The short version

Zipper is one of the oldest second hand stores in Amsterdam and was founded in 1979 by John & Agnes Giles.  
Their business philosophy from the start being, that they would only buy clothing for the shop that they themselves loved (or would wear!) Combining this love for vintage clothing with their American roots, made the idea to search for vintage clothing in and around Los Angels (the city John grew up in) an easy and exciting plan. This powerful combination proved to work, and put Zipper instantly on the fashion and vintage radar in Amsterdam.

Now in 2018 we still follow that one basic philosophy; we only sell what we love. 
Funny what one family’s love for vintage goods can create. 

The extended version

Our story is actually a somewhat of a love story. 

It all started on the staircase of an Amsterdam squatters house in 1975. This is where John&Agnes Giles met and fell in love, with each other & with vintage clothing. 

As a young girl Agnes always dreamed about  opening her own second-hand clothing store. All through her teenage years she could be found searching through piles of used clothing at local rag houses near her hometown of Uithoorn.  

John on the other hand grew up as a American expat kid, moving from country to country, finally landing in Holland where he graduated the foto-vak-school at the top of his class. Even as young as 12, he was little businessman, and always with a keen eye for a good deal.
This combination of business and vintage finesse, made for a perfect match.

As a young couple they travelled the world together.
Stopping for a couple of months in John’s birthplace, Los Angels California.
Agnes was amazed by all the thrift shops she saw and noticed a big difference in clothing they sold compared to the thrift shops in Holland.
The 50’s clothing style that they themselves wore and loved, was abounded in LA.
The beautifull fabrics and styles of those 50’s clothing items was something very different then what Amsterdam had to offer.
This give them an idea....  

On that very first trip they ended up with four 100pound bales.
They crammed it in the back of an old station wagon and drove it to the Los Angeles shipping docks. 

A concept was born!

After a just one winter on the Waterlooplein market (guess the cold got to them) they opened their first real store the spring of 1979. 

Love for vintage made Zipper, love for each-other made baby’s.
The kids (Daniel&Sadie-Jane) grew up in and around their parents’ stores.
Zipper eventually becoming a true family business as both Daniel and Sadie-Jane started working for their parents.
The four of them together ran the business for more then a decade.

Nowadays Daniel is running bigger and bigger parts of the business, though still guided by John & Agnes vintage wisdom. Both of them still there in a split second to help out wherever needed with all the love they have. 

Because that’s what family is for!

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