Future Vintage Chic

Vintage stereo’s, camera, typewriters and Tv’s… These are all things you see as chic decorations in studio’s and modern homes. I am wondering what we think will become vintage classics in the future from today’s world? I can’t imagine someone putting down a sony cybershot on their coffee table, or how about an ipad? So what do you think will become cool vintage in the future.


rkuchinsky’s studio he shared in an older post is pretty much what I am talking about. (so nice!)
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Things you can use tend to lose styling appeal faster than things that just sit there (or get sat on…)

That said, there’ll certainly be people trying to hunt down “unscratched vintage iphones” in the future, just to have one, much like people collect old computers, though they’re not the majority.

Would probably be more higher-end products or more rare products. Like the Valentine typewriter, costs more than average back in the days. iPhones are a dime a dozen, maybe if there’s a gold version then maybe?? But IMO they’re more technologically designed than aesthetically designed. Maybe something more like the Dell Adamo laptop, or even the 1st generation iPod bricks?? IMO this Japanese cell phone would be easily one of them

I’va always had a soft spot for the alu G4 PowerBooks and will certainly put my 12" on display when it gets too old for any meaningful use. It currently is my alternative to having a netbook, similar performance, better proportions for a small screen (10" widescreen gives to little height imo) and not to bad to lug around.

My iMac G4 (the lamp model) now serves as decoration and jukebox, with a 3. generation iPod with dock attached. Function and style :slight_smile: There is a noticeable interest in Apple stuff, so this isn’t just people taking care of their old computers (attachment), people buy and collect this stuff as classics already.

So, sure I think people will display gadget from today. Either for qualities like design and proper use of materials (ages better), the products importance in some context (changed the way we look at computers, listen to music and so on…) or more personal reasons.

I’ve started to see some of this. The Sony D-777 portable CD player is a fun little guy to have around IF you have one. Old Harman Kardon things, neat looking speakers, or really any cool looking old audiophile thing. Maybe old snowboards from the 80’s might be quite the thing to hang onto. As of late the most popular trend is 80’s/ 90’s very high end, pro level racing road bikes (track bikes too, but I do mean road bikes) mostly Italian.

Mostly I feel that ornamentation found in the domestic environment is going to be hitting a lull. Consumers will be more focused on usable/semi-usable items that posses aesthetic, personal, and monetary value in more minimal and sparse environments.

I think it will happen. Most of the objects I have, vintage desk fans, old transistor radios, 50’s land line phones… are all tabletop items. Having an old iPod out might be a bit odd (unless it was standing up in a dock?), but having a mac mini out might be cool. It is also a more rare item.

I see collectibles happening at the extremes of the spectrum:

  1. top end, super rare stuff. Hi Fis and the like.
  2. super mass produced to the point were they were culturally ubiquitous, then became obsolete and most people trashed them, so the few surviving examples are precious.

Most products (not units sold, but individual SKUs) are in the midrange, from “upgrades” to “near luxury”… I don’t think much in that zone will be collectible.

Icons such as the original ipod may have that retro chic look. They were revolutionary at the time and are already starting to look retro. The shape is so recognisable that it will become sought after. Especially with the fact that you can’t replace the battery. The attrition rate would be quite high. Iconic consumer goods like that, where the shape was the main factor have more chance of being retro. The shape on an iphone is fairly derivative, is I don’t see it being ‘retro’. Maybe the MotoRAZR?

If you look at what looks vintage cool today, in general it’s things that are obsolete in part because they use currently uncommon materials. Wooden tripods, cameras with aluminum and leather bodies, wooden cased radios and TVs, cast aluminum fans, Bakelite phones. If plastic becomes an uncommon material in the future (because of oil costs or environmental concerns), then there’s your answer.

I could imagine: the original Bondi blue iMac, possibly CRT TVs, 1980s VHS camcorders (before they got miniaturized).

Those are some good ideas. But I can tell it’s very hard to look at something that is new “today” and picture it becoming vintage. The original ipod, CRT TV’s and 80’s camcorders are already long gone from our daily use for the most part so we can start to see it as a possible decorative piece.

Another question is how old does something have to be before it’s considered vintage? +30 yrs?
Are we getting close to people plopping down their original NES on a credenza?

I think there are some cool headphones out today that I would put out as decoration one day.
Speaker systems like these ceramic and wood speakers (although these are badass right now)
I also think some kitchen items like espresso or coffee makers.
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These kinds of things have more of a permanence to them I think because they speak more to craft, a hand-made, or timeless aesthetic. iPods and iPhones will pretty much be useless bricks, but maybe people find cool hacks for them with new technologies making them sought after, kind of like http://www.the-impossible-project.com/ and people now hunting old Polaroid cameras like the SX-70.


Eames also did a commercial ad for the camera as well: Polaroid SX-70 Ad - YouTube

It frustrates me how much junk is mass produced without any thought to permanence of aesthetic or utility, I think products that do become vintage chic, then antique, and eventually relics. I think these things make a product, or object collectible, or even re-useable. How quickly a market or product segment evolves can also determine how quickly something becomes chic or collectible.

Nearing 20 years old this paintball marker is already considered an antique and is quite collectible in that market. I still use one today and it’s by far the favorite above the more modern markers in my collection because it is incredibly well made, reliable, and wicked accurate right out of the box. You get some serious props just for using one, let alone using one well.

Another question is how old does something have to be before it’s considered vintage? +30 yrs?

It depends on what it is, and where you are.

In the United States automobiles at least 25 years old are termed “antique” by the Antique Automobile Club of America. The term “classic car” generally denotes specific high-end vehicles that are of the “pre-World War II” era.

Motorcycles? “classic” bikes are considered to be 30-50 years of age; 50+ are “antique”.

In the UK, “antique” generally refers to anything that is 100 years of age or older, but automobiles of this age are termed “vintage”.

In the US, “vintage” furniture is between30 and 100 years of age. Older than 100 is considered “antique”

“vintage clothing” … “antique” if over 100 years, “vintage” if less than.

When I was a teen, vintage clothes were from the '70’s (bell bottoms for example). Today it is from the '80’s.

True enough. For current products then, I would nominate stainless steel kitchen appliances, the Wii, and just about any current Apple product.

Interesting, i was thinking about the Sterlings becoming more of a collectors item. They have some awesome finish and set of materials, but i guess they could be considered disqualified since they are still in production?



/edited due to misquote.

Ah, I suppose, the SL68 was just re-released this year, but with some modern enhancements. There’s some no-brainer stuff that they should’ve changed if they were going to invest in re-tooling, still solid though.

All the Polaroids of my childhood where taken from a SX-70 (still have it too, and a box of flashes). But when it was old and not “cool” yet growing up I was drawn to it’s aesthetic beauty. That may be the best indicator of all for what will be a desire of the future. Think cars, a 63 Nova SS was pretty lame in 1970. Just like if you rocked a 1991 bmw a few years ago it looked old, but now they are getting to look classic.

To add to what might be popular in the future, Konstantin Grcic chairs, NES, Canon 1-DS and 5D



600th post!

Thank you for noticing. Our Calypso is already blushing red. :blush:

:wink: mo-i (her caretaker)

P.S.: There are objects that rather posses you not the opposite. Is that a sign for a future vintage classic?

I do think all classics go through a few awkward teenage years. Think how lame it would have been in 2001 to be driving in a '70’s Pontiac Firebird with the screaming chicken graphic! Now they are awesome, and I think they will be… I think the 80’s Blue Iroc Camaro is about to be like that as well!

This would look like a classic

Really? Not in my book. SLR rims, an oddly grafted on front. No, not a future classic in my opinion. The one in the picture for sure is.