Sep 24, 2018 | By Lourdes Linares
Get more Denim insights as a WGSN subscriber
It’s not natural to associate Thailand with purist vintage denim but recently we came across this awesome post on the Denim Hunters blog all about Old Boy Trading Co, a Thai vintage denim-head’s dream. In it, Denim Hunters introduce the vintage dealership that is Old Boy and how so much great vintage denim has come to land on the shores of Thailand.
Oldboy Trading Co. was set up by Paul Sucharitkul and is collective of vintage clothing merchants throughout Thailand with Sucharitkul as the representative. They sell items ranging from workwear and leather to bags and boots, but their main focus is denim.
So how did this company come into being? And why Thailand? Old boy Co explains:
We all know how the vintage clothing industry was single-handedly created by the Japanese in the early 1980s. What is less well known is how Thailand has played a major role in the supply chain of vintage clothing since the beginning. Back in those days, pioneering denim connoisseurs from Japan traveled to every crevasse of America; every thrift store, Good Will, Salvation Army, estate sales, and dumps in every big, or small town to find and acquire their piece of Americana – and to this day, continue to make the pilgrimage. But what about all the pieces that they missed? What happened to all those clothes that had been thrown out, unwanted, discarded, and left behind – just accumulating over the years – long before the Japanese had gotten there? Where did these clothes go? The answer is Pakistan!
In the early 1980s, bales of unwanted and discarded clothing from America, which undoubtedly included garments from the early 1900s to the 1970s, were shipped to Pakistan as part of U.S. humanitarian aid. Pakistani merchants then sold the bales of clothing to other countries like Malaysia; the clothes eventually made their way into Thailand through the South, along the border between Thailand and Malaysia.
While most people think of going to the original source (America) when buying American-made vintage clothing, you would be surprised at how much quality vintage clothing is available in Thailand. This was most true in the 1990s. Supply, now-a-days, is much more scarce – but still readily available if you know where to look. Therefore Old Boy was the perfect company to unite all the knowledgable vintage dealers in the country and offer some rare vintage denim finds.
Each specimen is selected based on rarity, quality, and overall character by their curator and representative, Mr. Paul Sucharitkul and new specimens are added to the inventory every week. such an interesting story and a beautiful site too! Go check it out.
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.