Doo Wop Vintage brings inclusivity to the clothing market

University of Minnesota student Olivia Anizor is on a mission to bring funky, slow, fashion-friendly vintage clothing to the plus-size fashion community.

Olivia+Anzior+poses+for+a+portrait+with+vintage+clothes+from+her+shop%2C+Doowop+Vintage%2C+in+her+Minneapolis+apartment+on+Sunday%2C+March+22.+Anzior+opened+the+Instagram+shop+in+the+early+months+of+the+pandemic.

Emily Pofahl

Olivia Anzior poses for a portrait with vintage clothes from her shop, Doowop Vintage, in her Minneapolis apartment on Sunday, March 22. Anzior opened the Instagram shop in the early months of the pandemic.

Grace Davis

University of Minnesota student Olivia Anizor saw the lack of representation and accessibility of vintage clothing for plus-size folks and decided to do something about it.

Anizor began curating and selling plus-size vintage clothing during the slow months of the pandemic summer of 2020. She created and runs the Instagram account @doowopvintage, where she directly posts and sells to her almost 400 followers.

“I am the audience. I know what I want, and I know what I think other girls with curves want,” Anizor said about her motivation for starting Doo Wop.

In a culture where a certain body type influences media and retail, it can be especially hard and discouraging for plus-size folks to find clothing that appeals to them. In 2018, Plunkett Research estimated that 68% of women in the United States are size 14 and up, yet market research company NPD found that 56% of women still said it was hard to find plus-size clothing of equal quality to “regular” sizes.

Anizor has considered herself an active thrifter in the Minneapolis scene for a while now and has seen the positives and negatives of the thrifting community as a plus-size vintage curator. “I’ve always loved the Minneapolis vintage market. I just think they could branch out more size-wise, and I know it’s hard because vintage isn’t known for being super size inclusive, but it’s out there; you just have to find it,” she said.

The slow but steady rise of Doo Wop Vintage is better than Anizor could have expected.

“A really big spike came after I did a pop-up for Small Business Saturday at Les Sól boutique in Minneapolis. After that, I got a lot more of the vintage community in Minneapolis to recognize Doo Wop, which is amazing,” she said. “Now I have out-of-state orders! It’s growing faster than I could have ever thought it would.”

The reaction from local thrifters has been nothing but positive, noting the intention of Doo Wop and the wide array of standout, vintage finds.

Liv May, a University of Minnesota student, reflected on Anizor’s business, saying, “The vintage market is dominated by fashion for thinner people, and it’s so refreshing to see a plus-size woman of color putting her spin on it. It’s cool because more often than not, plus-size women have to rely on fast fashion to meet us halfway regarding size and price. It’s really special that Olivia’s meeting us at the intersection of size, inclusivity, sustainability and affordability.”

Doo Wop has a colorful page of eclectic and one-off patterns, but finding these pieces isn’t an easy task, with most thrift stores in Minneapolis not necessarily catering to plus-size folks. Anizor swears by a couple of places to find her perfect pieces for Doo Wop — mainly Savers and Goodwill.

Anizor’s intentions have never been about money. “I feel like because plus size vintage is such a niche [market], that it makes it a really good opportunity to like, price it up, which I think is absolutely ridiculous,” she said. “I try to sell it for almost what I bought it for. I just love the idea of helping other girls who never find things thrifting, to find things a little bit easier.”

Sophia Meza, a friend of Anizor who follows Doo Wop Vintage, had nothing but good things to say about Anizor and her mission.

“Everything Olivia touches is magic and filled with love and thoughtfulness and truly in an effort to make the world a brighter and more inclusive place,” she said. “Doo Wop Vintage is a perfect example of all of that!”