Friday, November 20, 2009

Round 'em up - the best vintage shops online

I'm going to try and make a links section devoted to all the very best vintage ecommerce sites out there. Until then, I'm pulling my faves here.  I love keeping track of what's new from mainstream and upcoming designers but there's so much to get lost in with vintage goods (if you've ever seen me in Molly Spaulding's Narnia, on the LES you'd understand!).  Current styles are informed by what has come to pass.  It's as simple as that. Things that were "in" in times past always re-surface over time.  Even if you're an in-season shopper, I think you should always round out your closet with some vintage pieces.  Here's are highlights of my favorite online vintage sites:

Source: Brookandlyn

1. Brookandlyn
A wonderful presentation of fine vintage or "pre-loved" goods by stylist Mimi Jung. She's got a great eye for the old that will make sense with the now (I adore just about every piece in her jewelry section; not to mention the super reasonable prices). She's got a mix of Prada, Mara Hoffman, Alexander Wang, and Anna Sui. Mimi also has a blog that showcases how she puts the pieces together; if you want some styling advice, you can reach Mimi directly. I check it out every other day because you just don't ever know what is going to pop up.

Mimi Jung, Owner Brookandlyn

If you're here in NYC, you are probably very familiar with the incredible collection of high-end consignment shops that are scattered up and down the island.  Some of my favorites like INA in Nolita do a pretty fantastic job of bringing some of the best brands in apparel, shoes and accessories to you at the right price.  Nancy Chuang and her business partner have taken this model online to make it accessible to anyone with a mouse. They created their own standalone site (not as a store on eBay) with a full ecommerce engine and customer service to boot.  I am a serious fan of the site and sincerely appreciate the time that they have taken to create a look-and-feel that resembles a full-prince online retailer. Every item is shot on a mannequin with a full product description and additional photos for better detail. Size charts, share feature and full descriptive text round out the usability. CovetShop is at the Bowery Bazaar this weekend as a pop-up so if you're in downtown NYC check it out at Bowery between 3rd and 4th Streets. Right now, the site has some amazing deals on bags, including the Balenciaga multi-pocket tote for $795 or if you want something smaller from this coveted brand, they've got the gorgeous Cherche Midi clutch for $550.

3. RelicNY
Janel Molten is responsible for this online gem. The choices are pretty impeccable. Just take a look at this vintage ostrich fur cape from Saks for $595! 

 Source: RelicNY
Each item is photographed on a live model accompanied by full description. A unique product feature is the "Stylist" tab that includes remarks from Janel about how to wear the piece and what to pair it with. Molten is not shy to mix brands - you'll find Akris, Alice McCall, Proenza Schouler, Prada, Nanette Lepore, Christian Lacroix all in her "New Finds".

Another gem in the online vintage space. The design of the site by Lauren Lail is so clever with each product photo superimposed on one of the old fashion index cards that you used to memorize your 7th grade vocabulary cards with. Nostalgia invoked. The online store is nicely classified so you can find all the truly designer vintage stuff like a Bottega Veneta petite bag for $405 or a chic beaded belt by Dior for $175 in one section versus the other vintage stuff categorized into dresses, separates, bags, and accessories. A lovely experience and I will be back for more. Lail's Charleston charm shines!

Those in Brooklyn have the eye for style, no doubt --- this Greenpoint boutique has gone online to showcase all of the one-of-a-kid jewelry, apparel, accessory, and home pieces. How wonderful is this octagon purse (sold out already!)?!?  From rhinestone necklaces to fur collars to slouchy bags, I feel transported to a time past.

Name well-chosen. When you're on this site, you feel like you've stepped into an archive building and are looking through boxes of old goodies. Another well-designed site that makes you feel like you're cruising a high-end full priced ecommerce experience.

Other vintage sites you must visit:
9. Marion Mercer (Haute couture at your fingertips)
10. Dulcinee (I miss you on Stanton St.!)
11. Decades Vintage (Rhinestone necklaces are all amazing)

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