Guest Blog: Shopping for Vintage VINTAGE@Intermezzo

In Uncategorized, What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

Vintage@Intermezzo

Peter A. Berta, Director, Accessorie Circuit Intermezzo Collecetions. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner.

This In the Markets guest post was written by fashion blogger Marilyn Kirschner and is reprinted with permission from Lookonline.com. 

UBM Intermezzo Collections are held at the Jacob K. Javits Center three times a year: in May, January and August. Their timing, in between the major women’s fashion markets, enables retailers to discover and shop the current trends in all ready-to-wear classifications—contemporary, activewear, casual and denim. And it guarantees immediacy. When Peter Berta, Director, Accessorie Circuit/Intermezzo Collections, came up with the idea of adding vintage to the popular trade show this past May (the “Firestarter” was Bridgette Morphew, creative director of Morphew Concept), it was in answer to retailers who craved something new and exciting.

Turns out, something ‘old’ IS something ‘new’ after all! He had no idea it would be as successful as it was. As he put it, “The stores were craving newness and it turned out to be the most talked-about area in Intermezzo. It was the most incredible thing we added”. He quickly realized “they were onto something and should move forward with this”. He did and the result was VINTAGE@Intermezzo, the first ever consumer-facing fair within the show which ran from Sunday August 6th through Tuesday August 8th.

Vintage@Intermezzo

Bridgitte Morphew with her display. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner.

He is a true believer that, “Vintage brings provenance to one’s wardrobe and represents another time, when clothing and accessories were not mass produced but crafted by hand with a true love for the actual product itself. It speaks to the journey that has brought us to today and influences the way we see ourselves in the future.”

Vintage@Intermezzo

Lulu with her Lulu’s Vintage Lovelies display. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner.

Consumers were charged $20 to shop the unmatched curated selection of one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories from 20 vintage dealers including Morphew Concept, Norma Kamali, Brent Edward Vintage, The Wayward Collection, Mia Vesper, Dusty Rose Vintage, Another Man’s Treasure, Lulu’s Vintage, Lady V Second Time Around, James Veloria, Bui’s & Whistles, Cabana Vintage, Kitschopia, IMJM Antiques & Vintage Couture, Les Femmes Vintage, Icon Style, The Bargain District, Lifestyle Boutique, and Natalie Como’s Wardrobe Revolution with one added surprise.

Vintage@Intermezzo

Andrew Buis with his 70’s Mary McFadden pleated coat. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner.

FYI, consumers and buyers were encouraged to wear their favorite vintage pieces and I chose a beloved black vinyl Courreges jacket from the 60’s, which to me, is the definition of modern vintage. Each dealer represented a unique facet of the industry with product available for both wholesale and retail and they were set up in a separate area to the left of the entrance to Intermezzo Collections.

I was not the only diehard vintage aficionado checking things out on an early Sunday morning. I also spotted designer Jill Stuart, apparently seeking inspiration for her unapologetically vintage inspired designs (she hasn’t met a vintage show she doesn’t like lol), and the bold, eccentric duo, Valerie and Jean who pen the blog, idiosyncraticfashionistas.blogspot.com. As a long time vintage lover and avid collector myself, I have gone to my share of vintage shows here in NY and have become quite familiar with many of the dealers, some of whom were in attendance. Show veterans like Lulu, Lulu’s Vintage Lovelies; Lara Kornbluth of IconStyle, iconstyle.net; Andrew Buis from BuisandWhistles (buisandwhistles.com) can always be counted on with their eclectic selection. While Norma Kamali is not a regular vintage show exhibitor, she was the spotlight vintage designer at the Intermezzo Vintage show this past May and she had a prominent booth filled with her archives this time around as well (everything was stored pristinely in garment bags).

Vintage@Intermezzo

Idiosyncratic Fashionistas Jean and Valerie at James Veloria’s avant garde filled booth. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner.

I certainly don’t have to be convinced of the upside of buying vintage. At a time marked by such sameness on the retail level, it’s wonderful to find something one of a kind; something that you know you won’t see on everyone (or anyone) else for that matter. The esoteric, exclusive, hard to get element is certainly part of its appeal as is the individuality and uniqueness it interjects within your wardrobe: it’s something guaranteed to set you apart from the pack. There is no high compared with scoring that one of a kind piece. Quite frankly, the older I get (and the more I see), the more I appreciate it.

Vintage@Intermezzo

Blogger and article author Marilyn Kirschner wearing an Iris Apfel necklace with Iris at VINTAGE@Intermezzo. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner

A nice surprise was the ageless style icon Iris Apfel, who had a large booth complete with a blown up photograph of her posted above on the wall. She was selling some of her fabulous trademark accessories, priced from $50 – $2000, all culled from her personal archives. Of course, I had to buy something (how could I not want to get a piece of Iris?).

While she has already parted with many of her cherished items, as she told me, she has been collecting since the age of 11, so she still has a lot of merchandise to unload. And this gives her an opportunity to get rid of the old and make room for the new (and shop for the new, she does!) In addition to the tireless 95 year old’s ongoing design collaborations, she told me there will be a Barbie Doll in her likeness, which will make its debut in September 2018. She never stops and why should she?

Vintage@Intermezzo

Monica Pineros at Mia Vesper’s booth. Photo: Marilyn Kirschner.

Among the dealers I was not familiar with beforehand were James Veloria Studio, www.jamesveloria.com (they sell and rent special vintage and contemporary pre-owned clothing and accessories); Monique H. Alvarez of Lifestyle Statement, www.lifestylestatement.com (the Brooklyn based luxury consignment sells both vintage and new); IMJM Vintage Couture (they have a great selection of vintage Chanel bijoux); and Morphew Concept, www.morphewconcept.com. Ms. Morphew is a big believer that “if you can understand the past, you can predict the future trends and style movements”. She sums up her collection as a merging of “antique textiles with modern fit”. FYI, she is staging 9 – 5 presentations at her west 36th showroom during fashion week, on September 8th to be exact.

Also new to me was Mia Vesper, who in fact, just recently launched her collection of fabulous one of a kind pieces made from vintage tapestries. It’s all about recycling and reinvention and the tapestries are sourced from all over the world and manufactured by an expert team in New York City. You can walk on the gorgeous rugs, and wear them as well. Brilliant! She even hopes to partner with ABC Home sometime in the future and I could easily see that happening. She has collaborated with Monica Pineros on a small group of one of a kind metal chain pieces, which have been picked up by Moda Operandi (not bad!).

I certainly don’t have to be convinced of the upside of buying vintage. At a time marked by such sameness on the retail level, it’s wonderful to find something one of a kind; something that you know you won’t see on everyone (or anyone) else for that matter. The esoteric, exclusive, hard to get element is certainly part of its appeal as is the individuality and uniqueness it interjects within your wardrobe: it’s something guaranteed to set you apart from the pack. There is no high compared with scoring that one of a kind piece. Quite frankly, the older I get (and the more I see), the more I appreciate it.

“The Value of Vintage” panel

But admittedly, not everyone ‘gets’ it. To educate those who still think of poodle skirts when you say the word vintage and to answer the questions: what defines vintage, how can retailers best use vintage to set their stores apart, how to use vintage to inspire new designs and make what’s old new again, Mr. Berta conceived of ‘The Value of Vintage’ panel discussion which took place on Monday. To hear what was discussed, click here.

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