We love talking fashion, especially with someone who not only knows it, but who surrounds herself with all-time fashion treasures from around the world. Welcome to the daily life of New York Vintage‘s Shannon Hoey. As owner of New York’s preeminent vintage boutique, Shannon houses exquisite, rare vestiges of eras gone past.
But NYV is not your average vintage store. Sure, you can drop in to buy Givenchy from the 70′s, Chanel from the 80′s or Gucci from the 90′s, but that’s just the ground floor.
As if it couldn’t get anymore sublime, Shannon took us upstairs for a private tour of NYV‘s archival collection, their living museum of fashion’s many phases and faces. (Photos below.)
These precious articles may be the last of their kind and they exit the building on a rental-only basis to be borrowed by sartorial powerhouses or for music videos, magazine shoots and the biggest fashion events of the year, such as (please bow your heads) the Costume Institute Gala at the Met.
In addition to working with stylists and celebrities, Shannon is also sought-after by the costume designers of impeccably precise productions, like Boardwalk Empire and the upcoming Great Gatsby.
Because in the world of Hollywood magic, pieces from New York Vintage are the real deal.
Find out what the always-in-demand fashion guru favors as fashion classics, which new designers she finds most exciting and her tips for rocking vintage wears.
GirlAT: What is your personal favorite era of fashion?
Shannon: The 1920′s, for a number of reasons. I am completely fascinated by how the political climate affected the trends in fashion, specifically how women’s liberation manifested itself in breezy designs that freed women from societal constraints. I also am inspired by the intricate embellishments and design elements that elevate the fashions to pure works of art.
Is there one designer whose collections have remained consistently classic over time?
Chanel. As much as it sounds like a cliché, her impossibly chic designs translate from decade to decade. Valentino as well has managed to stand the test of time with his opulent couture creations that epitomize glamour.
What film, TV series, or moment in pop culture has generated the most interest in vintage looks?
In the most recent past I have been most impressed by “Mad Men“, and “Boardwalk Empire” because they stay true to the mood of their moment. “ Mad Men” has sparked tremendous interest in 50’s and 60’s fashion, while “ Boardwalk Empire” has influenced current trends as evidenced in the latest Gucci and Ralph Lauren collections.
If you could dress any star, who would it be and why?
Cate Blanchett, because she is not at all concerned with trends and uses fashion as a way to express herself ; she treats the red carpet as a gallery for her art.I most enjoy dressing people who embrace fashion and who are willing to take risks.
When are you busiest, during awards season or during production of a vintage-intensive series or movie?
We are always busy, whether we are costuming a lead actor in a major motion picture, collaborating on music videos or high fashion editorials, and that speaks to how in-demand high-end vintage is in an ever-changing modern world.
What’s next for NYV?
At NYV, we are constantly seeking to create a collection of the finest in couture and make it readily available to fashion insiders. Our goal is to preserve fashion as an art form; not to simply amass a quantity of garments but, rather, to have archival pieces that are of museum quality, not just to be worn, but also studied.
Are there particular designers in your collection right now who are trending with your shoppers?
French couturiers such as YSL, Givenchy, and Chanel are always in demand and, most recently, 90′s icons including Jean-Paul Gaultier and Tom Ford have made a comeback.
Who are your favorite new designers?
I’m inspired by young designers who have a completely unique and original vision. These include Haider Ackerman, Joseph Altuzarra, and Prabal Gurung, to name a few.
We’ve noticed that in many cities, especially Chicago, which used to be amazing for vintage, but not so much now, it seems like the good pieces have been bought up. Is that just our perception, or do you think it’s getting harder and harder to find the good pieces?
Because of the internet, there is a greater awareness of the value of vintage today. Both dealers, and enthusiasts are far more educated on the significance of designers, and their place in the trajectory of fashion history. With this knowledge the market has become far more competitive.
What’s a must-have wardrobe item you recommend everyone have in their closet?
Chanel quilted classic. Every modern woman with an appreciation for the past should have one.
And how do you suggest incorporating vintage fashions into current trends?
Mix it up! Accessories are always a great way to incorporate. Never wear head to toe vintage.
Photos by Mary Ann Rounseville
Make sure to take a peek in New York Vintage when visiting NYC:
117 West 25th Street (b/w 6th & 7th Ave)
New York, NY 10001