“I am a culture vulture, and I just want to experience it all.” – Debbie Harry
Those very words by legendary badass Debbie Harry were the inspiration behind online vintage store, Vulture Vintage. Taylor Ramirez had an idea in 2012 to begin buying and selling vintage pieces, which embodied her personal style philosophy of being comfortable, yet cool. Many of the pieces available at Vulture Vintage are also silk screened, embroidered or hand painted by the talented artist, Maggie Lochtenberg. Effortlessly dreamy, wearing pieces by Vulture Vintage is essentially an Instagram snap waiting to happen. TEO Magazine took five to discover who the ultimate Vulture Vintage girl is. From sourcing and producing, to styling look books and breaking modelling norms, these girls are really doing it for themselves and their future looks bright.
TEO: How did the concept of an online vintage store come about and what inspired you to start it?
Taylor: After going to school at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) for Product Development, I quickly came to the conclusion that I did not want to work for other fashion brands or companies. I never really felt like I fit in to other people’s visions. For some crazy reason I felt it was possible to start my own brand and pursue my own vision.
What is a ‘culture vulture’ and where did your online store’s name stem from?
The name is 100% influenced by a Debbie Harry quote. “I’m a culture vulture, and I just want to experience it all.” When I first read that quote it just clicked right away. That quote is what girls should be repeating in their minds everyday. To get up, get out, and experience life, is what being a Culture Vulture is all about.
Who is the ‘Vulture Vintage Girl’ and how does she embody the brand?
The Vulture Girl is someone who doesn’t conform to what everyone else is doing and just likes to be comfortable and have a good time. She expresses herself very much through style but doesn’t let the clothes wear her; it’s more of an attitude.
What makes Vulture Vintage unique from other online stores?
What’s unique about Vulture is that it’s not mass-produced. Everything is printed on different stuff for different people, and they get to choose how they wear that one thing. We also don’t try throwing the same stuff in everyone’s face with what’s trending, or what’s cool to wear. It allows people to make their own decisions with their own style. It’s more authentic with a very DIY approach.
What challenges have you overcome since starting the business and what has been your favourite moment?
The biggest challenge has been how to run a business. We have no idea what we’re doing and we’re learning new things all the time, which makes it exciting and also terrifying. My favourite moments are when people are so willing to help and want to collaborate. I have some wonderfully talented and awesome friends who are always willing to help, as well as people who reach out to us from the internet.
Why did you decide to use regular women over professional models and what has been the response from customers?
Well, in the start I was just really lucky to have some gorgeous friends who agreed to be in the look books. The response was great, and I think people find that having “regular” women, on our website and social media and everything, is more genuine and authentic. I think it gives Vulture an edge and realness. It really just depends on the girl and whether or not they have that attitude I was talking about.
Where does your team find inspiration for the original designs?
The inspiration is drawn through everything; music, films, art, culture. Music is very important to the brand. I’ve always felt that style is greatly affected by music.
Does the brand have any style muses/icons that influence the designs?
Oh yes, so many. Obviously Debbie Harry is a huge one. She is the perfect example of someone who is comfortable with themselves and having badass personal style, just wearing whatever she feels. On our Instagram page we have a hashtag, #vultureinspiration, with all of the photos we’ve posted of women we find as muses and icons. There are some seriously awesome women under that hashtag.
What has the response been like on social media from customers who wear the brand?
The response has been really cool! I love seeing someone post a photo of themselves in our clothing, and tagging us in the photo, it’s really sweet. A lot of people have shown love through the internet, and we love them for it.
What is in store for the future of Vulture Vintage?
The goal is to open a storefront in Los Angeles.
Where can we find you?
Take a look at our collections through our online store.
Follow us on:
Words: Taylah Minchington