In the 1970’s, my mother Georgina would take me to the Loehmann’s in North Miami Beach, the “real” Loehmann’s. The floors were concrete, the racks stacked & the dressing room; a huge communal made by hanging curtains. Everything was high end, single items w/ designer labels removed. It was not much different from Vintage shopping in that there’s only one and it either works or it doesn’t. My sister hated it but me? I thought it was magical. Georgina would hold something up and say, “Do you know how Mommy can tell it’s a Halston?” She would then show me the details, which sang out whose hand had crafted it. This is how I learned to look for more than labels.
As a teen in the midst of the Preppy in Madras/Pretty in Pink 80’s, I was exposed to Vintage early. They still called it “used clothing,” where it shared space with an Army/Navy store and yes, everything really was $2. With our complete rejection of prep & those prices, we could experiment like mad. We were too young to understand what we had at our mercy were wee bits of 20th century history. We were simply punk rock girls looking to slice that gown into a mini-dress in under 10 seconds, no need for hemming. It looks better w/ Doc Martens that way. This is how I learned to be an individual.
At Uni I took a Sociology class about fashion, history and economics. Without that ignition, I wouldn’t be here today. I realized this went much deeper than mere taste, with most of us entirely unaware of our true motivations. During college and even for a few years after, I worked side jobs in commission sales at luxury department stores. So, it doesn’t seem completely insane to leave a secure banking job & at 29, open my 1st shop, Miss Kitty’s Consignment in Honolulu, HI. Now I had access to large amounts of well-made clothing. I figured to sell it well, I should know who, what, when, where and why. I revisited Georgina and ordered WWD. This is how I learned to be curious.
Selling Miss Kitty’s and moving to New York City was the plan. Bloomingdale’s hired me as a commission salesperson and I happily rolled along for a while. Then, I got bored. Suddenly my Bloomie’s job became a self-imposed internship. I knew another shop was incubating. What do all the many different types of people found in NYC want and how do I anticipate that? This is how I learned to be an astute listener.
Couture du Jour began as a Vintage clothing show only operation in early 2006. With baby step after baby step, it grew into a store by mid ’07. Our Fine Vintage Clothing and Luxury Goods are just that. 25 years or older, superior quality, mint condition, cleaned and repaired, ready to wear from hat to peep toe. This is how I became a proprietress.