Odd Vestures—anything but mainstream
To the dismay of shoppers around the world, lack of variety is becoming a recurring trend in the fashion industry. The same styles are imitated in every store for prices that make customers want to hold their wallets a little tighter. Northwood juniors Lia Kang, Marie Danilychev and Justina Chang started their own organization called Odd Vestures on a mission to combat the monotony of retail shopping while at the same time supporting an important and overlooked cause.
It all started in the summer of 2013 when founder and former Northwood student Crystal An was inspired by “Thin,” a documentary centered around the lives of several girls struggling with anorexia and bulimia. An and a small group of girls looked for a way to help people with the same problem while incorporating their passion for fashion. They found what they were looking for in Odd Vestures, which recycles unwanted clothes, alters them with new designs, sells them and donates their profit to recovery facilities for women suffering from eating disorders.
“Our goal is to reach people, not just with our clothes, but with the message of what we’re trying to do,” said Danilychev. “The broader message of our organization is to build self-confidence for teenage girls, encouraging them to be unique and stand out within their fashion sense.”
Odd Vestures often visits thrift stores, such as Salvation Army, for their clothes. This ensures that every piece of clothing they sell is unique. However, the singularity of their pieces comes not only from their origin, but also from the alterations that the girls make to the clothing.
“Some ways that we alter our clothes include bleaching them or dyeing them different colors, altering the hemlines or sometimes adding things to them, like lace trim,” said Kang.
“One time, when I was dyeing some other things, I spilled bleach on a sweater we thrifted for a dollar and it ended up just dip-dyeing it,” said An. “It turned out really well and became one of my favorite items.”
The girls’ creativity is showcased through all of their projects, such as necklaces created from lakeside rocks and shorts with flower prints sewn onto the corners. According to Danilychev, everything is “handmade with love.”
As of now, their goal is to accumulate enough money to donate to the clinic Montecatini, a treatment facility for adolescent and adult women struggling with eating disorders. Although they have not reached that goal yet, there are several other milestones for them to be proud of. For example, in the past year they have been able to hold clothing sales at Bethel Korean Church several times and branch out on social media sites such as Tumblr.
“At this stage, having people from all around the world recognize our clothing, especially on Tumblr, is amazing,” said Danilychev. “I got a bunch of people messaging me and telling me that the organization is such a good idea and that they love our clothing.”
Currently, they are working on a website to advertise and sell their clothing on, which will be up and running in the near future. For now, anyone interested in the organization can check out their clothing and other creative projects on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr under the username “oddvestures.”