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Student turns flair for thrifting into vintage store

UA student Lake Stanfield developed Queen City Clothing, a vintage store with men's and women's clothing. CW | Shelby Akin

Laura Testino

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Lake Stanfield, a senior majoring in German and marketing, doesn’t let the cost or the weather deter her from sporting any conglomeration of her fashion finds on a daily basis. 

“You can have great quality clothes for not much money at all,” she said.

Stanfield has been collecting various pieces of vintage and designer wear from thrift stores, vintage markets and online sites, such as eBay, since arriving at college. While she has always had a creative side, Stanfield credits her friend  Andrew Hyder for really igniting her passion for thrifting. Together, they have developed Queen City Clothing, a vintage store that carries women’s and men’s clothing from an impressive array of designers.

“The only thing that I hope is that people are able to express themselves through their clothing the way that they want without any kind of negative interactions with people,” Stanfield said.

Rasma Lazda, associate professor of German, took notice of Stanfield’s clothing choices after instructing some of her German courses. Lazda said she found Stanfield’s apparel to be individual and interesting.

“[Professors] want students to develop their thinking skills, their independence in thinking, and taking responsibility for their thinking,” Lazda said. “And I see in [Stanfield] that she is taking a step, at least when it comes from the outside, in the way of clothing.”

Lazda, a German native, was the faculty advisor for the study abroad program in Berlin that Stanfield attended this past summer. This was Stanfield’s third trip to Germany, a country she finds interesting due to its large amount of cultural influences.

“I’ve always wanted to work for a German company and move to Germany,” Stanfield said. “The first time I was in Berlin, I thought it was a really cool version of New York City, with a little bit more of a European influence.”

Lazda said Berlin is a young and vibrant city. Although fashion trends exist, she said, college-aged students in Germany tend to be more individualistic. 

“I could imagine [Stanfield] feels more comfortably in Europe,” Lazda said.

Majors in marketing and German may not seem to mesh with an interest in fashion, but Stanfield said her interests go hand-in-hand.

Hyder, a junior majoring in accounting, who became Stanfield’s partner in Queen City Clothing, took notice of Stanfield’s passions immediately after forming a friendship based around “thrifiting” together.  

“[Stanfield] is very real,” Hyder said. “She wears her heart on her sleeve.”

One of Stanfield’s personal favorite finds is a 1971 white leather trench coat, with woven taxi-cab printed panels. She stumbled across it on eBay after someone misspelled fashion designer ‘Valentino.’

“I’ve loved it to death to the point that I don’t know if I can actually clean all of the stuff off of the white jacket,” she said.

Hyder saw Stanfield wear the coat, and from his observations, gathered that it was one of her favorite clothing items.

“When you’re wearing something that you really think is cool and really resonates with who you are, it’s reflected in your attitude and how you carry yourself,” he said.

The two hope to see Queen City Clothing offer its customers the same opportunity to have individual expression through clothing. The store can be found on the Facebook page, Queen City Clothing Tuscaloosa. They are currently booking shopping appointments.

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Student turns flair for thrifting into vintage store