Walk a few blocks through downtown and you'll start to notice something, whether it be your chic barista at Espresso Royale or the window display of a hip boutique. The proof is everywhere: Athens, Ga has style.
As I slowly took in the chic Community store environment, Emily, who was visiting the store for the second day in a row, was already heading to a dressing room. After a friendly chat with the beautiful store owner, I found out about the store's sewing classes, recent fashion show, and the new vintage merchandise just brought back from Germany. I eventually broke down and tried on a few pieces for myself and immediately understood why Emily was back for a second trip so soon- the thoughtfully chosen and designed clothing has a very high quality feel, but is, best of all, completely original, local, and sustainable. One hour later, Emily made her purchases, and we slowly made our way on the next store.
Agora, located at 260 W. Clayton St. No vintage shopping day in Athens, GA would be complete without a stop at Agora. Prepare to be momentarily stunned by the famous labyrinth of antique furniture, home decor, jewelry, clothing, and miscellaneous other packed tightly into the store space. To fully peruse the hearty spread of Agora's merchandise requires patience and dedication, but the rewards are plenty if the right amount of time is allotted. Agora's stock is an amalgam of the best and most valuable items collected, it would seem, from the roadside yard sales and dusty attics of our nation's grandparents- which happen to include quite a few designer brands. There isn't a corner empty of antique or vintage artifacts waiting to be picked up and cherished by the next passerby- old bikes hang from the ceiling and plastic lamps illuminate the darkly lit aisles holding boxes of old campaign buttons, slightly damaged musical instruments, heavy racks of vintage apparel, or tall stacks of old luggage. Emily and I quickly lost each other in the jungle of mementos covering the store. The sound of haggling at the counter can usually be heard throughout the store as it is a special part of the Agora shopping experience. And Agora is, without question, a major part of the Athens Vintage experience.
After managing to hit 3 other vintage hot spots like Dynamite, Gigworn, and Cillies along the way as well, Emily and I finally ended our journey with empty pockets, tired feet, and a bounty of eclectic treasures. The vintage retailers of Athens provide more than just an abundance of unique options for today's retro trends, but also an appreciation of the value of history captured within the memorabilia of the past.