Exclusive Hype Brings Vintage Streetwear to LNK
At downtown Lincoln’s newest vintage streetwear store on O street, “look good, feel good” is a phrase to live by.
Exclusive Hype began as a way for a group of friends to share their love of sneakers and t-shirts from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s with the Lincoln community.
Lincoln Southeast graduates Hunter Shannon, Garrett Atkinson, Tabor Morton, and Keenan Haberlan grew up together and developed a passion for pop culture, sports, skateboarding, and the material culture and fashion that came with it. Searching for vintage jerseys and band tees, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Supreme, Nike SBs, and Jordan Retros became something like a lifestyle.
“We’re looking for the gold,” Shannon said. “The thrift gold. It’s more luck than anything.”
Over time, they learned how to spot a fake label and how to tell if a t-shirt is truly a vintage gem (for instance, if the shirt is made with a “single stitch” instead of the two lines of stitching that is made today, it means you’ve hit the jackpot.) Shannon has found sneakers a few times for just over $100 that were worth closer to $1,000.
“We’ve just been collecting ever since we were kids, honestly,” Atkinson said. “It kind of turned into a huge collection and then we were sitting back looking at it, and we were like, man, this stuff is worth some money.”
Not only had their vintage finds held their value, but they’d gone up over time. In the past five years, similar vintage streetwear stores in larger cities have gained notoriety while 80s and 90s nostalgia and hunting for vintage labels is having its heyday.
The four childhood friends began selling through Facebook groups dedicated to vintage and their Instagram page (@exclusivehypelincoln) while also setting up pop-up booths at events like Lincoln Calling.
When Shannon’s father (Andrew Shannon of Shannon Formal Wear) decided to move his business from the Gateway Mall to the former Spigot location at 1630 O St., Exclusive Hype saw it as an opportunity to take their online-only collection to a brick and mortar location.
With the help of any friends that could lend a hand, Shannon, Atkinson, Morton, and Haberlan worked for eight months to transform the back of the building into their now vintage shop. The front of the former O street bar will soon be filled with Shannon Formalwear’s men’s tailoring and tuxedo rentals while Exclusive Hype’s racks of vintage tees and sneakers reside in the back.
“We redid the entire building,” Morton said. “The walls were grout, they weren’t brick at all. It was a process.”
You can access the shop from the front entrance and walk to the back of the building, but once current construction clears up in the back alleyway, they hope to utilize the back entrance.
After a successful grand opening on February 8, Exclusive Hype is excited for the future of the store. They are one of the first to open a high-end, curated streetwear store in Lincoln.
Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.