Stephanie Huang '16
Having given my take on vintage haven Beacon’s Closet in New York a few issues back, I decided to shed light on my opinion of the West Coast holy grail equivalent: Wasteland.
I stopped by the Wasteland on Melrose last Valentine’s Day for a little self-loving (jokes, it was actually just coincidental). Melrose is my personal favorite L.A. location, as it has more selection than the Santa Monica location has. Like many vintage/cosignment stores, Wasteland offers both a selection of high-end (from rag & bone to Maison Martin Margiela) and retail store (like Urban Outfitters) that are either gently worn or from past seasons as well as very unique vintage finds. The one aspect that seems to distinguish Wasteland from all other consignment stores, like the common favorite Crossroads Trading Co., is that it also carries a range of new brands that are often only found online, such as UNIF, Kelsi Dagger, Australian import somedays lovin’, Swedish import Cheap Monday, etc. In the same way, apart from having multiple locations, Wasteland has an online store as well.
Because Wasteland has the option of buying new, consigned, or vintage, shopping can often satisfy a group of people with diverse likes and interests, and friends with completely different spending habits will all be able to find something that makes them happy.
While prices are reasonable for what you’re getting (often, designer pieces at tenths of the original price), prices at thrift stores in general, especially at Wasteland, have seen an increase over the years. Due to the increasing popularity of thrift stores (I blame Macklemore) and Wasteland’s growing reputation as a cult favorite, prices still can be a bit steep at times, with some pairs of designer denim (J Brand, Vince) still marked at $65.
However, I see Wasteland as more of an experience, because even when I walk away with nothing, like I did last Valentine’s Day, just being able to curate your own collection of styles from such a diverse selection can be satisfying in itself. Plus, there’s always good food on Melrose to fill the unavoidable and insatiable appetites right after.