Vintage typically means one of two things in New York: thrift you’d find for much much less in the Midwest or real relics you could never afford, then or now. Yet Bed-Stuy’s Collecther is the rare vintage shop where you’re tempted to buy half the store every time you go, and can actually afford to do so (well, maybe if you lived on rice and beans for a few weeks).
“I feel like my [typical] customer is not from New York — cause in Brooklyn, everyone is a transplant,” says owner Shana Jackson, who hails from Philly but now lives two blocks from her store. “And I think they get the nostalgia of shopping at home when they come into my space.”
Her selection spans the 60s through the 80s, with an emphasis on dresses and sizes that don’t discriminate (i.e., 4-14). Jackson says she seeks out “very wearable, classic pieces” that her customers “can add into their wardrobe,” but she’s understating things a bit. In my experience her finds have the potential to become uniforms — a floral dress I bought for $35 two years ago has seen me through multiple seasons, a pregnancy and a transatlantic move.
Jackson’s own designs are versatile and affordable, too. This super flattering cowl neck dress ($60) she’s sporting is one of her custom pieces, which makes up a small percentage of the store — for now. “My goal was always to have my own collection,” says Jackson, who plans to source out production for her still-unnamed private label soon. But for now, and always, she will offer made-to-order pieces, like these custom-made capes for $85 (lined) or $60 (unlined), in a variety of fabrics, ready to wear in two weeks.
In these lean times she’s also offering denim repair for under $15 to give your favorite, holey jeans a second life (guys, this service is available to you, too), occasional clothes swaps, and “recessionista” sales on Sundays, where everything in the store is 25% off and all dresses are just $25. (Normally the clothes top out at around $60 — money you can spare, even now.)
“It’s a misconception that you’re in a better financial position when you’re a business owner. I’m in the same boat as my customers — I have to pay bills, and I like to look good.”
Collecther, 306 Franklin Ave., Bed-Stuy, 347-658-7857, Tues-Sat 12-8, Sunday 12-6. Email email@example.com to sign up for blasts about deals. Drop off denim Sundays, 2-6; pick up Thursdays after noon.
Sent by Nicole. Photos courtesy Shana Jackson.