Dynamite Clothing brings vintage pieces to life in Athens | Arts & Culture

True vintage is hard to come by in an age warped by fast-paced fashion and relentless trends, but Dynamite Clothing is a place where shoppers can take a break, breathe life into the pieces they explore, and express who they are through. unique and carefully selected clothes.

Loretta Paluck, owner and operator of Dynamite, has been passionate about collecting vintage clothing for over 25 years. By opening Dynamite in 2001, she decided to share this passion with the community of Athens.

Paluck’s hand selects every item that passes through his store, from quirky sweatshirts and retro sunglasses to extravagant and extravagant coats. “It’s pretty cool to go out and stumble upon something crazy like a leopard coat that they just don’t do [anymore.] That pattern, that faux fur… they just don’t have that style anymore, ”Paluck said.

When Paluck first arrived in the Athens area, she mainly sold her vintage collection to younger women who worked in restaurants in the city center. She noted that these women “got a lot of their identity from their clothes.”

The people are what drew Paluck to Athens and kept her here for so long. “The people who lived in Athens who I was with were really artistic and free,” Paluck said. She wishes to bring her passion to the younger generations who wish to express their individuality through their clothes using exclusive vintage pieces.

“The youngest people who shop vintage are almost so young that they don’t understand the age of vintage because it is before they are born,” said Paluck. “I think it makes people a lot more interesting when they come across me and feel unique and different. A Braves shirt from 1992! ‘ – it’s cool to see.

Paluck said pairing basic clothing with vintage clothing creates more unique outfits than buying commercial shirts from traditional retail clothing stores that make hundreds of the same product.

There is an element of care and love behind vintage clothing that Paluck wants customers to understand. Every element of the stories is organized, handpicked and cleaned up.

Winnie Smith, program coordinator at the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia and longtime Dynamite buyer, said she loved vintage clothes because “the quality is better – these clothes are made to last. “.

“We’re in this really crazy time with wasted fashion and all the little steps we can take for sustainable fashion are needed,” Smith said. “It’s a chance to be more creative and thoughtful with your purchases.”

Athens city center has felt the presence of fast fashion with many department stores setting up shop, but Dynamite’s presence gives Athenians a sense of community and familiarity.

“I have the impression that there are fewer independent local businesses than before, so Dynamite stands out as a store that has had a very long life and a very long relationship with downtown Athens and UGA, ”Smith said.

Dynamite is deeply rooted in the Athens community and has been in the city center for 20 years. Many customers see shopping here as a way to support small businesses and women-owned businesses.

“When Lori moved into the storefront, it was like a ray of sunshine. There is so much light in there, so many colors, you can just tell she has a really great attention to detail and it shows in her business and who she is, ”said Smith.

Dynamite has something for everyone, according to Paluck, whether shoppers are looking to purchase items that are consistent with their established style or step out of their comfort zone.

Compared to thrift stores like Goodwill, Dynamite stands out. Thought, conservation and care are behind every piece – the pieces are already chosen and handpicked rather than having to rummage through a rack of clothes yourself. Paluck appreciates each piece as having its own past life before it arrives in his store.

“I like to think about what he did before it got to me,” Paluck said. “The magic of each piece is passed on to the next person and is shown in a unique way. “

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