The first episode of Highsnobiety's new documentary series, Hidden Heat, explores the growing demand for vintage wresting T-shirts.
Nostalgia runs deep in our veins. The past is as elusive a dream as the future. Always distorted, always yearned for, and always seen as better days. For kids in the '80s, wrestling was equivalent to Saturday morning cartoons. It was the golden era. From over-the-top aesthetics and vibrant characters, captivating storylines were irresistible. It was a form of escapism.
Now that the kids who grew up watching Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage are adults and have the financial support to buy what they couldn't back then, the nostalgia itch has emerged in the form of vintage T-shirts.
In this pilot episode, Highsnobiety's Jeff Carvalho takes a trip down to New Orleans for WrestleMania 34 to explore popular WWE fandom, telltale signs of authentic vintage tees, and the ins and outs of apparel collecting.
Jeff catches up with many tee collectors along the way including Adam Konta, the coolest criminal defense attorney of all time (move over Matt Murdock) with a wrestling shirt collection deeper than your entire wardrobe. He also sits down with Hot 97 host and WWE fanatic Peter Rosenberg to cypher threw his favorite tees rounded up over the years including his "holy grail" piece, a Saturday Nights Main Event logo top.
Similar to '80s kids, '90s babies are also entering an age of nostalgia. They also now have the dough to cop all the Attitude Era-inspired merchandise they once couldn't. Sneaker boutique Phoenix Splash is one retailer paving the way for all things '90s wrestling. From vintage tops featuring The Rock, to Degeneration X, to Stone Cold, Hidden Heat explores the shop's collection of must-have items.
AJ, a connoisseur in cosplay and escapism, shares her love for Kane and Bret "Hitman" Hart apparel and gives insights on why WWE garnished such a hardcore following.
Vintage means different things to different people, but for wrestling fans, it taps into our childhood fantasy of larger-than-life characters that become more than just TV entertainment - they become an era of our lives.
Take a closer look at the growing fandom of vintage WWE T-shirt collecting in our new documentary Hidden Heat above, and tell us what your favorite must-cop wrestling tees are in the comments below.
After, check out High End, our documentary exploring the luxury weed market.