Whether you’re fiending for classic Ralph Lauren polo shorts circa early 1990s, Chicago Bulls Championship apparel from the 1997 or 1998 championship years, NFL memorabilia, Harley Davidson merchandise, or even vintage sunglasses, Eric Brown Jr., founder of Backtrack Vintage, a Culver City, Los Angeles-based company, may be able to make your dreams come true.
“The 1990s was an amazing time. We made a lot of things. The quality of the garments was really good. Today’s things don’t necessarily stand the test of the time,” Brown says.
A fourth-generation Navy man, Brown, 30, grew up appreciating small Ohio town life while also spending significant childhood years in coastal San Diego after his parents divorced. Born in 1991, Brown grew up watching his African-American father serve the country while in the Navy and then transition to running a successful barber shop. He also was inspired watching his Italian-American mom become the first in her family to complete college and then get a university administrative job (although she, too, is an entrepreneur with a specialty cookie side hustle business.)
After completing a four-year stint in the Navy based in Seattle,Washington, Brown completed college on the GI Bill and then started his vintage clothing and apparel business, operating out of a converted school bus in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. He relocated to Culver City, Los Angeles last year together with his fiancé.
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“Growing up as a kid I watched both of my parents work for themselves.” Brown told The Root who describes himself as being “a jack of all trades.” He loves nothing more than scouting out vintage finds and then selling his wares during pop-up events.
“We’ve gotten messages and comments of support from WNBA Champion Tiffany Bias, Arike Ogunbowale of the Dallas Wings, and Patrick Williams of the Chicago Bulls,” Brown says of celebrity shout-outs and social media support.
Prior to Covid, Backtrack Vintage was profitable with no debt, Brown says. “It forced us to figure out how to give people a great vintage shopping experience from home and we’re working everyday to bounce back better than we were before the pandemic hit,” he adds, noting that he is scouting out for another converted vintage bus and also a permanent retail space in the L.A. area.
Follow Backtrack on social for media pop-up and collection details @shopbacktrack.