Unless I’m looking for something specific—Levi’s 501 cutoffs, say, or a Gucci logo bag—I don’t generally spend much time scouring labels while I’m vintage shopping. So long as the price is right, who cares if that perfectly beat-up leather jacket was made by Ralph Lauren or Rando Brand USA?
I’m glad somebody’s paying attention, though, because it’s resulted in one of my favorite Instagram feeds ever, @labeltime. For the past three years, vintage lover Dana Cohen has been posting photos of the weird and wonderful tags she and others find in secondhand clothing.
There are food-themed labels (PASTA, Peaches My Love, Tomato Streetwear), weirdly sexual labels (BOOB, Bend Over, an illustration of a couple midcoitus), and some that are just downright bizarre (Poo, GymSex, one that’s just the letter “S” repeated 17 times). With more than 600 posts, there’s enough to keep you scrolling for hours—or at least way longer than you’d planned.
At first I thought I wanted to know the backstories behind the tags—who decided that “Anxiety” was a good name for a kids’ brand? What kind of clothes does a line called “Kunty” make? Is there even a hint of irony attached to the label reading “Manly Success”?—but after a few Google searches, I realized that can kind of ruin the magic. I’d rather just enjoy the crackpot poetry of the feed and the very of-their-era graphics (’80s neon “Flashdance” fonts, ’90s graffiti-style lettering).
That said, I do very much want to own something by the (juniors!) brand Daddy’s Money, so I’ve kept that one on hand for Etsy searches.
Ahead, see some of the best tags from the collection, and follow the brilliance at @labeltime.