By: Michelle Rizzi
This weekend (May 13-14) marks the debut of A Current Affair (New York edition), the two-day long bi-coastal bazaar offering the best vintage the country has to offer. With over 60 vendors, fashion lovers have the chance to find those special pieces amongst piles of decades-old denim, paper-thin rock tees, fine jewelry, hard-to-find designer pieces, and so much more. “We have dealers from all over the country — from Miami to Chicago to Texas, and even London — so there’s a really unique opportunity to shop a wide range of sellers whom you may not ever encounter otherwise,” says co-founder Richard Wainwright. To avoid what can be an overwhelming experience for first timers and even veteran attendees, Richard suggests checking out @ACurrentAffair on Instagram to see what vendors are bringing, and to review the floor plan the night before the event. “That way, you can map out your strategy for the day. You’re going to see a lot, so do a quick circle to check-out what dealers stand out to you the most. Then, go back and visit those booths,” he advises. “There’s a ton to see.”
We’ve rounded up eight not-to-be missed vendors, who share their vintage shopping tips and tricks:
Another Man’s Treasure Jersey City’s Another Man’s Treasure, stocks on-trend vintage designer finds from the 20th century. Or, as founder Meika Franz puts it: “We sell everything from affordable day wear to exquisite couture.” She thinks vintage clothing should always be tried on, take the condition into consideration, and “to not be afraid to ask the seller how to care for an item.” And most importantly, have fun — “when you find that perfect piece, it’s like magic, and makes it all worth the effort!”
Desert Vintage Located in Tucson, Arizona, Desert Vintage specializes in simple, romantic pieces predating the 1940s. The store, originally founded in the early 80s, is currently owned by Salima Boufelfel and Roberto Cowan, who are big fans of antique white shirts in an array of different fabrics. Another thing to keep an eye out for? “Interesting silhouettes, great fabrics, and patterns. And old 30’s floral prints, or simple shift dresses/blouses from the 1920’s,” says Salima.Image courtnesy of Dusty Rose
Dusty Rose The Greenpoint-based Dusty Rose is a wholesale warehouse offering a little bit of everything, as it’s owner Maresa Ponitch deals to film and television costumers, fashion stylists, designers and even the average-joe, thanks to public shopping weekend hours. At A Current Affair, Dusty Rose will have on-trend pieces available, “or anything similiar to what I see girls in Brooklyn wearing,” according to Maresa.Image courtesy of Just Say Native
Just Say Native Just Say Native, a by-appointment studio in downtown Los Angeles, is stocked with bohemian, casual, and contemporary vintage pieces — think cotton Indian dresses from the 60’s and 70’s — that focus on print, textures, and details. “JSN is for the woman who’s looking to integrate a beautiful piece, with a history, into her everyday wardrobe”, says owner Linde Sayles. When buying vintage, shoppers should go with their gut, and buy what makes them feel amazing, regardless of trends. “If you’re making a big purchase, make sure it comes from a reputable dealer. There are tons of reproductions out there.”Image courtesy of Mercy Vintage
Mercy Vintage Oakland’s Mercy Vintage co-owners Rachel Cubra and Karen Fort are experts in helping customers express their creativity through self adornment by finding eclectic vintage and designer clothing. When vintage shopping, they note it’s important to not “get sucked in by a label! Buy it because you love it, whether the designer is world renowned or not.”Image courtesy of Raggedy Threads
Raggedy Threads Bi-coastal Raggedy Threads, in Brooklyn, and Los Angeles, originally started out at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. The owner, Jamie Wong, curates her store with character: pieces with patches, sun fades, and hand repairs. “I love wearable goods like classic one-pocket tee’s to worn denim from the 40s and 50s,” she says. “The two items in my personal collection I treasure the most are a 1918 hand painted cowboy hat and Stifel overalls circa 1900.”
Raleigh Andi Shelton and Isaac Panzarella, the owners of Raleigh Vintage, love daywear from all eras, but especially the ‘20s and ‘30s. “Every piece that comes into our collection has to have that ‘special something’ that makes people’s eyes light up when they see it,” says Andi. “It can be an old, beat up t-shirt, or a sparkling evening gown, but it has to pass the ‘does it make me happy?’ test.” When it comes to finding designer vintage, she advises opting for investment pieces, rather than trends.Image Courtesy of Recess
Recess Los Angeles’ four-year-old Recess offers a heavy amount of vintage and contemporary women’s clothing and accessories. When deciding what to buy, owner Marie Monsod says to search for “a unique fabric, print, or embellishment. We like to look at the quality, craftmanship of a piece, weight and feel even if it doesn’t have a brand name label. Items made in France or Italy can help you determine that.” The same advice can be applied to her clients.
A Current Affair opens Saturday at 10AM and is held at Brooklyn’s Industry City, 241 37th Street. Tickets to the event can be purchased www.ItsACurrentAffair.com for $12.