Old Gold: New and old clothing collide

Greta Rohrer, Feature Editor

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  • A gold bangle for $18 graces the wrist of a mannequin in Old Gold, a vintage clothing shop on Cherry Street, Aug. 27.

  • Jeans in all different sizes and colors have their own section in Old Gold.

  • Rings, earrings and necklaces on display for customers in Old Gold.

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Inside of Old Gold, classic rock T-shirts hang from the ceiling, party clothes line the walls and ball gowns, wigs and vintage military jackets hang together.

Approaching the store located at 151 Cherry St., the window display filled with whimsically dressed mannequins only gives a small glimpse of the store’s personality.

Owner Karin Eisenberg describes the store as “an eclectic combination of vintage, used and new clothing.”

The store opened in 1973 under owner Ed Winant. In 1994, Eisenberg and Winant started working together, and eventually, Eisenberg bought the store.

Winant brought Eisenberg to the trade shows that have stocked Old Gold since the early ‘70s, and has taught her everything about the business.

“Our biggest intention was that Old Gold maintained being Old Gold… I didn’t want to turn it into something else, it was already what I wanted,” Eisenberg said.

Now, with 25 years of experience, she has kept Old Gold’s authenticity despite the changing fashion and pop culture trends.

“You always have to change with whatever’s going on, but the core principles will never change,” Eisenberg said.

Even though her store incorporates a lot of new retail items, vintage basics will never leave her shelves, even if they’re not “on-trend.”

“There was a period of time in the 2000s when nobody would touch vintage Levi’s… Now we can’t get enough of them,” Eisenberg said, sitting in front of Old Gold’s massive wall of jeans.

Sophomore Kelley Coates praises Old Gold for their jeans.

“Levi’s are what, like $100 on their website? I’ve gotten them from Old Gold for around $35…  that’s a pretty good price for legitimate, good quality denim,” Coates said.

Eisenberg sees Levi’s as the “the hallmark of a solid store” when referencing vintage must-haves.

Eisenberg also emphasized the importance of ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s clothing in her store.

Burlington locals have come to know and love this unique environment of new and used clothing.

Employee Julia Andres-Murnane had been shopping at the store since she was 5, her first purchase being a leopard print cowboy hat.

“I was coming here when I was a kid. I bought my prom dress here, I was in college here,” Andres-Murnane said. “I think [Old Gold] just sticks with you.”

Old Gold has left a similar impact on many Burlington residents.

Startng in December 2018, the store moved from its previous location on Main Street to its current location, leaving some feeling a bittersweet sense of loss.

“A lot of people couldn’t go in when we were closed because they didn’t want to see the place emptied out,” Andres-Murnane said.

Old Gold’s original location held 45 years of inventory in the store, and an additional building and basement, Andres-Murnane said.

She said that this took months of moving and selling, but Old Gold was in need of a fresh face.

“This will always be my home,” Andres-Murnane said.

Eisenberg also emphasized the store’s impact on her life, especially in relation to the customers.

“It’s really important to me that Old Gold is a space for everybody,” Eisenberg said.

“People coming in here for a party, or for prom or even if it’s for a first date, we want to show them as good of a time getting ready for something as when they go,” she said.

The store definitely embodies this energy.

Further emphasizing the store’s aim for authenticity, when asked about the future, Eisenberg said, “you’re looking at it.”