Vintage shoppers have flocked to LA's Jet Rag vintage store every Sunday to shop its $1 sale for years.

Like clockwork, every Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. in a La Brea Avenue parking lot in Los Angeles, chaos begins. The elbows are thrown....


Like clockwork, every Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. in a La Brea Avenue parking lot in Los Angeles, chaos begins.

The elbows are thrown. Guttural cries ring out. It is not uncommon to see a fist fight. The full spectrum of human experience – joy, panic, anger, fear – is vividly exhibited. It’s here that a few dozen people blindly grab armfuls of clothes and haul them into bins or spaces designated as theirs along a stretch of sidewalk before returning again and again to the frenzied melee. Ragged prom dresses, stained t-shirts, perfectly faded jeans, Western-style button-ups, and more. And then, poof, there’s nothing left. An eerie silence falls over the black asphalt as these scavengers begin to inspect and sort through their treasures. And it’s not yet 10:46 a.m.

Welcome, low priced shoppers, to the $1 Jet Rag sale.

For the uninitiated, Jet Rag is an unassuming thrift store with a brown facade, wedged between Rick Owens’ austere boutique and a body shop on the border of Hollywood and West Hollywood. For years, it hosted a weekly sale where each item, as the name suggests, only costs a dollar. (Two racks of leather jackets near the makeshift cash register on a plastic folding table, however, will set you back $10.)

Inflation may be on the rise and the second-hand market may have been rebranded from glam to glam thanks to Gen Z, but the $1 Jet Rag sale has remained as it used to be, a fossil frozen in amber, luring the city’s vintage enthusiasts looking for their fix. Or as Brian Allen, a regular customer, who passes by Hurricane, puts it: “It’s like the church.”

The day begins much more gently, around 8 a.m., when Joe Reyes, a strong 69-year-old who works in sales, helps oversee the set-up. On a recent spring day, with temperatures forecast to reach the upper 80s, structures of tents covered in blue tarps were erected to provide shade, then cartloads of scraps from previous weeks were rolled out and poured on the sunny parking lot of colorful mounds reminiscent Sculptures by Sheila Hicks. (The owners of Jet Rag declined to be interviewed for this article.)

Mr Reyes and his team placed around 20 neatly wrapped bales of used clothing in a queue to be opened later in the morning.

One of the first to arrive was Lorraine Hall, who wore a wide-brimmed hat, latex gloves and a tireless smile. “Oh, we’re a small community here,” she said cheerfully. “We all know what everyone is looking for and we take care of each other.”

Ms Hall, 67, retired, was introduced to Jet Rag 20 years ago by her daughter and now sells what she finds on her Etsy shop, Get Up Garb. She specializes in dresses from the 1960s and 1970s. Ms Hall, once a graphic designer at the now-closed Robinson-May department store, said she saw a lot of amazing things at the $1 sale, including including a fur coat.

The sun was getting higher and warmer when Akili Day took a break to pick up the piles. Ms Day, 21, was not shopping to resell later, but was looking for herself – particularly for a pair of yellow trousers. Ms. Day grew up second-hand shopping, learning her peculiar rules and rhythms from her grandmother. Coming here, she says, helps keep that tradition alive.

“We used to save money because we had to,” she said. “And today, with fast fashion, it no longer gives the same joy and the clothes don’t last. There’s something so real and fun about looking for something, especially here when things are cheaper. You are more willing to take risks.

But not everyone shows up for the 10:45 a.m. rush. Some shoppers’ strategy is to carefully sort through clothes, hoping to find something they didn’t know they were looking for. 22-year-old Orion Kamphefner, who uses the pronouns they and them, was looking for placemats and found a negligee they planned to take back to their roommate. “I’m obsessed with old people’s stuff,” they said. “Our house looks like two octogenarians living in it.”

“I don’t like buying things firsthand,” they added. “I have crippling climate guilt – and also the concept of something being mass-produced – and then, like, being one of the many to love, going to consume it? I don’t know, it makes the world very dystopian.

That day, there were plenty of doilies.

Other seasoned thrift stores began to arrive. Mike McGill, 58, a grizzled surfer with tattooed arms and a hoarse laugh who sells vintage clothing, is specifically looking for American-style and American-made clothes, like old jeans or Hawaiian shirts. “I take a lot for myself and a lot for my children, and I sell the rest,” he said. “It’s an incredible group of people. Look at the diversity of faces here. You look at this and think, why can’t people get along? »

When asked if he had a favorite item he found among the piles, he got a one-word answer: “Friends.”

More people arrived and crowds began to gather around the wrapped parcels, staking their demands. Mr. Reyes recalled the rules of selling: reject what you don’t want; those caught fighting will be kicked out immediately, adding, “And please be gentle.” Then he took a cutter and sliced ​​the balls like giant carcasses, and their innards of old rags exploded. With a quick wave of the hand, the sale was opened and the heckling began. Moments later, it was over.

Mr. Allen operates a shop called Rich Butt Vintage on Etsy. It’s been on sale at $1 for about a decade, he said, after discovering it while walking past. “I’ve always liked saving; into old clothes,” he said, dividing his bin full of clothes into a “no” pile and a “maybe” pile. “They were made with so much more intention and purpose,” he said. Over the years he learned to date a garment using its texture, labels and seams. He holds up a pair of jeans. “Look, feel it, it feels cheap. And look at this label. He frowned. “Too new.”

Someone brought him a T-shirt and he bowed in thanks. “I have allies here and we all trade,” he said. “We always get what was meant for us, you know? »

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Newsrust - US Top News: Vintage shoppers have flocked to LA's Jet Rag vintage store every Sunday to shop its $1 sale for years.
Vintage shoppers have flocked to LA's Jet Rag vintage store every Sunday to shop its $1 sale for years.
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