New vintage store opens in downtown Kent


Matthew Brown

Branded at Kent, located in downtown Kent, stocks a wide collection of vintage clothing. The store strives to avoid clothing waste.

Jillian Saliba, Reporter

A unique vintage clothing store originating in western Pennsylvania just moved into the neighborhood.

Branded at Kent is a vintage clothing store that specializes in 80’s and 90’s clothing. The store provides unique clothing and limited edition shoes with many color options.

Brother-in-laws Lance Calvert and Brendan O’Brien started the store’s parent branch, Branded in Butler, in September 2019.

The pair originally started by reselling products separately on their own. After running out of space at their homes, they entered the storage unit world.

Similar to the show Storage Wars Calvert and O’Brien stumbled upon a box of old Harley Davidson T-shirts in a storage locker.

“One of them sold for a couple hundred dollars,” said Kelsi Biondo, store manager of both locations.

The pair jumped at the opportunity they saw and began collecting vintage pieces. They purchased a space and rebuilt the inside for the opening of “Branded in Butler.”

Biondo has been working with the business for over two years. She provided insight on how “Branded at Kent” has grown from “Branded in Butler.”

“We source all of our clothing through our rag house where we go through about 80,000 pounds of clothing a month and by hand pick out all of the vintage,” she said. “Only 2% of that is good vintage that we can use.”

Clothing that is not used for the store is either sold on eBay or shipped to Africa to use to ensure no more clothes are going into landfills.

Their mission statement reads, “Turning clothing waste into sustainable fashion,” Biondo said.

The storefront in Kent has a long wall filled with unique shoes from top to bottom. The space is filled with many racks of vintage crewnecks, sports jackets, denim and more. The high walls are decorated with vintage graphic T-shirts that can be seen from anywhere in the store.

The store also has a buy, sell, trade process in which customers bring in new shoes and personal vintage pieces to receive a check or in-store credit.

“If customers would rather shop online we also put our pieces on our website and we ship worldwide,” Biondo said.

The brand is looking to increase its sales and reach a new audience by expanding into Ohio, so moving into an area with a highly-ranked fashion school was a natural place to start.

More information can be found on the company’s Instagram and TikTok @brandedatkent.

Jillian Saliba is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]