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Interview with September Judge, Isaiah Johnson

We’re excited to announce a new feature for Thrift Store Runway: interviews with some of our frequent entrants and familiar faces. This month, we’ll start things off with our two judges. Here, Isaiah Johnson gives us some tips for a successful visit to a thrift store and speaks with us about his love for fashion, and his aspirations for a career in the fashion industry. Isaiah writes his own fashion blog, A Collected Gentleman.

Thrift Store Runway: What do you do?
Isaiah Johnson: Right now I am a college student; I’ll be entering my senior year in the fall. I major in Art with a minor in English. I am hoping to enter the fashion industry. I am also a blogger.

TSR: How did you get involved with thrifting?
IJ: I’ve had my blog for a year, and prior to that I was looking for inspiration. I would always hear that I could find the best clothes at thrift stores, and one day I went to the Salvation Army and went from there.

TSR: So basically you were inspired by the fact that you could find both affordable and fashionable clothing, and it just became a passion and a hobby for you?
IJ: Yes, at first it was that, and then I just fell in love with thrifting! There is a thrill to it. You never know what you’re going to get when you walk in.

TSR: Do you have any sort of method or practice you use when you go into a thrift store?
IJ: I try to go thrifting at least once a week. When I first started out, I wasn’t really patient. I learned that I needed to really, really take my time. If you aren’t, you can miss a lot of really incredible things. I also learned that if I can afford to get an interesting piece that might not match pieces I already have, I should get it, because you never know if it will be gone the next time you return. You never know what you’ll have in the future.

TSR: Would you say that when it comes to thrifting its necessary to be flexible, and to not expect to get a certain thing?
IJ: All I can say is, keep your eyes open. Like I said, you really have to look hard. 95% of the time I find something great.

TSR: From photographs of yourself on your blog and on Thrift Store Runway, we’ve seen that you obviously find some great pieces, what items are you most proud of finding?
IJ: I love whenever I can find a great blazer. I found a grey wool blazer that is just great (see below). I’ve found Christian Dior and Burberry ties. I always find great ties!

TSR: The way that you use ties, as Pocket Square is pretty unique!
IJ: Yeah, when you run out of pocket squares, you’ve got to get creative!

TSR: What specific stores do you like to shop in?
IJ: I’m located in North Carolina, and I’ve noticed that the thrift stores down here have better items than the ones in the north. They are cheaper, and I’ve had a lot of luck finding some great things. The Salvation Army in Indianapolis has had some great pieces.

TSR: How many hours a week do you spend thrifting?
IJ: When I’m in school, usually 10-15 hours per week. When I don’t have school, I try to go 20-25 hours a week.

TSR: Thanks, Isaiah! 

7 Responses to Interview with September Judge, Isaiah Johnson

  1. Spoiled Diva October 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Great to see a man with style! He was instantly one of my personal FAV’s!

    • svpply.com February 26, 2014 at 1:27 am #

      Yes! Finally someone writes about catch.

    • Dianna April 15, 2014 at 6:00 am #

      It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly
      donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my
      Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
      Chat soon!

  2. Kia Love December 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Great style!

  3. Jackie April 5, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    Love your style! i am a big thrifter myself.. keep up good work

  4. Stylinhead2toe May 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    You have fantastic style. Its so refreshing to see a young man that passionate about fashion and thrifting and not affraid to show it. I just came across this site so I will be posting some pics this weekend.

  5. Cetra December 29, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Great to see the love of thrifting being expressed and bringing it to the attention of everyone who doesn’t know how “great” this is. I just found this site and definitely am excited to be able to post some of my findings. I absolutely LOVE thrifting and the comments when I let people know it’s from the local thrift stores!!

    Great Site!!

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