Vagabond Youth by Josh Monje
08 / 30 / 12
I'm always on the search for the next big online store; and when I stumbled upon Vagabond Youth, I knew that this site was something I had never really seen before. Sure, there are millions of online stores, and hundreds resemble the likes of Reformation (the vintage revival store with a cult, hipster following). What really sets Vagabond Youth aside from the rest, is the fact that it is run by a California teenager named Amy Lee. The store was founded in the summer of 2010, selling vintage pieces and the infamous "high wasted Levis" that every teenage girl from Kendall and Kylie Jenner, to your next door neighbor were wearing. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Amy Lee a few questions. Check out the interview and don't forget to visit shopvagabondyouth.com!
Josh Monje: What made you decided to open an online store?
Amy Lee: Before I opened Vagabond Youth, I had a store that sold exclusively handmade accessories. At fifteen, I basically opened that store because I was making an excessive amount of crafty little items and wanted to sell them to make an extra buck or two.
JM: Did you think that it would ever become as successful as it has?
AL: Truth be told, I don't consider it successful but I am glad that it has taken off and the general audience has widened a lot since I first opened the store. From day one, I've always been both surprised and elated by the fact that people everywhere around the world find an interest in the small selection I sell.
JM: What were your initial intentions when you opened the store?
AL: My initial intention when I opened the store was to somehow find a way to disperse vintage clothing throughout the globe for girls everywhere but also do it at an affordable price. And that's still my intention today.
JM: When you first opened the store did you find it overwhelming/was there anything that you had to overcome?
AL: When I first opened the store, I was entering the most important year of my high school career and so while I was taking college-level classes; managing clubs; and working, what my mom calls, a "real" job, I was also trying to manage inventory and send out orders on school nights when papers were due the next day. I was also spreading myself very thin trying to maintain a fashion blog (http://moonriverr.blogspot.com) and my style-related YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/shopvagabondyouth) as well. In general, however, the store itself was not too overwhelming but just with everything else I had to manage, I was short of just wanting to sleep and never wake up!
JM: Do you ever see yourself opening a physical store?
AL: Just because I wouldn't be able to fulfill my intentions through opening a physical store, I don't ever see myself opening up one. I mean, however, if in the far far far future I've managed to deliver vintage to girls in every single country and state, I would love to open one! But in the meantime, until my goal is done, opening a physical store is out of the question.
JM: Where do you see yourself 10 years down the road?
AL: 10 years down the road, I'd like to see myself working for a company or brand I love in the fashion industry, trying to solidify my career and essentially just learning the ropes of everything until I can eventually start my own company. It'd be great if I was dating too.
JM: Are the any collections that you love this season?
AL: Rag & Bone, BCBG Max Azria, Suno, and Helmut Lang are big favorites of mine as far as the collections for s/s 2013 go. Although I love color, I was happy to see a lot of neutrals this season at NYFW too.
JM: Who are some idols of your's in the fashion industry?
AL: I personally love when actors, or just people in general, become successful at things other than their original or intended skill, so I really admire Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and what they have done with The Row and Elizabeth & James. Kelly Cutrone is also my Public Relations idol- I just think she's a complete badass.
JM: How would you define your personal style?
AL: Evolving. I feel like I can never truly stick to one style because I'm 18 and I'm young. I'm a bit capricious at heart when it comes to what I like, so I definitely think my style is evolving and will take many years to come to really define itself.
JM: Is there a specific style or piece of clothing that you are loving for fall?
AL: I love the military look for this fall. I particularly am in love with the trenchcoats MM6 Maison Martin Margiela did for spring 2013. Even though it's supposed to a season away, I'll be trying to incorporate that look into my wardrobe this fall!
Article & Graphic by: Josh Monje
Check out his blog here!