SYRACUSE, N.Y (NCC News)– Scholars and Champs has brought sustainability and style to downtown Syracuse. With vintage items up for sale, owner Bert Aufsesser brings the old in with the new by upcycling most of the clothing to keep up with current fashion trends.
“I visit areas like California and New York City where I see their trends in colors, patterns and style,” Aufsesser said. “I work alongside my mom and she sends over fabrics and ideas to transform the clothing into a more stylish piece.”
Most of his items have come from outside helpers in areas of Rochester and Buffalo, bringing the store to life with orange Syracuse gear covering the room from the ceiling to the ground with his unique pieces.
“I try to keep up with the competition by having items and products no one else can have or as much as I have,” Aufsesser said.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in retail management, Aufsesser collected vintage items in 2019 and carried on his hobby until today.
“I really couldn’t find anything that I liked. So I started to collect old vintage stuff, started having my mom sew stuff, and next thing you know I have a whole storage facility just filled with orange Syracuse gear.”
With hundreds of collectible items, he transformed his hobby into a full-time business by sharing his passion for vintage clothing but recycling it all back into the heart of Syracuse.
“I wanted to be in a location that wasn’t too close to the university where I only catered to students but not too far either,” Aufsesser said. “As downtown was growing I knew it was the perfect place and now that my lease is almost up I am considering looking at other places as well.”
The shop gives an opportunity for current and old fans to look through memories, show off vintage gear, and share their love for the city of Syracuse.
“I see people wearing my stuff all the time,” Aufsesser said. “It’s a good feeling seeing people share my clothing on social media or come up to me outside and show me what they got from the shop.”