Vintage Crawl is upon us, today, Saturday, April 27, starting at noon. What a great opportunity and incentive to see what’s out there: 18 Williamsburg and Greenpoint vintage boutiques are joining in on the fun (the bars open a bit later around 3pm). One of the highlights is an outdoor music performance by Kendy Gable (at 3pm at Antoinette).The evening culminates in an after-party at Brooklyn Bowl, which officially starts at 8pm (but doors open at 6pm).
The charisma and charm behind the event are two self-styled and grassroots organizers, Kathryn Irby and Emily Lichtenberg. They “sat down” with WG for a quick chat.
WG: Hi Emily! Hi Kathryn! So how’d it all get started?!
Emily Lichtenberg: What can I say, we’re just two girls who are VERY passionate about drinking and shopping! But actually I had been organizing vintage crawls on a MUCH smaller scale for me and my friends since I moved to the neighborhood in the Spring of 2010. I met Kathryn when I happened to wander into Antoinette a couple of years ago and she was consulting there. We got to talking and she convinced me that it was an idea to be taken to the next level.
Kathryn Irby: I remember Emily said the words, “Vintage Crawl,” and it just HIT me we could do it, and that it could be BIG in our neighborhood.
Were you surprised by the AMAZING success you had organizing the first Vintage Crawl?
EL: Yes! It was our first attempt at this type of event on this scale, so I think we didn’t even really know that success was happening until after it happened, and we were like, “Oh wow! People really liked this!”
KI: It was all such an exhausting yet fun… how do you say… I guess, “organic roller coaster!” Especially when major publications picked us up, like The New York Times, and we even had a segment on the CW11 morning news!
This is the 3rd Vintage Crawl, what are you cooking up, this year?
EL: This year, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Neon Gold Records to present a post-crawl after-party at Brooklyn Bowl, featuring performances by Javelin, Jamaican Queens, and Tiny Victories. And what’s even better is, if you buy a ticket to the show and bring it with you on the crawl (either printed or on your phone) you get even more discounts at all of our stores and bars. Get tickets here.
What’s your line-up of shops looking like?
EL: We definitely have our vintage store power houses like: Le Grand Strip, Malin Landaeus, and Rabbits, with 18 stores offering a range of Men’s, Women’s and Home Goods. And let’s not forget the 7 bars, offering drink deals throughout the day! For brunch, Nitehawk bar/restaurant is offering bottomless mimosas with purchase of their “Breakfast Club” special.
KI: It’s been interesting to watch our vintage stores evolve along with their customers in the neighborhood. A few of our stores, such as Lavai Maria, reconstruct vintage pieces to make them a bit more modern and unique.
Do you have favorite shops? For whatever reason? Favorite finds you cherish?
EL: Maybe its just territorial alliance because I live over there, but I’m really loving all the stores on Graham Ave, right now. Last Vintage Crawl in November, I bought this amazing green silk varsity jacket, that says SCIENCE on the back from Tiger Blanket, and I wear it almost every day. Also this yellow cable knit sweater that I found at Slow Fax basically got me through the winter. GO GRAHAM!
KI: Personally, my favorite vintage store (that I endearingly refer to as my, “happy place”) has always been Horizons on Metropolitan and Havemeyer. The owner, Breanne, has such an incredible eye for classic American sportswear, and is reasonable with her prices. The store has really developed a personality onto itself—it’s somewhat of a local girl’s hangout where we have picnics out on the sidewalk in the summertime, and have friend’s bands perform in the store.
In your opinions, how relevant is vintage in today’s world, and today’s lifestyle?
KI: Honestly, I used to work in the concept department for Gap Women’s, and the fabrics used in the early- to mid-90’s silks and cottons is FAR superior to today’s clothing. Since fashion is cyclical, it’s simply common sense to shop pieces from such recent decades. Easy on the wallet, and you support small businesses in the process!
EL: Vintage will always be in style because culture is constantly nostalgic for the past—even if the past was only 15 years ago. For instance, 90s fashion trends are on the rise and considered “vintage” even though it only feels like yesterday that they were current! And as Kathryn pointed out, vintage is easier on the wallet, and who doesn’t love that?
More photos on the Vintage Crawl facebook page.