Seller Story: Chicago, IL

“Store B Vintage started in the year 2000 with a purchase of more than 2,000 pieces of clothing and accessories from one woman’s wardrobe. We sell fine-quality, wearable vintage clothing primarily from the 1930s through the 1970s. My personal interest in vintage began way back in the seventies, when I was in college and switched from studying costume to fashion design. My primary interest then was in textile conservation and historic preservation of textiles. So when I had the opportunity to purchase this collection from a socialite’s estate, I took the plunge.

I began my professional retail career managing the couture salon at a store in Houston called Sakowitz, which competed directly with Neiman Marcus and was the first store in the U.S. to have a dedicated YSL Rive Gauche boutique. Then I was a women’s accessories buyer for Marshall Fields, and then their women’s contemporary and designer sportswear buyer. Following that role, I became the fine and fashion jewelry buyer for Bergdorf Goodman. I use these experiences to do the buying for this store.

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned is that I should go with my gut and not necessarily with trends. And that every collection, no matter how moderately priced, needs a few important pieces. I like to sell vintage with a story, and pass along a piece of fashion history. For example, I prefer not to split up a suit since the pieces were designed and have been together for many years.

As we pulled the pieces for the sale, one point of view that emerged was butterflies and flowers. There are a lot of floral scarves; there are a couple of butterfly necklaces; there’s a wonderful Adele Simpson summer dress from the seventies with a butterfly print. They remind me of a Goldie Hawn movie from the seventies called Butterflies are Free, which we kept in mind as we curated.” – David James Ginople, Owner

Seller Story: Chicago, IL
Seller Story: Chicago, IL
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Seller Story: Chicago, IL

What’s a great way for someone to test the waters with vintage?

The easiest way is with handbags, which fit many different looks. There’s a great Gucci shoulder bag from the late seventies in the sale that could very easily integrate into an outfit to wear to work, or with a pair of jeans and a tee shirt.

Do you have a favorite fashion period?

My favorite is the clothing from the seventies — maybe because I went through it and was selling those designer clothes. Fashion was really opulent and there was this phenomenal mix of fabrics and prints in one garment. The Italians did it, Saint Laurent did it in the Russian collection. I love that mix of print and texture.

Because Gucci has returned to that mix in its latest seasons, are you seeing a renewed interest?

We’re seeing an interest in prints. There’s a really phenomenal blue and green dress in the sale with a Hawaiian print and flutter sleeves. On the hanger it looks like nothing, but on a mannequin it has the most incredible flamenco cut, that mermaid feel.

Where do you find your pieces?

We go to estate sales, we buy from private individuals, we go to thrift stores. I love the thrill of the hunt. To give you an example, I was out with three friends and we were thrifting in a store that was packed and seemed like it was picked over. I said, “I’m not leaving until I find something.“ And I found a YSL jacket for 3 bucks. I did that just by feel, running my hands down fabric and seeing the patterns that caught my eye.

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