Dara Stevens, owner of VIVIvintage, shares with us her inspiration for VIVIvintage. I can promise you this is one website that has now been added to my "Favorites"
(Dara Stevens:Owner of VIVIvintage)
When was VIVIvintage.com founded? VIVIvintage.com officially launched online for the winter 2009/2010 season. Prior to launching, I was selling vintage clothing and accessories at one of NYC’s top vintage meccas, the trendy Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market (HKFM) for about three-years where I built most of my clientele.
What inspired you to create this boutique? My diverse mix of customers inspired me to launch the VIVIvintage.com online boutique. I love my customers because they truly have the passion for vintage that continually inspires me to keep bringing them the best in vintage. Ultimately, launching online became a necessary and strategic step to grow my presence given the increased demands of my customers to view a larger inventory and also, have the convenience of shopping online versus having to brave the NYC weather and crowds.
As an example, at HKFM, some of my clients own vintage stores in countries like Japan and France, and they come to the HKFM specifically to buy American vintage, which is really popular and in-demand overseas. Launching the VIVIvintage.com online boutique gives them access to the entire inventory and saves them the trip. Additionally, some of my clients work for major design houses like Marc Jacobs or H&M, and they buy with the intention of recreating vintage styles. The online store allows them to shop from their office or studio, use the Virtual Personal Stylist, and take their time when shopping.
There are so many pieces, do you have a favorite? Having completed internships at both Christian Dior and Rebecca Taylor, I always had a passion for fashion that allowed me to keep a keen eye on trends. With VIVIvintage.com, I handpick each item I sell, bearing in mind the cyclical nature of trends. I rely on two factors—which is like my mission statement—when selecting our inventory: 1) If I wouldn’t wear it, I won’t sell it and 2) If it is not good quality, I won’t sell it. While it’s so difficult to say I have a favorite item, for this upcoming fall season I absolutely adore this rare 1970's Etienne Aigner Leather Cape (http://www.vivivintage.com/item.php?id=205). I love how this cape looks paired with skinny jeans and vintage stovepipe boots. Another favorite of the moment is this lust-worthy, straight from the 1960's Pretty in Pink Mink-Trimmed Coat (http://www.vivivintage.com/item.php?id=410).The bracelet sleeves on this coat are beautiful and would look fabulous paired with long vintage leather gloves.If a woman wants to capture the essence of the TV show Mad Men, then this is your piece for the fall/winter season—and it is genuinely from that era.
Who is your beauty icon? MAE WEST. She has the quintessential hourglass figure, beautiful smile, intoxicating aura, and she wore large hats, satin, lace and diamonds. She was often costumed by the wonderful Elsa Schiaparielli—that stuff is the envy of any vintage lover. However, I think it was more of her persona that contributes to her being who I think is a true beauty icon. From what I have learned about her, she really stood up for what she believed in and she dared to be racy during an era that was conservative. One of my favorite quotes is one that she said: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
What is your definition of Beauty? One of my strongest beliefs about beauty is that “true beauty” is synonymous with female independence. By that notion, I mean that while having inner-confidence is beautiful, being confident about how one projects herself to the outside world is“beauty.” I view beauty as an essence a woman can capture regardless of whether one is beautiful.
Any last words? We have officially launched our VIVIvintage.com Virtual Personal Stylist, which is an exclusive feature of our site (see:http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/09/prweb4496304.htm) Vintage is such a wonderful thing to get into for a number of reasons: 1) It is a hobby that you can actually wear and look great in; what other hobby gives that opportunity? 2) It is economical. A fabulous condition vintage blue-monogramed Gucci bag can be had for under $200-$300 whereas a brand-new one is over $1000. 3) They just don’t make clothing like they used to. Most vintage was made in high-cost countries like Italy, France, the US, etc. Nowadays, most things are made in low-cost countries in the Asia-Pacific. 4) Vintage makes you unique. It’s rare that you’d wear something vintage to a party and someone would show up in the same thing, which typically happens with today’s fashion. 5) Vintage is truly green. You can literally keep your green while being green. By wearing vintage, you are in theory, recycling clothing that ultimately cuts down on global pollution associated with manufacturing and transportation.
VIVIvintage.com has new merchandise added regularly and by signing up for updates, or following them on Facebook or Twitter, vintage enthusiasts can snag the hottest pieces.