Vintage Style Maverick Liz Baca
Vintage Style Maverick Liz Baca
“The vintage business was picked for me: My Nana worked at a Salvation Army when I was a kid, my mother was an avid shopper at thrift stores, and my father was a fan of yard sales and flea markets. As I got older I remember going to thrift stores, Thrift Town especially, to pick out my wardrobe. I was destined to be in this business.
My mother had a locally famous yard sale every year in our hometown Alameda, CA. The dealers would come knocking at our door the night before. The entrepreneurial spirit was shown to me at a young age and I grew to love second-hand goods and antiques.
Eventually, in my 20s, I had amassed so much stuff at my loft in Oakland that I started selling. This was in the early 2000’s, and I was an anomaly as a vintage seller without a brick and mortar. People didn’t understand what I did, selling out of my home, at events and traveling to sell to shops in NYC. There weren’t any vintage shows that focused on trend/fashion vintage and online vintage shopping wasn’t what it is today. I did this alongside my fashion design job for 1 year. When I felt comfortable that I could sustain myself selling vintage, I left my design job of 8 years and have never looked back.
My husband Michael came into my life 11 years ago thus coming into the business at the same time.
I spend a lot of time day-dreaming about outfits. This look takes references from growing up in The Bay Area in the 80’s and 90’s.
The top is from my friend Amy Fantastic. It’s the most voluminous top I own. I wanted to wear it casually so I paired it with Ben Davis khakis and sneakers.
My merchandise is about what I love, it is an extension of my own wardrobe.
I have many fashion personalities and so does my business. I like too many things to limit myself or the business to a specific decade or style.
The sunglasses are from my childhood. They’re from the 1950’s. I collected 1920’s-50’s as a kid. They came from the “Deco Man” at the Alameda Penny Market, the original Alameda Flea Market held on the West End at the old drive in theater.
The necklace is Margiela, given to me by a friend some years ago. The shoes are Nike Cortez from 1993. I got them deadstock along with a ton of other deadstock Nikes from a stockroom of an old sports shop in Paterson, NJ 15+ years ago. That was a fun day.
There’s a little bit of Jojo Joestar inspiration in this look, I feel like he would wear these pants and shoes. Everything I’m wearing is comfortable, which is #1 in my outfit choices. I also love the shapes of each piece in this look.
These leather pants are the best leather pants ever, loved by men and women of all ages - this is the truth, I get asked about them everytime I wear them. I also get Mc Hammer references. They were purchased at Squaresville in L.A. a million years ago. The vintage Kansai Yamamoto sweater is from Jenny of Please and Thank You Store.
The handknit Bob Hat is a treasured gift from Ikuko of Toro Vintage in Tokyo, Japan. The sterling silver bamboo hoops were purchased from a jeweler on Canal St. in New York. I used one of each shape for an editorial photoshoot, so I ended up with one of each shape for myself.
The shoes are Comme des Garcons from an estate we worked on in San Francisco for an entire year. The stuff that came out of that home was incredible.
It’s not hard anymore to decide what to keep and what to sell. When I was just collecting, everything felt so special that I had to keep it all. Now I find joy in finding things for our customers and the happiness when someone finds something they love from our collection. It’s our livelihood so it makes no sense to keep something I can’t wear. The more you see in this business, the more you understand what is really rare.
I wanted to wear these Polo Country gauchos with these Chanel Fantasy Fur Icicle heel boots as they are the pants I was wearing when I bought the boots and I loved the exaggerated proportions. The boots are from Mercy Vintage.
The rest sort of fell into place...Chanel goes with Chanel so that was easy, ha! The vintage 90’s Chanel sunglasses, a holy grail piece, from Camille Design, L.L. Bean turtle neck from some random thrift store, Chanel top from Labels Luxury Consignment and the Chanel jacket from one of the most thrilling estate sales of my career.
Ugh, what to say and not to say about this look. If I could be trapped in time and a place it would probably be any rave in The Bay Area in 1991/92. Later years would be good too but those early years, being 13 and entering that world was mind blowing. I truly feel blessed to have experienced those times.
The rave scene influenced me in so many positive ways...and fashionably speaking I found so much joy and love for the self expression that the rave scene encouraged.
Suit is a Galliano designed Dior all over logo woven suit, I scored this at a rummage sale years ago and it’s the right amount of baggy. My friends from Lust and Fond found me the 90's John Fluevog platform shoes for me, they know what I like. Beanie and belt are random thrift scores.
My Kandi raver bracelets I scored recently at a fleamarket in The Bay. The Kandi (Candy) Raver emerged as a term in the late 90’s/early 2000’s and defined the more colorful, cartoon looking, tons of plastic jewelry wearing ravers. We were just ravers back in my day but I have love for it all.
Vintage “Rave New World” tee is from eBay. Funny thing about those early rave years is there weren’t many brands, we mostly wore vintage, handmade things or adapted regular brands into our rave uniform. The brands that did cater, like Fresh Jive, Liquid Sky or Anarchic Adjustment, were not teenager budget friendly so we made due with what we could make or find at the thrift store.
The interest in vintage is huge today and I only see it gaining momentum. People want to have unique pieces to express themselves visually. Sustainability has also pushed the interest. Overall there is more acceptance for second-hand clothes as well as for people expressing themselves through the way they dress and I think that is great.”