Rock Steady at the Manhattan Vintage Show

A vintage t-shirt exhibition will display merch from Tupac, Velvet Underground and more.

This tongue does not belong to The Rolling Stones, but to the Velvet Underground.
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show
This Rod Stewart merch is epic.
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show
Show 'em what you got.
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show
A Black Flag t-shirt.
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show
Would you prefer a Ramones tank...
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show
...Or a light blue tank from The Smiths?
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show
Go-go boots for the ultimate retro touch.
Courtesy The Manhattan Vintage Show

There’s no denying the fact that acquiring vintage band t-shirts has become a competitive sport. Dedicated shoppers have been known to mercilessly scour vintage fairs, thrift stores and Instagram for the perfectly faded top circa 1972 and pay basically any price for their prized tee. Merch is merch, whether it comes from Cream or Kanye.

Naturally, The Manhattan Vintage Show is cashing in on this moment with a carefully curated t-shirt section at their upcoming shopping event. On April 7 and 8, alongside vendors at the Metropolitan Pavilion selling Ungaro gowns, Chanel bags and finely faded Levi’s, will be “The Rock & Roll T-Shirt Hall of Fame.” Featuring more than 30 aged t-shirts depicting Tupac Shakur, Def Leppard, The Smiths and Velvet Underground, this exhibition will be the holy grail for music nerds and vintage T-shirt collectors alike. It also happens to coincide with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be taking place just a borough away, at the Barclays Center.

Unfortunately, the shirts on display will not be shoppable IRL, but they will be available on the Manhattan Vintage website, directly following the show. Vintage dealers including Spark Pretty, Cherry Vintage, Another Man’s Treasure, Lisa Victoria Vintage and Thriftwares supplied the pieces for the exhibition.

Rachel Lynch, the blogger behind I Hate Blonde (who has a penchant for not wearing pants), was tapped to style the T-Shirt Hall of Fame; she also modeled some of the selection, as seen above. Lynch will be accenting the selection with a few full-on vintage outfits, each of which were plucked from various eras in music history.

“We had been wanting to put together a Rock & Roll inspired exhibit for the Manhattan Vintage Show for some time,” said David Ornstein, the owner of Manhattan Vintage. “Rock & Roll style and vintage clothing seem to go hand in hand.” Name a more iconic duo…we’ll wait.

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