Vintage clothes for cool early-1980s kids

I’d never heard of East Side Story, but judging by this ad in a 1983 issue of the East Village Eye, it must have been stocked with sweet vintage finds.

Muscle sweat T-shirts and cotton zipper jackets I remember. But Bundeswehr shirts?

Today, 227 East 59th Street is occupied by a cabinet store. A quick search for East Side Story turned up no trace of the store or when it folded.

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20 Responses to “Vintage clothes for cool early-1980s kids”

  1. Harry Says:


    Before East Side Story; it was called: Jumpin’ Jack Flash. In the early to mid 70’s they specialized in “Galm Wear” glitter suits, platform shoes; that sort of thing.


  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks! That 70s glam stuff would go for quite a lot today.

  3. Nabe News: July 16 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] finds in the East Village Eye, circa 1983 [Ephemeral […]

  4. thepassenger Says:

    Bundeswehr was kind of like the Ed Hardy of the early-mid 80s, with an added military/workout vibe. If there had been a Jersey Shore back then, the guidos would almost certainly have worn it.

  5. citydog Says:

    Bundeswehr was originally just German army surplus tank tops. They were great, came in white and olive drab and lasted *forever*.

    Pennsylvania Company and their ilk started dyeing them and while they certainly became a trendy thing, I think “the Ed Hardy of the early-mid 80s” is pushing it.

  6. bb Says:

    Germany has a required military service and thus a LOT of used uniforms when kids get out of the army. East Village thrift shops then (and Army Navy stores still to this day) bought/buy a LOT of these surplus Bundeswehr gear. It was hardly guido (they were still into the disco and dabbling in new wave then), actually slightly hippie but more casual chic for students and sometimes club kids in the early/mid 80s. Canal Jeans used to sell it in droves. For the record, 50’s retro was the main style at this point with some early 60s creeping in.

  7. petey Says:

    i thought bundeswehr stuff was somewhat creepy, like wearing nazi stuff without the actual nazi

    • Zoé Says:

      Not everything under the sun that is German has to do w/ Nazis. Especially years after the Nazis & regarding shirts produced by a gov that does not even allow anything ‘Nazi’ (unlike in the States where we allow neo-Nazis under free speech laws).

  8. Jill Says:

    I think this must have been very close to Fiorucci, a rock and roll glam store either on 59th Street during that same period. I still have my tiny silver star to glue on my face like a birthmark that i bought there in 1979.

  9. wildnewyork Says:

    I remember Fiorucci; they sold T-shirts and sweatshirts featuring punked out images of Raphael’s angels.

    • Angie Says:

      I worked at Fiorucci and shopped @ JJ Flash
      There was a Pottery Barn next to Fiorucci
      only we called it Poverty Barn, it was so inexpensive all the students from Pratt would shop three

    • Zoé Says:

      Fiorucci had really great black & various colour jeans that fit really well. A bit lowrise but not a lot. (Lol – I fell down a rabbit hole into the past on your blog & here I am! Opening my big mouth…).

  10. bigmissfrenchie Says:

    I bought my favorite used overcoat there in the 80s. I think I paid $20 for it and I wore for at least 3 winters!

  11. brian Says:

    Speaking of Fiorucci, long ago in 1977 I was headed there with my friend and I spotted fashion artist, Antonio Lopez. Being an art student, I adored his work and ran over to him to get his autograph. He was surprised that anyone would want his autograph, but signed my Ralph Lauren/Bloomingdale’s catalog. I walked on the rarified air of my celebrity sighting for the rest of the weekend.

  12. Ŗivẹt Says:

    hehe, I remember the Bundeswehr shirts back in the day.

  13. Diana Says:

    I got here when I was searching for Bundeswehr shirts. I remember the goth kids wore them in the 80s. They sported a German eagle on the front and definitely more in line with the punk/goth aesthetic of the time (and even now).

    I wouldn’t think guidos would wear those, as some people commented. They were too busy wearing Members Only and acid washed baggy jeans. Military style is has never really been guidoish.

  14. Daley Says:

    Fabulous Rock Glam Clothing. The Manager’s name was Andrew

  15. david Says:

    Right.Jumping Jack Flash was part owned by Rich Ognibene and John LiDonni and Andrew DiGiacamo. Rich and John owned Granny Takes a Trip a few blocks away and opened Flash with Andrew. The partnership didn’t last long and Andrew had sole ownership of Flash until it closed. I was the in house designer for both Grannys and Flash in the early 70s, designing mainly leather and jersey. Fabulous times.

    • Sandy Says:

      Do you know whatever happened to John? Also, did you know Michael Durst? I’,m trying to find out more about Jumpin Jack Flash, use to shop there and knew John. Thanks.

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