.Fashion Plate Kory Vanderpool

The Opera House Collective is located on Kentucky Street in Petaluma’s historic downtown. This three-in-one vintage clothing store is the latest business to tenet the rough, pioneering “opera house,” where Mark Twain once read a short and Teddy Roosevelt once addressed a shaken Sonoma County in the aftermath of the 1906 quake.

Market-wise, the store occupies a space between upmarket and down. It’s where one can always come away with a one-of-a-kind item for 10 bucks. Kory Vanderpool is the owner.

CH: Kory Vanderpool, I understand “Haight Ashbury at half the price” is the tagline of Aubergine Vintage, one of the three clothiers in your collective. Does that describe your collective aesthetic?

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

KV: It entirely depends on how you shop. We have a wide range of shoppers because we have a wide range of product. We have trendy teenagers coming in for Free People and floral pieces, and blue-collar ranchers are coming in for camo and work boots. And of course, because it’s Sonoma County, you can combine the two!

CH: Kory, you had sought out this soap-box because you wanted to address the stigma still attached to second-hand clothing. Namely they are second-class because they are used and uncool because they are off-trend.

KV: Yes! We believe that everyone, regardless of income, should wear second-hand and vintage clothing. It’s no trend. It’s good ecology. The new clothing industry is massively polluting. It contributes 10% of CO2 greenhouse gas. That’s more than the airline and naval shipping industries combined. I recommend the documentary, The True Cost, for people that want to learn more. Bonny, Morgan, CJ and I believe that, rather than being looked down on, people that wear second-hand clothing should be looked up to for their commitment to the birds and the trees.

CH: The other stigma you mentioned is that second-hand might be considered “uncool” because it is not up to the latest trends of cool.

KV: Yes, it’s just untrue. Thrifting offers you the opportunity to discover unique, one-of-a-kind items that speak directly to you. Compare that to the walls of uniformity you find in fast fashion. And since what you find is rarely in a matched set, and the vintage racks contain all decades of clothes, how you finish your outfit will be uniquely you.

The coolest people are always one-of-a-kind individualists. Trends follow them! And the way to achieve individuality in fashion is second-hand, repaired, customized clothing, and vintage.



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