Clothes get old, fall out of style and are often discarded by their keepers seasons later.
But a good piece of fashion never dies, especially once the girls of Viscosity Vintage get their hands on it.
Sisters Valesca St.Cyr, 22, and Rejina Tyson, 29, are on a mission to take abandoned clothes and accessories and turn them into something fashionable.
“It’s going against the norm,” St.Cyr said. “This is against what’s popular. It’s still in style, but with your own flair.”
Their passion for thrifting is life-long, forming out of their childhood need for cute clothes on the cheap. With a family of nine and a father in the taxi business, their stay-at-home mom taught them to take their stylish know-how to bargain stores and turn something used into something fresh and chic.
Growing up in Miami, their peers were often more affluently dressed, but the sisters cultivated a reputation for having their own fun and unique style.
It was last summer when the girls decided to take their passion a step further and start putting looks together for sale, combining pieces from different eras to create affordable, one-of-a-kind outfits that could give the wearer confidence and an alternative to trendy mall fashions.
The name Viscosity Vintage, suggested by their chemist sister, is meant to evoke a sense of going against the flow of modern fashion and daring to be different.
“Our goal is that you should stand out in a good way,” St.Cyr said.
Though the business is young, it’s been well received by the Gainesville fashion community. The sisters have already reached their aspiration of participating in Gainesville Fashion Week. They showed more than 30 looks during Thursday’s runway event.
“It was our original goal to be part of Gainesville Fashion Week,” Tyson said. “For that goal to have been realized … for us to be a part of it is really exciting.”
For now, prospective customers can buy Viscosity looks online at wearviscosity.com, but the sisters hope to one day expand their business and open a boutique in town so more people can find joy in breathing new life into old clothes.
“We see this as our entry into the market,” St.Cyr said. “We plan to have more shows in Gainesville in the future.”