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Meet Remy Milchman of Better With Age in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Remy Milchman.

Remy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
This kind of all started as a fantasy, not to sound cheesy, but the idea for Better With Age came to me in a dream. I’ve always had an affinity for clothing, my mother owned a chain of boutiques in South Florida, and my father, the self-proclaimed “best dressed man in the court house” would always request I help pick out his suits in the morning, which build my familiarity with color & pattern combinations. So fashion was always a theme in the house. Brewing a then, 12 years old middle school sneaker hustler, prominently selling vintage Nike’s and Jordan’s.

This kicked off a chain of fashion-related side hustles. Eight or so years later, a few buddies from high school & I opened a vintage store called “Lost ‘N Found” which happened before the real resurgence of vintage. We were basically the first vintage store to use Instagram as a storefront, which kind of helped us blow up quickly, all while I’m attending FSU for Fashion Design and Product Development and designing a slew of products for other brands. At this point, my hustle juices are flowing at full capacity, and I’m craving more and more creativity in the mix. So, while dreaming, no joke, my brain birthed Better With Age, a clothing brand that utilizes only vintage garments, in the place of the pre-made wholesale shirts most brands use.

I knew the fashion world was craving something more sustainable than what it was getting, & I felt like I cracked the code on how to do it in a tasteful and edgy way. So, starting by adding my logos over fake Gucci bucket hats and vintage travelers bags I found at a flea market, the next side hustle began. I irresponsibly liked the idea of bootlegging, which ended up working to my advantage because one of the first shirts I made was a fake collaboration with Gucci, dubbed the “unauthorized” tee, got a lot of traction online, helping me build my audience early on. Keep in mind It was easy to get products made because of the cache of vintage I’d hoarded for the vintage store, so I kind of hit the ground running.

Four years later, I now do this full time. BWA, acting as a representation of both versions of myself (My younger, graffiti doing, skatepark rat, and my older self, the environmentally conscious, design snob) I used these juxtaposed ideas to resonate with this generation because we’ve all thrown a beer bottle at a window on one day and helped an old lady cross the street on another, right? Somewhere in all of us lies a punk with a good heart. It’s the beauty of recognizing the good doesn’t exist without the bad and vise versa, the sacred and the profane. I recognized that things work well with blatant contrast. A theme that shows true not only because we’re taking old clothes (inevitably headed for a landfill) and creating something new with them, but also because we’re using these clothes to push the brands “Fuck the System, Not the World” mentality. We are here to normalize sustainable practice in the high-end space because recycling hasn’t always been the “cool” thing to do, And I felt responsible the change that narrative.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Moving across country was the first big obstacle, it forced a pause on all production for almost a year. Other than that, it’s been relatively smooth to be honest. It’s always been easy for me to come up with the ideas, I guess the challenging part has been being organized enough to make them all come to fruition in a timely and cohesive way. Dealing with garment/print factories always comes with its own set of frustrations, delays and printing errors are no stranger to me.

Better With Age – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
To be put simply, we re-imagine old clothes, but on a deeper level, we provide social commentary via vintage clothing. We give new life, we reduce, reuse, repair, reimagine, and recycle. Providing a lifeline for sustainability in the high-end space. And, to my knowledge, we’re the only ones doing it.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Hard to say really, the greatest win would be to really shift the culture, open the eyes of everyone to sustainable practice and recycling. Let’s not undermine the pursuit for a Paris Fashion Week runway and a product wall at Maxfield’s, though, because that would feel pretty good.

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Image Credit:

Neal Donnelly, Remy Milchman

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