From Goodwill to Grunge: The Joyful Rebellion of Vintage Fashion

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From Goodwill to Grunge: The Joyful Rebellion of Vintage Fashion


Artists and performers—from Marcel Duchamp and Fanny Brice to Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain—all helped make secondhand fashion a visual marker for youth in revolt. Jennifer Le Zotte’s book, titled "From Goodwill to Grunge" (UNC Press, 2017), looks at how clothing, style, and commerce came together to change American culture and examines how secondhand goods sold at thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales came to be both profitable and culturally influential. Le Zotte traces the origins and meanings of “secondhand style” and explores how buying pre-owned clothing went from a signifier of poverty to a declaration of rebellion. Considering buyers and sellers from across the political and economic spectrum, Le Zotte shows how conservative and progressive social activists—from religious and business leaders to anti-Vietnam protesters and drag queens—shrewdly used the exchange of secondhand goods for economic and political ends.
Jennifer Le Zotte is in conversation with Colleen Hill.


The Museum at FIT

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