Thrift and vintage shopping has become a way of life for many folks in Toronto and the trend shows no signs of slowing. Eager hunters scour local shops and online marketplaces for rare finds, hoping to find prices ideally below the cost of a used car.
For Alex Maxamenko and Christian Ferguson, vintage clothing is life. While most local fashion fanatics are searching for classic championship shirts or vintage Tommy, the duo is sourcing clothing from runways globally in an attempt to put archive fashion on the map.
Archive fashion has a double appeal. It’s a piece of clothing taken from a designer’s previous body of work, as well as a garment that contains a significant piece of history.
Maxamenko and Ferguson, or Archive Threads, are giving the city the lowdown on archive fashion, a genre that the pair believe is underappreciated. The duo have been hosting pop-up events for a few years now, giving locals the chance to score their unfound grails.
At just 12 or 13, the pair sought ways to make money. They began thrifting clothing, flipping their acquisitions to customers in Barrie, where they’re originally from.
Slowly, but surely, the duo made a name for themselves as fashion heads who could source just about anything. They began shifting their sights to online clothing, proxying internationally in countries that Maxamenko would like to keep private.
The pair’s archive-selling business reached heights so astronomical, Maxamenko and Ferguson needed to make a decision: Continue their high school education, or take a leap and pursue their passions full-time?
“We started moving more into online markets and we started proxying internationally, and all of a sudden both of us dropped out of school and yeah, we’re both 18 and 19,” said Maxamenko.
Maxamenko and Ferguson have been running archive pop-ups in Toronto since they were 15 and 16. Their first few events were around Toronto, garnering attention for their outstanding and unique selection of brands.
Their latest pop-up is going to be their biggest yet, including over 1000 pieces for sale.
“It’s absolutely free for everyone to come and we’ll have items at all price ranges. Some are as cheap as $20, and our most expensive is $7,000 … it’s a one-of-one Haider Ackermann suit,” said Maxamenko.
For Maxamenko, sourcing and selling these rare garments is more than just a business, it’s a way of life. He believes that archive clothing, and fashion in general, can be a means of meeting other like-minded individuals.
“Last time we were here, I had stylists meet and connect with clients, brand owners met photographers, and we just watched people build off of each other,” Maxamenko said.
“These are things that are only able to happen when you have all of these creative minds in the same room together.”
The next pop-up event will be hosted at Messy House (1233 R Queen Street West) from May 20 to 21. Both days run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., if you want to jump on the opportunity to potentially find your white whale.