Vintage: Wearable Art

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Rowen Lyn Guacena
Rockstar young mother. Fighter. Survivor.

“You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate art.”

So said Lean Torres, co-owner of Season Pass.

Season Pass is a vintage store based in Quezon City, Manila.

It is not your typical thrift store though.

They have a solid and growing online community that they cultivate by serving as a platform for other legitimate vintage online sellers. They are indeed a huge help to their community especially during the pandemic by hosting online events and auctions. Their auctions provide an avenue for these sellers to showcase their authentic goods.

vintage shirt 1
Vintage shirts could sell for six figures. It is art, and it is wearable like this Bjork shirt. | Picture printed with permission from Origin.Department.

So what does a seller need to do to be featured in their auctions? There are two ways.

First, you can send a direct message via Instagram to @seasonpassph or fill out their Google form. You can also visit their website. That’s just one part of the hurdle, though.

Season Pass, after all, prides itself with the quality and authenticity of the items they feature.

Buyers can be assured that the items being auctioned are filtered and have met the minimum requirements set by Season Pass.

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Scenes from an auction. Images of how the shirt was won. | Image taken with permission from from Season Pass

During the auction, the sellers are given an hour to showcase their items. As I’ve noticed, the sellers are very detailed with the way they describe their shirts. They go over every detail including, type of fabric, type of stitches, the print, the fades and cracks, etc.

Recently, Season Pass hosted an auction that featured a 1994 Bjork Photograph Print by Stephane Sednaoui which you can read about here:

For those who do not know, Björk is an Icelandic singer-songwriter who began her career at the age of 11.

Her gained international fame when she became the lead singer of alternative rockband Sugarcubes.

Stephane Sednaoui on the other hand is a video director who is well known and has worked with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2 and the Black Crowes. Based on my research, Bjork and Sednaoui first collaborated on the music video of her hit song Big Time Sensuality in 1993.

This particular piece that was auctioned however is from a 1994 shoot.

Now, what makes this piece so special is that it was sold for P160,000.

Yes, it is a six-figure valued shirt.

“It is a mere appreciation of the artist and influence she has”, said Lean Torres when asked how it is possible that a t-shirt sold for that much.

This writer tried to get in touch with the buyer to get his perspective however, DNX has yet to hear back from him.

vintage shirt 2
Bjork, a arthouse music artist from Iceland, has become the face of online auction history after her face — printed on a shirt — sold for six figures here. | Picture printed with permission from Origin.Department.

However, DNX was able to get a few words from Franz Sese, the seller of the P160K shirt.

“Going into the auction, I didn’t expect any price in mind. I was telling my friends, if this went for just 15,000 or 20,000, I’d be fine with it,” he said.

He said he just joined the auction for the experience and exposure in the vintage scene.

And boy was he surprised when somebody plonked down 160,000 big ones for the tee.

That much was memorable. But what is more remarkable than the market value of the tee-shirt but the memories that went with the auction.

One hundred and sixty thousand pesos. For one t-shirt. It was, however, part of the history and milestone the vintage community gained in that time.

“A lot of people before the auction didn’t really believe in the prices of old tees or what the community calls as vintage but after that event, sellers and buyers alike understood that the market is so complex. People will buy tees that are nostalgic, valuable and significant to them,” he says.

To view more of his pieces, check out his his Instagram @origin.department.

DNX also did a little bit more digging into these pieces and was able to find more of these for sale in Grailed:

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This Bjork shirt sells for whopping US$6,750 (or more than P300,000). | Picture printed with permission from Origin.Department.

It is valued at a whopping US$6,750 (or about P324,000).

The description from the seller says, “Original photo by Stéphane Sednaoui. I don’t care if you don’t know the value. If you don’t understand, do not offer. I won’t accept lowballs. Blocking any and all disrespect.”

DNX also had a quick chat with the online seller. Indeed, only a true aficionado can understand the value of these rare pieces. To some, it is a simple T-shirt that is subject to wear and tear.

As for Lean Torres, “Think of it as a work of art with the shirt as the canvas.”

If you are an aficionado yourself, you can check out the auctions Season Pass is hosting on Instagram and you just might find the artwork you have been searching for.

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