The vintage revival: meet the guys behind Second Life


Danielle Kessler

Owner Damien Herrera (Left) and business partner Brandon Gutierrez (Right) have opened Second Life on it’s new Nord location.

Second Life has officially opened the doors to its new Nord Ave. location and is ready to supply street and vintage wear to Chico. Owner Damien Herrera and business partner Brandon Gutierrez caught up with The Orion to talk about their passion for clothes, and what Second Life has to offer for fellow vintage clothing lovers of Chico.

Both partners said they’ve had a love for vintage clothing and streetwear for a while, and they explained how each of them got involved in the business.

Second Life has moved to it’s new location and is open as of Oct. 6

“When I was in middle school, I got introduced to streetwear from a couple of my good friends,” Herrera said. “Then it kind of grew into this big addiction of, like, wanting to have the best shoes (and) the best clothing.”

Gutierrez said that for him, thrifting was something he did growing up, but it wasn’t something he considered as a business until later.

“I grew up (thrifting), and didn’t really think about making money with it until it got popular,” Gutierrez said.

Both business partners explained how they met after sharing a mutual love for vintage clothing.

“What happened was he stumbled into the store and we became best friends,” Herrera said. “And we just grew this big collection together.”

“One day, I was working at the Chico flea market, and I heard about it from a friend of mine at a store that opened up,” Gutierrez added. . “So I went in and just met (Herrera) and talked one day, and we just became friends pretty much instantly.”

In a completely redesigned and redecorated shop, pretty much unrecognizable from the late Thrift Queen, Herrera explained their methods of finding clothes to put in the store.

“I’ll stalk Craigslist and look for garage sales, estate sales, if there’s a flea market or if people just have random clothing,” Herrera said.

Above all else, the guys at Second Life want to supply Chico with the fashion and styles they’ve both become so accustomed to.

“We want to bring street culture to Chico, California.” Herrera said. “I just want people to know that we’re out here doing it for them. I wouldn’t go this big if I knew that Chico didn’t deserve it.”

“I just want not mainly our name to be out, but streetwear and vintage clothing in general,” Gutierrez added.  “I think a lot of people want (clothes) that they can’t get here. It’s OK to wear old clothes. You don’t have to spend $50, $60  on a brand new shirt, you can get something that’s original for sometimes half the price.”

Herrera explained that the true meaning of the name Second Life is that it gives clothing just that, a way to revive something old and turn it into something brand new.

Plans for the future of Second Life include possible opening of other locations in Berkeley and Sacramento. To keep up with developments and the Second Life boys, check out their Instagram page @we_the_best_thrift.

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups on Twitter.