By Payton May SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)— For Bert Aufsesser, finding vintage clothes isn’t just a hobby, but a way of life. The Syracuse University alum opened up the vintage store Scholars and Champs in Armory Square to sell what he’s collected over the years and showcase his favorite modern art.
After becoming the president of the Syracuse Alumni Association, it was Aufesser’s responsibility to attend many Syracuse events and games. He wanted to be the man who was always able to stand out in a room, so he decided to use his fashion to do that.
“Before you knew it I had a whole closets and a garage full of Syracuse stuff,” Aufsessor said. “So I did that for you know probably over three years collecting heavily and then I said ‘you know, I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to do with this.’”
After debating whether or not to start a gallery of his finds, he decided using his retail experience and starting his own business would be more beneficial.
Aufesser believed that people are drawn to vintage clothes because of the quality and uniqueness of each item. He contributed the appeal to refurbishing old clothes to the fact that the clothes are made well and have lasted long already. Along with that, each individual item is different from any other. This specific point is what Aufesser called being “one of one.”
“You know you go to the store now, you go to the bookstore and you could have a hundred people buy the same shirt as you,” Aufsesser said. “You come to a store like mine and get a vintage piece and you’ll probably be the only one wearing it.”
One of the most important things to Aufesser is that his store appeals to the entire Syracuse community. He didn’t want to just appeal to the student population, but instead weave in a wider audience of vintage fanatics. His store location keeps him involved with Syracuse locals, young entrepreneurs, and east coast sports lovers.
“The plan is to do events, autograph sessions, book releases, art shows, charity events and really turn it into a sense of community and culture here,” Aufsesser said. The future for his business is a lot larger than just clothes, but for now Aufsesser enjoys the “treasure hunt” of finding them.