Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Inside New York's Most Exclusive Vintage Shop

Inside New York's Most Exclusive Vintage Shop

I'm Kim Bhasin, luxury
reporter at Bloomberg, here to invite you into
the most exclusive realms of luxury retail. This is Invitation Only. Today, I'm in Chelsea,
the Manhattan neighborhood with everything a fancy
person could ask for. Tons of super expensive art. A bustling, pricey market. And a formally posh hotel
turned historic landmark. Once home to notable fancy
guests like Lillie Langtry, Milos Forman, Jane
Fonda, and Bette Midler. So with its knack at preserving
old beautiful things, it shouldn't be a surprise
that Chelsea is also home to the world's fanciest
used clothing shop, New York Vintage. (doorbell rings) Hi. Hello. Hi, welcome. How are you? I'm good, how are you? Great! So we're in our retail store
right now, the bottom floor, which is open to the public and
anybody can come in and shop and purchase these wonderful,
rare pieces of vintage, and then the second floor
is a private showroom that houses over a 150
years of important fashion. Balenciaga, Halston,
Schiaparelli, Fortuny, Worth, really special, rare pieces
that are museum caliber, basically impossible to come by. Downstairs, all these pieces are for sale. Upstairs they're for rent. Who shops up there? Who's allowed up in the treasure trove? We work with editors and
stylists for industry use, but we have a lot of our
private clientele, celebrities that will come up for fittings
for various events as well. What kind of celebrities? Um, every kind. (laughs) The A-list kind. Do your dresses show up on the red carpet? Oh all the time, absolutely, yeah. And to see the clothing kind
of take on a different life is incredible. To get an appointment upstairs,
can anyone just walk in or call you and get an
appointment to go check it out? It's not that easy. (laughs) You have to have credentials. Do you vet people? We vet people. Everyone is vetted before they have access to the archive, absolutely. Am I allowed up there? Um, I'll let you have a peek. (laughs) I'll give you a little guided tour. (upbeat, rhythmic music) Oh, look at this. Ready to be inspired? Uh-huh. So over here we have an
Adrian, this is 1930s. He designed costumes for over 250 films during Hollywood's Golden Era. Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, and Garbo, all of these ladies wore his gowns. He's known for this silhouette,
the bias 1930s dress. These are corsets from the 1880s. 1880s? Uh-huh, 1880s. We have some examples of
some McQueen headpieces. Over here we have Gianni Versace. Back here we have a bra
that was worn by Lady Gaga. I believe this was just for an editorial. Just to wear, 'cause she's
Lady Gaga, of course. And by the way, this
belonged to Josephine Baker, so this bra is from the 1920s, a lot of famous breasts were… (laughs) At this rack. Well at this rack (laughing)… So this is the famous
Sarah Jessica Parker, "Sex and the City" bird. (dramatic orchestra music) Has anyone tried to buy this off of you? I would say the most
interesting solicitation was from a Saudi princess who
was buying up everything from "Sex and the City" the film, and offered a very large sum of money. Of course we turned it down– How large is large? Six figures. Oh, for this bird. Yes for this little bird. (slow, deep bass) I've had some moments where
I've realized the impact we've had on the fashion industry. I can share an experience
a few years ago where I was up in my showroom just working away. I had my three children running around me and I get a call on my cell
phone from the White House, "We'd like to put Michelle
Obama in vintage." Just never knowing what or
who you're working with, knowing that somehow you
inspired someone to take an idea and to run with it. So you're hearing all this talk about the retail
apocalypse, retail is dying, how is that affecting this business? It's so scary, I've been
here for almost 20 years and I don't think that anybody on my block is really standing since we first opened, and I think that the reason
why we haven't really been impacted is because
it is an experience when you come here. We've been asked by schools
to have private tours, we've opened our archive
to students for research, you just feel good coming in and you feel like you've walked into a time
capsule of fashion history. (laughs) All in one place.

Reader Comments

  1. I hated the way she took such pride in saying she vets her clientele – and yet she will let in a Saudi Princess who has no taste and splashes money around like it is water with no idea of the history or value of an item. All seems very vulgar.

  2. What a beautiful store, with beautiful items. Only in my dreams could I afford to shop there. The downstairs is probably too expensive for me

  3. That bun has to go. No matter if your a hipster, gay or just another guy who has no self identity. It has to go.

  4. My high school fashion club stopped here spontaneously on our way to visit FIT. The guy behind the counter was totally great and told us all about the pieces. They have beautiful pieces and everyone there was genuinely dedicated to the collection.

  5. very integress of her to say no to the saudi princes. alot of america dont preserve their own history ESPECIALLY NY, i mean it hard to find an authentoc 18th century building nowadays.

  6. So special that I haven't even heard of the majority of the brands. It's sad how the majority of celebrities have forgotten where they came from. Not only from a financial perspective (grotesque display of wealth) but also social. I for one couldn't care less about the size of my bank balance. I'm not financially motivated (aside from basic survival – Maslow) and have not sought gratification from material items

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