Maga Design

Maga - 8217

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Twenty-First Century Vintage

(Maga Design 8217 D)

When actress of the moment Zendaya collected her Virtual Green Carpet Award in October 2020 she chose to appear at the sustainable fashion event in an archive design from Versace’s Autumn/Winter 96 collection – the year of her birth. In the same year, fashion influencers Kendall and Kylie Jenner were seen in Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic Tattoo Skin designs from Spring/Summer 94, while actress Kaitlyn Dever went for all school glamour in 1960s Christian Dior Couture at a Vanity Fair event in Hollywood. The rise of vintage fashion can be traced back to the 90s, when supermodel Kate Moss pioneered the vintage red carpet look with a series of iconic outfits. But it was the twenty-first century that witnessed a sea change in attitudes towards second hand clothes as vintage evolved from niche subculture to a powerful expression of cutting-edge style.  

Vintage wear can be defined as clothing or accessories created after 1920, but no less than twenty years ago, with garments from earlier eras now classified as “antique”. From the Mod revival of the late 1970s to the Burlesque trend of the new millennium, vintage wear has long been used by revisionist subcultures to connect with decades past, an inherently nostalgic impulse that views each garment as representative of a personal history. In the era of mass-produced fashion however, Gen Z fashionistas mix the latest designs with unique vintage pieces for one-of-a-kind looks that stand out in the hyper-competitive realm of social media. 

A 2019 article in The Guardian explains that, “in 2018, 64% of women were willing to buy pre-owned pieces compared with 45% in 2016 – and it is thought that by 2028, 13% of the clothes in women’s wardrobes are likely to be second hand.” One of the major catalysts for this new outlook is growing environmental awareness. While fast fashion relies on manmade materials and cheap labour that endangers workers, the clothing of the past was of higher quality, resulting in garments that were built to last. At the same time, the internet made vintage wear accessible, with sites such as Depop creating a buzz around “Vintage Luxury” accessories as the latest fashion sensation. 

Hailing from the 1980s, a trending era for contemporary vintage collectors, Maga Design is a cult Italian eyewear brand renowned for its innovative use of colour and materials. An early experimenter with bold, rectangular shapes, the brand’s eclectic styles played with structure, reacting to the maximalist eyewear trends emerging from New York’s burgeoning Hip Hop scene. From the Italian Graffiti collection, Maga Design’s 8218 is a vintage rarity and a typically 80s take on the classic aviator shape. The designer’s signature gold detailing is taken to the next level for a fierce and disco-ready look, with chunky gold temples flowing into cut away embellishments on the frame front. Those standout metallic details are fused with a vibrant colourway that adds a shimmering marbled finish to deep claret and caramel tones. Maga Design’s classic frames have been out of production since the 90s, but the designer’s ambitious creative vision has ensured their continued relevance as a contemporary fashion inspiration, making these heritage pieces coveted collectors’ items today.