Jun 16, 2017 | By Alice Gividen
Get more Denim insights as a WGSN subscriber
Since its founding in 2002, LA’s Raggedy Threads vintage store has quickly become one of the go-to destinations for vintage enthusiasts and designers alike. Here we speak to the owner and founder, Jamie Wong on her favorite finds.
While Little Tokyo may be off the beaten track of LA’s retail and vintage store destinations like Melrose or La Brea, the area is becoming a hotspot for savvy shoppers to explore due to the growing popularity in the surrounding areas of Downtown and the upcoming Arts District. Sandwiched amongst the local Japanese shabu restaurants and sushi bars is one of LA’s best kept secrets, Raggedy Threads.
One step inside and you’ll feel the love that has been put into the shop. From the vintage gems on offer to the stunning artifacts that tell the story of the people that once wore them to the vintage interior – its even older than the clothing, the store is bursting with character. Owner Jaime Wong has to be the most valuable treasure inside though. A veteran in the vintage scene, Jamie has proudly been building her business and archive (respectively) since 2002 with the Little Tokyo store being her second venture (formerly located in Covina) since the inception. When she’s not manning the store, Jamie is traveling the country on buying trips, picking out wares from the heartlands to international markets across the states to find you the next magical addition to your wardrobe.
For the interior, Jaime took century-old wood from a St. Louis barn and used it on the unfinished herringbone patterned wall, racks, tables and benches. The door that separates the office area is a 1900s Victorian screen door which was re-screened, but still has that raw and authentic feel.
The collection mainly focuses on vintage Americana with stacks of denim, tees and South West goodies as well as some more unique pieces from the East like Souvenir jackets, boro kimonos and African indigo textiles. Distressed leather boots with brass clamps shine under the store lights, 1940s Beacon blankets are spotlessly clean, and men’s and women’s apparel from every 20th century decade are ironed and hung tidily, ready for you to flip through. A collection of plaid and jean-clad Buddy Lee dolls that are on display only, as Wong can’t bare to part with them.
We spoke to Jamie at the latest edition of Rin Tinaka Inspiration to find out some of her most prized finds?
“OxHide brand 40s chambray farm shirt. This came from an attic that has not been touched in 60 years. It was completely destroyed and amazed it didn’t completely disintegrate. It was missing pretty much the entire left side, sleeves were shredded and the back had a huge hole. With that, I completely restored ‘him’ with scrap chambray from the same era. I felt like I brought ‘him” back to life again and is now completely wearable!”
“Also from the attic, early kids 30s-40s striped chambray shirt in amazing shape for its age. I love love love this material and it’s very hard to find this kind of stripe and/or ticking. Fantastic patina and the body has such an usual cut. Definitely handmade and made from love.”
“My Babies! I collect Buddy Lee dolls and my stock is up to 14 and counting…”
Primitive Calico quilts dated 1800-1900s. Obsessed with finding these and collecting it for many reasons…
1. Completely handmade and probably passed through generations
2. Beautiful colors and patterns
3. Functional…it’s actually pretty warm and just looks so good
The address for the store is listed below, but if you can’t make it out, check out their Etsy store, where you can shop for pieces directly from the brick-and-mortar store.
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.