As the weather in Athens becomes unbearably cold, one thing stays constant throughout each season: Bobcats' dedication to fashion. But for Olivia Urlage, a sophomore majoring in retail and fashion merchandising, fashion is not just a hobby; it's a full-time job through her business, Gemini Killer Vintage.
Urlage has appreciated fashion since she was little; she designed and crafted pieces as a child.
"I wanted to be in fashion my whole life," Urlage said. "It's just been me, making duct tape clothes when I was younger, or just sewing pieces together and all that fun stuff. In high school, everyone knew me as the girl who wears all this funky stuff and makes her own clothes."
Urlage started on Depop in 2017, where she began reselling her thrift finds. She learned to spot unique pieces to sell in her online shop.
"I have a good eye for what other people would like, but also what I like," Urlage said. "Whenever I'm going through shirts or pants, I'm looking for color and graphics and making sure it's in good shape, especially if you're going to end up selling."
In 2022, Urlage launched her vintage business, Gemini Killer Vintage, bringing to fruition a dream she's had for years. Urlage solely manages and runs the business, sourcing all pieces herself. Because of this, the prices vary.
"It's a learning curve for sure," Urlage said. "But it's what I want to do with my life, so it's worth it."
Recently, her business was featured at the Athens Vintage Market on Nov. 19 in Baker Center Ballroom. Urlage has been collecting and curating pieces for the event for months.
"You really have to think about what college students would buy," Urlage said. "When you think of vintage sellers, you think, 'They're going to price a t-shirt for $50.' No one here is gonna buy that. You have to be realistic and think about who you're selling to."
In Athens, the vintage scene is electric, with many students opting to shop second-hand over fast fashion retailers.
Urlage plans to expand her business and aspires to produce her own designs. Last April, Urlage's designs were featured in Variant Magazine's Fashion Show at Galbreath Chapel.
"I made a collection called 'ratz dollz,'" Urlage said. "It is one of my proudest moments. It felt so cool to see models wear clothing that I had made."
Urlage's main goal in launching Gemini Killer was to combat overconsumption and promote second-hand shopping on campus.
"(Avoiding fast fashion) is something I have been passionate about for a really long time, and that is one of my main goals as a vintage company," Urlage said.
Fast fashion has revolutionized the fashion industry, but it is a leading cause of overconsumption and contributes to pollution, resource depletion and excessive waste. According to Oxfam, "The textile industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the shipping and aviation industries combined."
Vintage and second-hand clothing has tremendous social, environmental and economic benefits compared to the wastefulness of fast fashion's emphasis on constantly wearing and discarding inexpensive garments. It's a smarter and more ethical way to dress stylishly, and Urlage's Gemini Killer Vintage has distinctive pieces that promote both sustainability and style for Bobcat second-hand shoppers.
"There are so many options when it comes to clothing and it can be so customizable," Urlage said. "Then you can say, 'Oh my gosh, yeah, I made this myself' and that's such a good feeling."