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The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vintage fashion.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international community of people with expertise in vintage fashion. VFG members enjoy a wealth of resources, avenues for promoting their shops and specialties, and camaraderie with others who share a common interest and passion.
Contempo Casuals was a boutique-style retail chain founded by Wil and Dottie Friedman, two Salt Lake City transplants who arrived in Los Angeles in 1960. Wil was a liquidator of businesses that had gone bankrupt, and would put all the leftover merchandise into storage. Finally, they rented a storefront with the intention of selling all the random merchandise they had acquired until it was all gone. When they saw how quickly the women’s clothing sold, they decided to order more and continued down this path until the only merchandise they were selling was women’s clothing.
In 1962, with zero retail experience, they opened their first Contempo Casuals store in a San Fernando Valley strip mall. Because they were going by intuition rather than experience, they made their own rules and experimented with marketing and merchandising as they learned the business.
It wasn’t until they relocated the store to the heart of the city in 1965, that they honed in on their retail identity as the store for the young and hip. This set them apart from the pack, helping them attract a loyal, fashion-forward clientele.
The Friedmans oversaw every detail of the business, hiring staff that embodied the spirit of their clients. From the award-winning Peter Max-inspired graphics on all the packaging, labels, and advertising, to the store merchandising and head-to-toe Contempo Casuals outfits worn by the salesgirls, the brand was always innovating, staying ahead of its competitors. Its reputation for having the latest fashions at affordable prices allowed Contempo Casuals to continue expanding, becoming a popular fixture in shopping malls across the country.
In 1978, the Friedmans sold Contempo Casuals to the Carter Hawley Hale Group, who later sold the chain to the Neiman Marcus Group. The company continued to grow, yet, without the Friedman’s vision, the chain’s sales went soft. The brand ceased to exist in 1995 when all stores were converted to Wet Seals.
Written by Ranch Queen Vintage
Courtesy of Ranch Queen Vintage
Courtesy of eel
Courtesy of Melody Note Vintage
Courtesy of TBonita Style
from a 1970s dress
from a 1970s lurex pullover
from a late-1970s sweater
from an early-1980s sundress
from a 1980s dress
from a 1980s store hang tag
from a 1990s jacket