LA-based archive fashion dealer Johnny Valencia – aka Pechuga Vintage – predicts which items from the recent shows will reach cult status 20 years from now

What’s a piece of clothing truly worth? And how long does it retain its value, if at all? Fashion is one of the only businesses where the value of its goods has almost nothing to do with their intrinsic quality. For every sold-out Supreme lighter, dog bowl or fire extinguisher, there’s a painstakingly hand-crafted gown sat gathering dust in the backroom of some atelier. And no superior cut, fabric, or execution will make a difference, because desirability is endemic. It can make buying fashion a pretty risky game. After all, how many of us have fallen foul of spending (far too much) money on an item only for its lifespan to be cut short by the onslaught of the trend cycle? 

That being said, there are plenty of pieces in fashion’s vast archives that have become cultural artefacts in their own right. “If I could go back in time, I’d buy every single saddle bag from Dior by John Galliano. Every. Single. One,” says Johnny Valencia, who runs Pechuga Vintage in Los Angeles. “If I could’ve ransacked Vivienne Westwood in 1991, I’d have purchased every Boucher print corset that that store had to offer,” he says. “Why? Because then I’d bring them back into 2021 and make some serious quiche.”

With the AW21 season now behind us, what will the future vintage of today look like? Should we be banking on Marine Serre? Stockpiling Miu Miu balaclavas? What about those Prada purse-gloves? “I don’t expect everyone to consume with capital gains in mind,” Valencia says. “However, from a consumer and collector’s point of view I think that money should be invested wisely”. Here, Valencia casts his eye over the most recent fashion season and gives us his top picks for future thrifting. See it as “insider stock tips from one fashion nerd (trader) to another”.