Goodwill Partnered with Pattern Magazine to Unlock Sartorial Creativity
There's a myth about thrift shops that goes something like this: Treasures could be found there, if only you had the eye for them.
This pernicious mystique is perpetuated in stories that riddle the culture like bedbugs. In Girlboss, the true-ish Netflix adaptation of Sophia Amoruso's ascent into millennial godhood, our protagonist—a compulsive shoplifter whose personality mostly sucks—lays the foundation for the Nasty Gal empire by making her first-ever sale on eBay: a vintage leather jacket she found in thrift for nine bucks and sold for over $600, natch.
Sure, the rest of the series depicts her creatively cutting up dull duds that won't move au naturel, but the seed's been sown: Sophia is special. She has the Eye for thrift treasure, and that's something that can't be bought, or even worked hard for, because it was already there.
Stories like this make the idea of the epicurean thrift shopper distasteful—one more model you can't measure up to. Why bother, then, sifting through hours of cast-asunder polyester and pilled wool knits?
That aversion, combined with the fact that you can easily buy something spankin'-new at a fast-fashion conglomo for less than the price of a Happy Meal, does corner thrift shops a disservice: Research has apparently shown that young women just don't drive up to Goodwill anymore.
To win them back, Goodwill in the central and southern Indiana region tapped its agency, Young & Laramore, which organized a collabo with Pattern magazine.
Pattern tapped six local artists (above) to visit their local Goodwills and transform their finds into something unique. "Play fashion designer. Then play fashion model," the resulting ads proclaim, followed by a closing tag: "Shop Goodwill. Craft your look."
Here's the hero spot:
"We knew we wanted to find a way to editorialize fashion to establish credibility with our audience, and that Pattern magazine was the best partner to help us do that. Through this unique collaboration, we hope to encourage shoppers to look at Goodwill as a source of inspiration," says Young & Laramore executive creative director Carolyn Hadlock.
Here's a :30 featuring Beth Bennett, a fashion designer who turns men's fashion into ladies' looks.
Pattern magazine is for fashion enthusiasts with a creative bent. It's less about the find than it is about how you make it your own, deflating the notion that just a lucky few with sartorial spidey-senses can hack a look out of dusty sportscoats and scissors.
The designers chosen are painstakingly chosen to reflect this. They're not creative directors fresh out of Fashion Week; they feel like people you probably know, united less by Monaco tans and more by DIY curiosity.
Like Benny Sanders, who uses clothing almost as a canvas.
Or Yemi, who draws inspiration from Nigerian Yoruba culture.
And there's Beck Jones, a Parsons School of Design student with a big affinity for Marie Antoinette.
That's a cool look. Utterly impractical, but then again, that's what school is for before Actual Working Life pounds away at unvarnished dreams of opulence. You'll be making poplin skirt suits in no time, Jones!
Fashion's got an elitist reputation, but it's an accessible form of creative inspiration. It's all over the street, betraying the mind-sets, beliefs, ambitions, fears and fantasies of its wearers.
And this "craft your look" approach feels fresh but also fair. It isn't about making Goodwill something it's not—like that time Walmart took ads out in Vogue. Instead of turning these local shops into a mecca of hidden designer spoils (if only you could find them!), it focuses on the curiosity a totally ordinary piece of clothing can awaken in a thirsty mind.
"Some people like to discover an item in one of our stores and then put their personal spin on it," says marketing vp Cindy Graham at Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. "Whether it's a simple tweak, like raising a hemline, or a major project where you rip out the seams and start from scratch, every Goodwill store contains a million possibilities, every day."
Possibilities. Craft. It isn't about money, or talent, your sharky capacity to score like Winners do. How glad we are that this wasn't just a siren call for mavens.
The work will comprise Goodwill's fall campaign for Central and Southern Indiana. The final pieces will also feature in Pattern's fall issue, with supporting media on Facebook, Instagram and in pre-roll throughout Indiana.
Swipe or click through the print work below.
Agency: Young & Laramore
Editorial: Pattern Magazine
Artists: Benny Sanders, Beth Bennett, Beck Jones, Monique Burts, Yemi Sanni, Mike Neon