A couple of months ago I start thinking it could have been fun to interview my favorite vintage sellers. I spend a lot of time looking at their stores, sites, Myspace pages inspired by their vintage finds, by the outfits they build with them and by their pictures (they often look better than the photoshoots in some fashion magazines!). Each vintage seller live and work in a personal universe but I realized we often talk about certain stores actually knowing really a few of the people behind them... How did they start? What they love about vintage? Their stores are only an "hobby" or a full time career?
I had so much fun doing my first interview, I decided to keep in touch with other vintage sellers I admire, so these "Nine Questions To..." posts will become a regular feature on this blog. Hope you will appreciate!
This week I asked Shae from the fab Lullie Vintage to answer my questions.
From the heart of California, Lullie is "not for the girls who want to be just like everyone else. It's for the girls everyone else wants to be just like". This store was indeed one of my first vintage addictions on Ebay. I think my first bid on a vintage dress was placed here (it was a hot pink Studio 54 dress and I sadly lost the auction...). The styling of each outfit is always faultless along with the hyper professional photographs (did you remember the fabulous editorial on the past issue of NEET??)
1. SO SHAE, TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR STORE. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH Lullie Vintage?
Well, I was going to fashion school, at Parsons in nyc and interning at Zac Posens. Through working in Zacs studio and also through modeling in Europe and in nyc for a few years I got a really good glimpse of the high fashion world and what it is like to be a designer in that world. I decided that I didn't want to be a designer, so I quit college and Zacs. I wasn't sure what I was going to do...but I knew it would be something fun and creative.
The one thing I have loved the longest, is vintage...I started collecting it at 12 yrs old, so I had a good grasp of how to get it and what to buy. I started selling on ebay...and as the years have gone by, I have gotten more and more serious about it. Now it is a full time career and I have a staff and everything. We have plans to grow even more this year as well. Lots of things are in the works.
It's been pretty fun, but a TON of hard work and many sat nights spent working!
2. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A PIECE YOU'RE BUYING FOR THE STORE? ARE YOU
INFLUENCED BY YOUR PERSONAL TASTE?
I keep an eye on what the youth are doing in europe and all over the place. I do my homework. I make sure I am selling pieces that are appropriate for the season. I read a lot of magazines, check out all the designers shows each season.
I live in La now and part of my life I grew up in nyc and I go back often, so I see what kids are putting together on the streets.
3. IS NOT SAD AND "HEARTBREAKING" TO SELL A PIECE YOU LOVE, LETTING IT
PASSES ON? AREN'T YOU TEMPTED TO KEEP ALL FOR YOURSELF?!
You know, I used to be that way. I used to be a total pack rat! But now...I sell so much vintage, 70 items a week! I just get really sick of clothes sometimes. I rotate my closet ALWAYS. I wear a dress, maybe 3 times and then sell it. So, I get to have fun dresses and then pass them on to someone else to have fun in! It's great to always have new things in my closet! And then it is really satisfying to sell them when I feel done with them.
I never have buyers remorse because I know I can sell it when I am over it.
4. HOW MUCH OF YOUR PERSONAL WARDROBE IS VINTAGE?
ALL of it. I don't wear anything non vintage...except shoes, under garments, stockings and jewelry!
5. AND WHAT ABOUT CONTEMPORARY DESIGNERS AND PERSONAL HOT SPOTS?
I LOVE Vivienne Westwood. She's a genious. The queen of creativity if you ask me! My best friend Miyako Nakamura is amazing! She is Zac Posens head designer and she is not only the most humble and fantastic human being, she is just ridiculously talented. Her husband Josh hupper happens to be a stand out designer at Thakoon! So I adore both of them AND their work as designers. I also love Alexander Wang. His work is so awesome. Alexander Mcqueen thrills me too...his runway shows are amazing.
hot spots...well, I'm a nyc girl, so my fav places are in Nyc. My fav place to just sit and think and people watch is Le Petit cafe in Soho. I adore crepes at The Crooked Tree Cafe on Saint Marks Street. I love to wonder the streets of the West village too. Nyc has my heart, and I am completely homesick for it right now. I live in La now with my husband. He adores it here, and I myself am trying to get used to it. As for la hot spots...I really like Franklin village on Franklin street near beachwood canyon. I live really close to there.
Prizzi's is down the street from me and also Bourgeois Pig. It's the one little block that feels like nyc, so I hang out there religiously. I am always at Bourgeois Pig on Franklin st, working on photo editing. It's a good crowd at night and they stay open until 2 am some nights. I always meet New Yorkers there, so it makes me feel like home.
I love Malibu, the beaches aren't crowded and its close to Topanga Canyon where people are low key and it's kind of like a little country village. I adore it there. Thats where I go when I want to get out of La.
6. DO YOU THINK THE INCREASINGLY INTEREST FOR VINTAGE IS ONLY A TREND OR
SOMETHING HERE TO STAY?
I think it is here to stay!
7. IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHING TO GO BACK IN TIME, WICH ERA AND WHERE WOULD
YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
I have actually thought about this a lot! There are things I love and things I hate about a lot of time periods. I would love to go back to the late 1800's, because of the gorgeous clothing. My very first vintage buy when I was 12 yrs old was a corset! I used to collect clothing from the 1800's when I was a young teenager... I am not sure why, but I was so fascinated with it! But life for women wasn't very exciting...we had so few rights... but if we are strictly talking for clothing, absolutely the 1800's!
I also love the 1960's. I think that was such a creative, free and open time. I think it would have been so amazing to have lived in London in the
8. DO YOU THINK VINTAGE IS A GOOD WAY TO EXPRESS THAT SENSE OF NOSTALGIA
PEOPLE (LIKE ME...) MAY HAVE FOR PAST DECADES THEY DIDN'T EVEN LIVE
Yes! Absolutely! It's so fun to know that you are wearing items of clothing from a long time ago. People lived their lives in these pieces of clothing! How cool to know that the dress you are wearing has had some history. I always ponder, gosh, who was wearing this dress? What did they do! Its just a really neat feeling.
9. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR VINTAGE LOVERS AND COLLECTORS?
Learning to sew is such an asset to having a vintage wardrobe. There will ALWAYS be dresses or skirts or tops to hem shorter or sleeves to remove. It will save you a ton of money at the seamstress, if you learn to do it yourself!
Also...be very careful when removing stains. Make sure if you are using a bleach pen or oxy clean...to really figure out what fabric it is first. I have ruined so many dresses by applying a dab of a bleach pen to a spot and just ruined it!
Thank you so much to Shae and stay tuned for the next Nine Questions post ;-)