lot of shop talk took place. Some of the regulars in that forum decided to form an independent group because they saw an opportunity for improvement.
The founding members of the Vintage Fashion Guild envisioned an organization that would provide a supportive environment and an educational platform for vintage fashion. The VFG’s future direction would evolve from this groundwork that was laid.
We still count fourteen of the original members among our current ranks.
The VFG was officially established on July 8, 2002, when the domain name vintagefashionguild.org was registered.
Who We Are, What We Offer, Why We Exist
Formally, the Vintage Fashion Guild is the leading online vintage fashion resource—fostering knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of vintage fashion through our international community of members. That is our stated mission. Our goals are to promote excellent (ethical, knowledgeable) selling practices, to provide a central educational resource for all, to encourage both the conservation and wearing of vintage clothing, and to position vintage as a viable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fashion.
We are a nonprofit 501c6 trade organization. The VFG membership is comprised of vintage sellers, and a growing number of museum professionals, researchers, costumers, appraisers, educators, editors and writers.
To be sure, there are many honorable vintage sellers and others involved in fashion history who are not VFG members, but our members have the advantage of using the VFG’s credentials to offer something akin to a Good Housekeeping Seal: an earned level of trust.
The VFG’s public forum and resources (as well as social media) provide free advice, inspiration, and education to the general public, including sellers, 24/7. Members have access to an extensive private forum with even more shop talk and camaraderie. We support one another, and our collective wisdom is greater than the sum of its parts.
VFG members can also participate in a variety of promotional opportunities, such as our Facebook Shop, blog, social media, and newsletter. Every week we hold themed Vintage Fashion Parades, and Fresh Vintage to showcase new items for sale. The VFG logo and other graphics are available to all members. They may also use our membership slogan: Proud Member of the Vintage Fashion Guild.
The VFG’s Resources
The resources that the VFG shares have been created by numerous VFG members. The Label Resource is unquestionably the most popular section of our website, as well as the oldest of our features. That resource alone represents the work of many volunteers giving thousands of hours of their time to help others gain a foundation for their own understanding. Our volunteers are heroes to this organization.
Besides offering our resources for free, we want people to feel welcome in our public forum, to ask questions and share their finds, and to learn and gain expertise that will benefit them whether they become collectors, wearers, sellers, or even members.
Vintage fashion popularity has ebbed and flowed over the first two decades of the Vintage Fashion Guild’s history, but the overall trend has been one of massive growth, especially in recent years. Sustainability, a rejection of fast fashion, and a growing awareness of fashion history (via books, websites, museum exhibits, social media, small and large screen shows and movies, current designer references to the past, and shopping accessibility) have all fueled the popularity of wearing secondhand and vintage items.
The business of selling vintage clothing has changed remarkably as well. There was nothing like the prevalence of social media that exists today, and nobody could have predicted the number of people involved in small businesses that rely on vintage fashion, and the number of people interested in vintage fashion.
We believe that the knowledge the Vintage Fashion Guild shares helps sellers and buyers of vintage fashion, and everyone interested in fashion history. Continuously growing our database, we are here to help increase that knowledge.