We are absolutely thrilled to have our guests Uche & Bianca from PLAYGROUND featured today. PLAYGROUND is a vintage label based out of Atlanta seriously dripping with talent for styling and curating. I was introduced to PLAYGROUND by Beth Jones of @bjonesstyle. She hosted an instagram live discussion a couple weeks ago and Uche was the final guest. (Pls watch-it is saved as an IGTV on Beth’s page) Uche spends some time describing her personal style, how it has developed over the years, where she pulls from, and why vintage plays a huge role in how she dresses. I felt so relieved to hear someone talk about their style as an evolving thing that draws on experiences throughout ones life- be it family memories, certain cities, dreams, limits, or cultural context. We asked them a few questions & I know y’all will love what they have to say. Thanks a ton for joining us PLAYGROUND!
SHOP HERE: https://playgroundvs.com/
How did you get into vintage?
Uche: In terms of my personal wardrobe, I got into vintage when I attended university in the heart of Atlanta, which is also home to 5 other colleges within a ten mile radius. But we only had like one H&M, one Forever 21, and one Zara nearby so it wasn’t rare to see multiple people at a party wearing the same thing. Or seeing someone wearing something whose twin was hanging in my closet. I had zero interest in subjecting myself to Who Wore It Best: College Edition. Not the move. So I got into vintage to find pieces that were unique, that I knew no one else would have. And I also liked it for the actual look of it. Finding the right gems from the 70s, 80s, and 90s became preferable to a lot of the styles I was seeing from fast fashion retailers. Vintage helped me find my style.
Bianca: Vintage fashion has always held a special place in my heart since I was a kid. Growing up my mom always wore the flyest outfits and I absolutely loved watching her get dressed and mix different styles together. She was a trendsetter and I pretty much aspired to be just like her. This was during the 80’s and 90’s when fashion was really dope and unique in my opinion. At a young age I became obsessed with dressing in my mom’s old vintage clothing and styling it with pieces that were more modern and trendy. Like Uche (who attended school 5 minutes away from my university) college was a very interesting period of time where I really grew into my looks and style. Not to mention, we were broke college kids on a budget, so vintage was definitely the move back then. Vintage is something that pretty much never goes out of style, and I think that's what really makes it great. You can literally recreate different pieces, styles, and looks as many times as you want for any occasion, as long as you are creative and have an imagination!
Any vintage find that you’ll never let go of?
Uche: Great, interesting question but my style evolves too much for me to have a good answer to this. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t come across the item yet. I’m sure it’ll happen when we eventually take our epic vintage shopping trip to Japan post-Rona. I have great staples that I love like vintage leather pants, and I have this insane Chicago Bulls/Michael Jordan vintage Chalk Line jacket, but if the time came, I could part with them. (Bianca has first dibs on the jacket.) We do have some amazing pieces in our store collection that I will be sad to see go, like this huge, bear-like vintage Isabel Marant coat...sooooooo gooooooood.
Bianca: That’s definitely a tough question for me because I find myself attached to so many dope pieces that I own. My style has remained somewhat consistent with a few changes here and there as I’ve gotten older and as the times have changed. For the most part though I think people would describe my personal style as being very “cozy” and “athletic.” So, I tend to hold on to a lot of classic vintage jerseys, graphic tees, and sports jackets. Specifically, I have a Chicago Bulls Leather Starter Jacket that my dad used to rock in the 90’s. Not only did the Chicago Bulls have the greatest player of all time, but they also had/have the flyest starter uniforms and colorway ever! I'm a huge fan of their sports gear and I know without a doubt most of the pieces in my closet are a reflection of this obsession. Uche’s Chicago Bulls bomber jacket comes in at a close second, and I'm just waiting on the opportunity for her to leave it in my car by accident so I can add that to my collection as well!
How would you describe your personal style?
Uche: It’s kind of hard to describe. I know what it is, better than I ever have as I’ve grown into it, but I don’t know how to put it into words. But if I think about what may be consistent throughout my outfits is that I tend to do the most. So probably the best way to describe my style is “elevated”. And there’s always a bit (or a lot) of polish, which can be credited to my years under strict uniform rules and church on Sundays with very Nigerian parents. Give me a statement piece of clothing, amazing accessories, and dope shoes. I love sneakers, and I love heels. My outfits aren’t crazy or anything, but they are rarely simple. I’m the girl who loves long gloves outside of winter. And I think a bit of that influence shows in PLAYGROUND.
Bianca: I guess I jumped the gun and kind of mentioned my personal style in my answer to the last question. My personal style is very relaxed and comfortable to say the least. I'm definitely a sneakers and sweats vs. heels and dress kind of person, but I love mixing up the two. I might rock a Chicago Bulls jersey but make it cute with some heels or an oversized jean jacket! That’s pretty much how I roll to any and every event unless someone enforces a strict dress code. I like the challenge of wearing different pieces that may be geared towards a specific gender and making it gender neutral. I actually find some of the best pieces in the men’s section lol and I love to mix it up and style it differently from what you would assume.
Any favorite vintage accounts you would like to share?
Uche: I find most of the vintage for my personal collection on ebay so everybody on ebay is my favorite. Kidding. I really like Bum-Cake Vintage (@bumcakev) because it shows sensual femininity that’s authentic and without doing too much. When it comes to “intimates”, I’m more of a big t-shirt and basketball shorts kind of person, but I’m always doing a standing O for women who embrace that side of themselves. I also really like templo (@templo_). I love the clothes, the styling, the imagery, all of it. I appreciate, that like PLAYGROUND, they give vintage more of the effort that you often see being given to new clothing.
Bianca: There’s a lot of really dope vintage brands out here now. I love a lot of vintage re-work that is more geared towards streetwear style. @frankiescollective is a dope brand that is known for this. I like the way they remix old vintage clothing into completely new pieces!