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Vintage skatestuff from Bonkers

The Frankfurters now also sell things from the golden era


The Bonkers shop likes to stand out. Be it through Frankfurt battle-rap attitude on Instagram or through smart ideas. They just had one of those again. They thought, why only sell the brands and products of today, when there was so much other cool shit in skate history? That's why they started selling vintage clothing recently.

John Shanahan was the first person I noticed that he wears and sells vintage items, but I haven't seen a skateshop that offers this yet. Are you the first?

In a few stores I have noticed that they resell old Nike SB shoes, but I have never seen the real vintage stuff in skate shops like this. I just know some Insta accounts that do it, that’s where the idea came from. And we do it together with Bernhard Glimm from Shemonster Vintage, who has one of the best vintage shops I know and has been skating for over 30 years. At Shemonster there wereoccasionally dope skateshirts that I grabbed from time to time. That was a nostalgic thing for me. Bernie has the best knowledge and a great network, so he brings in a lot of stuff from all over Europe and knows the prices of vintage parts.

Do you only do that online or do you also integrate it into your shop?

We have a small vintage corner in the shop. At the moment it's just shirts, crewnecks and a few shoes, but we want to add caps, pants and so on.

"Do you remember how sick it was back then?"

What kind of clothing do you offer?

Our rough rule is: older than 10 years. Here and there we make exceptions if they are really special items, like the Vans x Sublime Sk8-Hi from 2014, which is limited to 300 pieces and hand-signed. But we like the 90s best, that's where we have the most at the moment.

Are the 90s also what is most in demand right now?

Yes, the mid-90s to early 2000s. A few Hook-Ups shirts were immediately gone, just like City Stars and stuff like that. It depends on the brand and the design. We also had one of the first Birdhouse Tony Hawk Hoodies, still with Powell-Peralta graphics, which was gone right away.

How did it start in general? Are you satisfied?

We are very satisfied. Here and there there are a few parts that I thought would sell faster, like an H-Street Sal Barber Shirt. But that might be because the younger people we are currently appealing to a little more through our normal range of products, sometimes don’t get it fully, and the older people have yet to become aware of us.

What is your target group rather? The kids who are just looking for the old stuff again or old farts like me who are getting nostalgic?

Both. We want to show the kids a little bit, what cool stuff and graphics were available at that time and that brands dared a little bit more. There was a little more attitude back then. We all started skating because you could do whatever you wanted and not to see child-friendly graphics. Today many people think that skating should be more conservative, act cool on the outside, but think that everyone has to behave a certain way. Skating is a sport now, with Olympics and all. I’m sick of it, I still do what I want to do and I don’t give a shit about people who think like that and want to keep skating within a certain framework. But back to the topic, we want to give the older ones a feeling of: "Do you remember how sick it was back then?" In the end we just want everyone to have a great feeling and get into skateboarding and the culture.

"Ich habe dann so Nachrichten bekommen wie 'Ihr Hurensöhne, wieso legt ihr so ein Shirt neu auf'"

Cause you mentioned the attitude. You even managed to start a little shitstorm with a release of vintage clothes.

Yeah, but fucking around with idiots is my little hobby too... But really, if there are some keyboard warriors crying because we offer a shirt from the beginning of 2000, where Jeremy Klein dressed as a blader and gets a kick in the face from an asian schoolgirl and people don’t even get what it’s about... I got messages like, "You sons of bitches, why are you reissuing such a shirt". What should I say, it’s 20 years old... But anyway, the more comments, the more insta reach.

How’s the quality of the stuff you sell?

A lot of stuff, especially from the 90’s, is very good quality. Back then, most of the stuff was still "Made in USA" and the prints were even thicker. We have a few unworn items in our assortment and the rest we check very carefully for stains, holes, if the print is washed out... Although such washed out stuff sometimes makes the shirt even better. But with some things you would not even notice that they are already old. This is also noticeable in the price.

Speaking of which, you don't have thriftstore prices. How do they come about?

It’s not like a second-hand shop that just buys up a container of clothing. We have to get the stuff first, which is not easy. We have to find the people who still have stuff like that, make a lot of calls and negotiate. Of course people won’t give it to us for free. We pay high prices ourselves. It’s all stuff where you nowadays only find a few pieces of it worldwide. Then we have to clean, iron and measure them. We invest up to five hours per product. We don't make great money on this project, it’s more out of passion. But of course, the prices are not cheap now, but if you search in Facebook groups or look at other collectors, the things are sometimes even more expensive. We also don’t want to offer the things too expensive, in the end there should be something for everyone.

How can people who have old stuff contact you?

Just send a message to the mail address. We will also set up a vintage@ mailaddress in the future. Then people can send us their price ideas and we’ll see what is possible. Mostly we buy the stuff, but we also sell it for the people on commission.

Are there brands that are harder to get or parts that you didn’t get?

We’re looking for old Savier shoes. It’s hard to find a skater anyway who still has old shoes that haven’t been skated. But basically everything is difficult to get.

Do you guys still plan on expanding this somehow?

We want to talk more about it on the blog. Do interviews, tell stories from the past and introduce old brands.