Friday, October 1, 2010

Finally! Boutique Brings Vintage Next to the New

One of my goals for GlamAmor has been to sell the collection in a boutique alongside contemporary clothing. After all, this is the way that I dress...I'll mix a vintage dress with new shoes, for example, or a new dress with a vintage purse. And I'm certainly not alone. Women do this all the time, especially in fashionable places like California and New York where there is an abundance of vintage options. The combination works beautifully, is often economically friendly, is always environmentally friendly, and really brings individuality and style to how you dress.

There's never been a question in my mind that this is where retail should and would be heading. Lately I've spent quite a bit of time speaking with vendors on the merits of incorporating vintage into their stores. Up until now, it's been a hard sell. Some people have looked at me like I was borderline crazy and had a hard time even imagining how it could be done. But suddenly I find I have an example to help me make my case.

Free People has just introduced their Vintage Loves line, which is composed of one-of-a-kind vintage clothing. That's right, vintage. Not new clothing that simply looks vintage because it's either worn in appearance or retro in design. This is actual vintage and it's a major jump that an established brand is doing this. You can see below how well it works. Free People happens to be known for their boho chic look and Ali, their buyer, astutely selects pieces that work within their particular aesthetic. I really applaud them for being so ahead of the curve on this.

The Vintage Loves line from Free People (above) in harmony with their new clothing (below)

What Free People has done, and what I try to do as well, is make vintage clothing more accessible.  Shopping for vintage can be challenging since most stores, quite frankly, do not manage it well and it can just look (and smell) old.  No one wants that.  And when stores do not edit their inventories, it's very easy to get overwhelmed as a shopper.  There's way too much to look at, no consistency in the styles that are carried, and no consistency in the quality of the merchandise.

One of the things I'm most proud of with GlamAmor is how carefully I curate the collection.  Last weekend, I heard people exclaim "Your clothes look brand new!" again and again, so there is clearly a difference between what I do and how vintage is normally presented.  People just could not believe that vintage could be in such good shape. It's completely possible, of course, but I go through thousands of garments in order to choose the ones of the highest quality.  Another comment I received was on the overall singular style of the collection, and that's because I only include pieces that work within the All American aesthetic of GlamAmor.

I'd love to find a boutique whose new clothes would work with GlamAmor.  You're all such savvy shoppers, so please shout out some favorite boutiques around Los Angeles that you think I should know about.  Can't wait to hear your suggestions!

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