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East Coast Connection

On October 3rd, over 700 t-shirt vendors and collectors bought, sold, and traded vintage t-shirts at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC.
East Coast Connection

During the past two years, t-shirt events and fairs have popped up everywhere. There is Thriftcon, DFW Vintage Swap Meet, Brrrrtual Flea, The Deadstock Depot, to list a few.

Richard Colligan of Metropolis Vintage started arranging t-shirt events at his store’s basement in July.

“Josh Martinez of Future Past NYC and Peter Mauceri of Fresh Kills Vintage came to me and said we should do a show in our basement. We arranged two events there and one in Staten Island, and now expanded into a bigger venue.”

New York superhero Spider Cuz
Josh Martinez of Future Past NYC, Richard Colligan, Peter Mauceri of Fresh Kills, and New York superhero Spider Cuz who made appearances at the show.
rapper Redman selling his t-shirt collection at East Coast Connection
Another highlight: rapper Redman selling his collection at the show.
Action at East Coast Connection.
Action at a previous East Coast Connection.
Josh Martinez of Future Past NYC, Richard Colligan, Peter Mauceri of Fresh Kills, and New York superhero Spider Cuz who made appearances at the show.
Another highlight: rapper Redman selling his collection at the show.
Action at a previous East Coast Connection.

The East Coast Connection Vol 4 brought in some 30 vendors and 700 shoppers, Colligan estimates.

“There is a need for these kinds of events. Vendors who sell 90s vintage and t-shirts don’t always fit in with older events so they need new places to sell. And people want to come together. It is a big friendship, like a club”, Colligan says.

Colligan has been selling vintage since the 80s and has seen how army surplus and vintage denim became huge. Now it’s time for the 90s vintage and t-shirts.

“There is a lot of emotional attachment to tees. It is great to see a new vintage area developing with its own terminology and language.”

We stopped some shoppers outside the show and asked what they scored.

Tony Lee
@bettermoodtony
@emergencyrags

“I love vintage clothes: it is more unique, and it is better for the environment. It is fun. I bought five tees; four for myself and one for my girlfriend, and spent $120-130 altogether. This 80s Harley Davidson shirt has really cool graphics, it is single stitch, and obviously, it is old which makes it pricier if I am ever going to resell it.”

Taran Kerrigan, 26
@boneheadvintage

“I buy, sell, and trade vintage. I bought 4 and traded 2 shirts at the event. This one caught my eye because I enjoy t-shirts that have photography. It is a really beautiful shirt and also has an artistic twist to it. The quote on the bottom says ’Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds’. A t-shirt can spark a memory, there is a lot of nostalgia to them. And being able to offer that to someone on a t-shirt is pretty cool.”

Andy Feyre
@pocketchange_vtg

”This is my 7th Peter Max shirt. T-shirts bring out memories in people who haven’t seen those shirts in a long time. They are good conversation starters. I have some 300 pieces collection. How was East Coast Connection? Good people, good clothes, a nice trip to NYC.”

Chad Senzel
@chadsenzelarchive

“I bought about a dozen t-shirts at the East Coast Connection. I looked through most racks and vendors, just looking for things that speak to me. I bought this shirt because I think Jenny Holzer is an interesting and impactful artist. She worked a lot with text instead of imagery and yet she is perceived more as an artist than a poet. This piece was shown at Chicago Contemporary Museum of Art in 1990.“

Jason Won
@polodonwon
@thedfwvintageswapmeet

“This is a 2003 NBA finals promo tee – The Spurs second championship I believe and The Nets back-to-back finals loss. The tee highlights Jason Kidd (point guards for the New Jersey nets) and Tim Duncan (power forward for the San Antonio Spurs). I love basketball, Jason Kidd specifically. I started watching basketball consciously around 2002-2003 so I try to collect NBA shirts that I watched when I was younger.”

Jeff McClean
@vexed.vintage

“Today I bought a 1991 7 Seconds tour t-shirt. It is a single stitch with a back print and for their North American tour. It is a beautiful tee! I worked at Value Village and at a vintage store called Red Light Vintage in Seattle, moved to Los Angeles and started selling full-time four years ago.”

Angelo Heirana
@vintage.gelo

“I traded this t-shirt from The Vintage Wiz. It is from 1999 and I listen to all these artists: Jay Z, DMX, Method Man, and Redman – and he was selling right there at the ECC.”

Follow @east_coast.connection for the future events