VINTAGE BUSINESS

Dressing up (and down) in vintage clothing has been popular for years, especially in urbane California and New York, where the too-hip-for-words flock to secondhand stores.

Now big designers and entre-preneurs are turning vintage clothing into big business. Famous names from Ralph Lauren to Tommy Hilfiger are selling vintage frocks alongside their current collections. “It’s not a novelty anymore,” says Lisa Lahde, founder of online vintage retailer mightyflirt.com, whose customers are spread from Texas to Michigan.

Lahde looks for the vintage trend to keep growing. Easy retail access and online inventory put cool vintage looks within reach of “people (who) don’t have the time or inclination to rummage through estate sales or resale shops,” she says. Sounds like most of the U.S. to us.