The je ne sais quoi of Paris street fashion, the peculiar style of Harajuku, the effortless put-together British look, and the sartorial styling of New York — as picturesque as they may be, you don’t have to look far and wide for inspiration, especially when it comes to fashion. Just ask Hafiz Zahid, the founder of vintage online store Dirty Laundry.
“Orchard Road inspired me; I realised that we needed a brand in Singapore that focuses on selling individual style rather than selling in mass quantities,” Hafiz says. He adds that Dirty Laundry focuses on selling a certain kind of lifestyle rather than just the product, and that lifestyle includes individuality.
In the current era of convenience, online stores are coming in streams, with online shopping on the rise. Whether it’s limited edition Nike sneakers, or Hermes-‘inspired’ Birkin bags, you can pretty much get anything you want to satisfy your couture needs, thanks to the Internet. What sets Dirty Laundry apart from other online stores? They just sell shirts — vintage shirts.
“Every shirt has a story”
On their ‘About Us’ page, it states: Every shirt has a story, every shirt is rare. And if ‘one of a kind’ is something you’re bored to death hearing, at least we can say that on Dirty Laundry, it’s actually true. There’s only one of each shirt, and if you’ve missed out on something you liked, you missed out forever.
Hafiz says of the shirts in the store, “Some of our shirts originate all the way from across the Pacific, in the UK and the States. You will even be shocked to find a rare vintage piece from a well-known Italian brand or a 90’s Gap print somewhere. These special shirts can be found under the “Diamond in the Dirt” section in our website.”
From denim to paisley, the Dirty Laundry catalogue is one that is teeming with colour and prints. Even if you’re one of those monochromatic-wearing, fashion conscious types, you’d have to concede that the prints on some of these shirts are almost a work of art.
“Every shirt in Dirty Laundry is exclusive and tastefully curated. We focus on giving life to antique shirts by refurbishment. Every product here is an experiment. From mixing and matching of various fabrics to altering collars and sleeves, custom buttons or even adding patches and embroidery. It is guaranteed that you will not bump into another person on the streets wearing the same piece,” Hafiz explains.
Though the website — fully functional and looking very attractive — is all up and running, Hafiz says that it’s still only at ‘Phase 1’. They’ve tapped on the usual suspects to reach out to the community — a Facebook page with regular updates on developments, discounts, and events, and their Instagram, where a more curated element comes into play.
And it’s all a one-man operation for now. “I juggle between website administrative duties, manning the pop-up stall during events and basically every other aspect of the business,” Hafiz tells us. If that’s not enough duties already, Hafiz also plays in a local band called 7nightsatsea, does some freelance graphic design projects on the side, and is part of The Rockstar Collective (RSC), which deals with local music and art-based events. That’s quite a lot of operations he’s got running.
As to why Hafiz chooses to dabble in vintage fashion?
“What I like about it is that vintage fashion is timeless and is a trend that has long been well established. A decade later, vintage fashion will still be vintage. It will never end or die.”