Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Filth Mart
1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

I started at Filth Mart at the behest of my editor. The name doesn’t do the very selective curation of (very clean) vintage band and custom printed t-shirts justice. The owners Mike Sportes and Maggie Fox have built their store one tee at a time, beginning in the east village in the late ‘90s, and 25 years later, they’re still in the business, only now across the country.

BSC: I wonder how much the village has changed since you left. What did they even have there in the ‘90s - was St. Dymphnas around then? In Saint Marks?

FM: It’s still there?
BSC: Yeah, it’s still there. How long did you keep shop in the village?
FM: Seven years.
BSC: So it’s safe to say you’ve been in the business for more than a few years. You know your way around. Wait, that’s 25 years?

FM: Wait what? Yeah.
BSC: Are you going to do anything to celebrate the anniversary, or?

FM: I mean we just realized it! So. Just now. Better get planning. It’s in September, right (to Mike)? We’ll be in Marfa.

BSC: That sounds like a great way to spend your anniversary. Do you guys ever take your stock out on the road? Trade shows, vintage shows or something?

MF: Well yeah that’s what I was just saying about Marfa, there’s only one thing we really do. Every year we go to a music festival in Marfa, it’s around the last weekend of September. Very cute, very curated - like 1200 people - so it’s not some insane festival, it’s arty and curated with a really nice vendor circle. The place is called El Cosmico and it’s basically a campsite with yurts and teepees and a couple of Airstreams.

BSC: For those wanting to glamp more than camp - like a bougie Airstream?

FM: Like a bougie airstream! But it’s all really fun. It’s usually a long weekend, and we close here and basically make a store out there. We usually rent a sprinter-type van, or a big Mercedes van. But we stay in the Airstream, we’re some of those bougie ones. Don’t need to spread tents on the ground, we take our dogs and our son, and we’ve been doing it now for about 11 years.

BSC: Do you still source from New York? I would never ask for your sources, but I’m curious if you still pull from the East Coast or...

FM: We have dealers that source from everywhere, so potentially still New York. Like this one is from the T-shirt Gallery in New York. We don’t go to warehouses or rag houses. What we’re looking for is more ‘needle in a haystack’ type things, and they want you to buy a lot.

BSC: I know there’s like a minimum purchase.

FM: Right, and we basically buy one piece at a time. I mean, sometimes one of the guys will present us with a little group, but usually it’s one t-shirt at a time.

“In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.”

BSC: That could be your new slogan.
FM: Haha, very limited in our selection, and not that we have a ton of space, either. BSC: So it’s mainly t-shirts that you purchase then?

FM: There are some jeans, leather jackets, but we’re mainly known for t-shirts. In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

BSC: Very niche. So then, who’s your clientele, mainly? Vintage heads, celebrities, dressers or costumers in the industry?

FM: It’s all over the place. We definitely get celebrities, because this is a celeb spot now, but our clientele is a lot of vintage heads - the people that collect this stuff. Recently, we started getting more music and fashion industry people - but also the people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.

“The people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.”

BSC: You’re right off of Melrose Ave, so maybe it’s a little gentrified now?
FM: I think so, it seems to just be coming North, especially with the new coffee spots. BSC: Yeah, the blue bottle next door totally speaks to gentrification.

FM: Then we do the new shirts which are customized for bands, hotels, and different groups - which brings in advertising. People see the tag in the shirt and then come by. That creates relationships. A big seller is the Peyote one - that’s pretty iconic. What also sell really well are all these test prints for when we’re first designing a shirt. Testing the registration and all. So these are really cool and we’ll even do a drop every month or so; each one is a one of a kind print.

BSC: Do you silkscreen them yourselves?

FM: Yeah, we do, we use a printer right up the road, and we usually do a bunch of variations for each print - short and long sleeved, henley - so people have a couple of options. He does the art - both hand-drawn and collaged prints and then I usually work on the printing - well we both work on the printing.

BSC: And obviously besides repping your store, do your own clothes, the ones you wear, come from here?

FM: I mean I love shopping but I don't buy new stuff - there are enough clothes out in the world. I mean I could go to YSL and shop, but you wouldn’t find me at Free People, or something. Or Urban, or Anthropology - is Anthro even around? It’s too old, too bohemian Talbots for me. No, I prefer the actual old stuff! Those newer, wannabe boho stores are for moms.

BSC: My mom loves that store!

Squaresville
1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Squaresville was brought to my attention by my friend and TikTok star, Vienna Sky, who always hits their racks while in town. I’ve borne witness to some enviable finds, so I knew the trip was well worth my time. But there is nothing square about a store that is the rendezvous point of celebrities, TikTok stars, stylish, everyday people, and those who stumble in from the french bistro next door. The clientele are perfectly current and the clothes are perfectly vintage, which means you’ll leave with some perfectly curated pieces for your new-old closet.

I had the pleasure of speaking not only with the owner, Reiko Roberts about her store and deep love of vintage that brought it to fruition, but also to Brandon Walsh, who runs PR for Squaresville and talks shop with the best of them.

BSC: Can you tell me how you came up with ‘Squaresville’ as a name? Because I was walking around LA and I couldn’t figure it out based on building shape!

SV: So, Squaresville. When you’re opening a checking account for a new business, you have to have a name for it, even if you’re not going to use it - you call it a fictitious business name. Annyways, I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal - buyers, sellers, everyone. Kind of feels like they're getting a square deal? Plus, it was sort of a put down in the ‘50s and ‘60s - calling someone ‘square’, or ‘a square’ but then at the same time we wear/wore our parents' clothing? And that was and still is cool. So even though we think of our parents or older generations as clueless and straight, we still want their clothes whether they’re square or not.

“I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal.”

BSC: Oh so you mentioned you loved wearing the ‘40s/’50s to school - is this what you try to curate in ‘ville? It seemed like you have a more broad curation from what I saw on the racks and in speaking with your PR man, Brandon.

SV: I did start wearing vintage young, I was 12 or 13 years old. My mom kept boxes of her clothes in the basement and the stuff fit me as a teenager. Classic 1940s suits, kind of how the Pointer sisters were wearing them while also making vintage popular. My most iconic vintage moment had to be in middle school, and I remember it vividly, it was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I thought I was so cool, I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic. I really got into thrifting and vintage as the youngest of four, lots of hand-me-downs from my brothers and sister. New shoes, new underwear - obviously! - but a lot of ‘vintage’ too. There’s some of that 1940s stuff I liked to wear in the store, but really it goes all the way from the ‘30s to the ‘90s, even with a few late 18th or 19th-century pieces. Those we tend to price lower because we don’t want people trying them on, since they’re so fragile. Instead - impulse buy!

“My most iconic vintage moment was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic.”

BSC: Who tends to buy those pieces?

SV: Vintage heads, but regular people as well as pattern makers who are going to take them apart and remake them or people buying for the (tv & film) industry.

BSC: Who else tends to come into Squaresville the most? A lot of celeb clients, TikTokers, etc? That’s actually how I heard about you - from a friend of mine who does TikTok.

SV: I mean it’s LA, so naturally celebrities, but TikTok isn’t my generation, so I don’t usually know one from the next. My employees usually do, though, and say “that’s so and so” or “we just got mentioned by account xyz” so I do stay in the loop. I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.

“I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.”

BSC: No, of course, she and her little cursive insignia were the rage some twenty years ago. I remember clomping around in my mom’s JS heels feeling like hot shit. Is there a last bit of info you want to include here that we haven’t already discussed?

SV: Maybe just the fact that our store is entirely buy-sell-trade, meaning everything is brought to us, we don’t go out to source pieces for the store. The advantage there is that we have full say

over our curation, so if one day we spot a trend, we can immediately adjust our intake or what’s on the floor to reflect that. Also, so many people have been getting cancelled lately, so if we have to we can quickly take their stuff off of the floor since we generally know what we have. Like we had a couple of Marilyn Manson tees that we sold right before it started getting ‘worse’ and then pulled the rest of the stock.

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Brownstone Cowboys Magazine A Shirt Tale main image

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

No items found.

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Filth Mart
1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

I started at Filth Mart at the behest of my editor. The name doesn’t do the very selective curation of (very clean) vintage band and custom printed t-shirts justice. The owners Mike Sportes and Maggie Fox have built their store one tee at a time, beginning in the east village in the late ‘90s, and 25 years later, they’re still in the business, only now across the country.

BSC: I wonder how much the village has changed since you left. What did they even have there in the ‘90s - was St. Dymphnas around then? In Saint Marks?

FM: It’s still there?
BSC: Yeah, it’s still there. How long did you keep shop in the village?
FM: Seven years.
BSC: So it’s safe to say you’ve been in the business for more than a few years. You know your way around. Wait, that’s 25 years?

FM: Wait what? Yeah.
BSC: Are you going to do anything to celebrate the anniversary, or?

FM: I mean we just realized it! So. Just now. Better get planning. It’s in September, right (to Mike)? We’ll be in Marfa.

BSC: That sounds like a great way to spend your anniversary. Do you guys ever take your stock out on the road? Trade shows, vintage shows or something?

MF: Well yeah that’s what I was just saying about Marfa, there’s only one thing we really do. Every year we go to a music festival in Marfa, it’s around the last weekend of September. Very cute, very curated - like 1200 people - so it’s not some insane festival, it’s arty and curated with a really nice vendor circle. The place is called El Cosmico and it’s basically a campsite with yurts and teepees and a couple of Airstreams.

BSC: For those wanting to glamp more than camp - like a bougie Airstream?

FM: Like a bougie airstream! But it’s all really fun. It’s usually a long weekend, and we close here and basically make a store out there. We usually rent a sprinter-type van, or a big Mercedes van. But we stay in the Airstream, we’re some of those bougie ones. Don’t need to spread tents on the ground, we take our dogs and our son, and we’ve been doing it now for about 11 years.

BSC: Do you still source from New York? I would never ask for your sources, but I’m curious if you still pull from the East Coast or...

FM: We have dealers that source from everywhere, so potentially still New York. Like this one is from the T-shirt Gallery in New York. We don’t go to warehouses or rag houses. What we’re looking for is more ‘needle in a haystack’ type things, and they want you to buy a lot.

BSC: I know there’s like a minimum purchase.

FM: Right, and we basically buy one piece at a time. I mean, sometimes one of the guys will present us with a little group, but usually it’s one t-shirt at a time.

“In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.”

BSC: That could be your new slogan.
FM: Haha, very limited in our selection, and not that we have a ton of space, either. BSC: So it’s mainly t-shirts that you purchase then?

FM: There are some jeans, leather jackets, but we’re mainly known for t-shirts. In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

BSC: Very niche. So then, who’s your clientele, mainly? Vintage heads, celebrities, dressers or costumers in the industry?

FM: It’s all over the place. We definitely get celebrities, because this is a celeb spot now, but our clientele is a lot of vintage heads - the people that collect this stuff. Recently, we started getting more music and fashion industry people - but also the people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.

“The people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.”

BSC: You’re right off of Melrose Ave, so maybe it’s a little gentrified now?
FM: I think so, it seems to just be coming North, especially with the new coffee spots. BSC: Yeah, the blue bottle next door totally speaks to gentrification.

FM: Then we do the new shirts which are customized for bands, hotels, and different groups - which brings in advertising. People see the tag in the shirt and then come by. That creates relationships. A big seller is the Peyote one - that’s pretty iconic. What also sell really well are all these test prints for when we’re first designing a shirt. Testing the registration and all. So these are really cool and we’ll even do a drop every month or so; each one is a one of a kind print.

BSC: Do you silkscreen them yourselves?

FM: Yeah, we do, we use a printer right up the road, and we usually do a bunch of variations for each print - short and long sleeved, henley - so people have a couple of options. He does the art - both hand-drawn and collaged prints and then I usually work on the printing - well we both work on the printing.

BSC: And obviously besides repping your store, do your own clothes, the ones you wear, come from here?

FM: I mean I love shopping but I don't buy new stuff - there are enough clothes out in the world. I mean I could go to YSL and shop, but you wouldn’t find me at Free People, or something. Or Urban, or Anthropology - is Anthro even around? It’s too old, too bohemian Talbots for me. No, I prefer the actual old stuff! Those newer, wannabe boho stores are for moms.

BSC: My mom loves that store!

Squaresville
1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Squaresville was brought to my attention by my friend and TikTok star, Vienna Sky, who always hits their racks while in town. I’ve borne witness to some enviable finds, so I knew the trip was well worth my time. But there is nothing square about a store that is the rendezvous point of celebrities, TikTok stars, stylish, everyday people, and those who stumble in from the french bistro next door. The clientele are perfectly current and the clothes are perfectly vintage, which means you’ll leave with some perfectly curated pieces for your new-old closet.

I had the pleasure of speaking not only with the owner, Reiko Roberts about her store and deep love of vintage that brought it to fruition, but also to Brandon Walsh, who runs PR for Squaresville and talks shop with the best of them.

BSC: Can you tell me how you came up with ‘Squaresville’ as a name? Because I was walking around LA and I couldn’t figure it out based on building shape!

SV: So, Squaresville. When you’re opening a checking account for a new business, you have to have a name for it, even if you’re not going to use it - you call it a fictitious business name. Annyways, I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal - buyers, sellers, everyone. Kind of feels like they're getting a square deal? Plus, it was sort of a put down in the ‘50s and ‘60s - calling someone ‘square’, or ‘a square’ but then at the same time we wear/wore our parents' clothing? And that was and still is cool. So even though we think of our parents or older generations as clueless and straight, we still want their clothes whether they’re square or not.

“I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal.”

BSC: Oh so you mentioned you loved wearing the ‘40s/’50s to school - is this what you try to curate in ‘ville? It seemed like you have a more broad curation from what I saw on the racks and in speaking with your PR man, Brandon.

SV: I did start wearing vintage young, I was 12 or 13 years old. My mom kept boxes of her clothes in the basement and the stuff fit me as a teenager. Classic 1940s suits, kind of how the Pointer sisters were wearing them while also making vintage popular. My most iconic vintage moment had to be in middle school, and I remember it vividly, it was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I thought I was so cool, I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic. I really got into thrifting and vintage as the youngest of four, lots of hand-me-downs from my brothers and sister. New shoes, new underwear - obviously! - but a lot of ‘vintage’ too. There’s some of that 1940s stuff I liked to wear in the store, but really it goes all the way from the ‘30s to the ‘90s, even with a few late 18th or 19th-century pieces. Those we tend to price lower because we don’t want people trying them on, since they’re so fragile. Instead - impulse buy!

“My most iconic vintage moment was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic.”

BSC: Who tends to buy those pieces?

SV: Vintage heads, but regular people as well as pattern makers who are going to take them apart and remake them or people buying for the (tv & film) industry.

BSC: Who else tends to come into Squaresville the most? A lot of celeb clients, TikTokers, etc? That’s actually how I heard about you - from a friend of mine who does TikTok.

SV: I mean it’s LA, so naturally celebrities, but TikTok isn’t my generation, so I don’t usually know one from the next. My employees usually do, though, and say “that’s so and so” or “we just got mentioned by account xyz” so I do stay in the loop. I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.

“I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.”

BSC: No, of course, she and her little cursive insignia were the rage some twenty years ago. I remember clomping around in my mom’s JS heels feeling like hot shit. Is there a last bit of info you want to include here that we haven’t already discussed?

SV: Maybe just the fact that our store is entirely buy-sell-trade, meaning everything is brought to us, we don’t go out to source pieces for the store. The advantage there is that we have full say

over our curation, so if one day we spot a trend, we can immediately adjust our intake or what’s on the floor to reflect that. Also, so many people have been getting cancelled lately, so if we have to we can quickly take their stuff off of the floor since we generally know what we have. Like we had a couple of Marilyn Manson tees that we sold right before it started getting ‘worse’ and then pulled the rest of the stock.

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

HASSON

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

No items found.

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

No items found.

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Pink

frost

Thistle

brown

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

Super talented stylist-turned-photographer Thistle Browne and stylist Heathermary Jackson — both in New Zealand during COVID-19 lockdowns — traveled to Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano off the coast of Central Auckland, to shoot the new campaign for New Zealand jewelry designer Jasmin Sparrow. The shoot showcases Sparrow’s timeless gold and silver jewelry, and a beautiful collection of hand-beaded bras and skull caps designed with Glen Prentice. Models wore mainly vintage from Search and Destroy and Brownstone Cowboys’ collection, combined with some local, sustainable brands and New Zealand gumboots (rainboots).
Photography: Thistle Brown
Styling: Heathermary Jackson
Designers: Jasmin Sparrow and Glen Prentice
Models: Charlotte Moffatt, Nina Katungi, Obadiah Russon

Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Filth Mart
1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

I started at Filth Mart at the behest of my editor. The name doesn’t do the very selective curation of (very clean) vintage band and custom printed t-shirts justice. The owners Mike Sportes and Maggie Fox have built their store one tee at a time, beginning in the east village in the late ‘90s, and 25 years later, they’re still in the business, only now across the country.

BSC: I wonder how much the village has changed since you left. What did they even have there in the ‘90s - was St. Dymphnas around then? In Saint Marks?

FM: It’s still there?
BSC: Yeah, it’s still there. How long did you keep shop in the village?
FM: Seven years.
BSC: So it’s safe to say you’ve been in the business for more than a few years. You know your way around. Wait, that’s 25 years?

FM: Wait what? Yeah.
BSC: Are you going to do anything to celebrate the anniversary, or?

FM: I mean we just realized it! So. Just now. Better get planning. It’s in September, right (to Mike)? We’ll be in Marfa.

BSC: That sounds like a great way to spend your anniversary. Do you guys ever take your stock out on the road? Trade shows, vintage shows or something?

MF: Well yeah that’s what I was just saying about Marfa, there’s only one thing we really do. Every year we go to a music festival in Marfa, it’s around the last weekend of September. Very cute, very curated - like 1200 people - so it’s not some insane festival, it’s arty and curated with a really nice vendor circle. The place is called El Cosmico and it’s basically a campsite with yurts and teepees and a couple of Airstreams.

BSC: For those wanting to glamp more than camp - like a bougie Airstream?

FM: Like a bougie airstream! But it’s all really fun. It’s usually a long weekend, and we close here and basically make a store out there. We usually rent a sprinter-type van, or a big Mercedes van. But we stay in the Airstream, we’re some of those bougie ones. Don’t need to spread tents on the ground, we take our dogs and our son, and we’ve been doing it now for about 11 years.

BSC: Do you still source from New York? I would never ask for your sources, but I’m curious if you still pull from the East Coast or...

FM: We have dealers that source from everywhere, so potentially still New York. Like this one is from the T-shirt Gallery in New York. We don’t go to warehouses or rag houses. What we’re looking for is more ‘needle in a haystack’ type things, and they want you to buy a lot.

BSC: I know there’s like a minimum purchase.

FM: Right, and we basically buy one piece at a time. I mean, sometimes one of the guys will present us with a little group, but usually it’s one t-shirt at a time.

“In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.”

BSC: That could be your new slogan.
FM: Haha, very limited in our selection, and not that we have a ton of space, either. BSC: So it’s mainly t-shirts that you purchase then?

FM: There are some jeans, leather jackets, but we’re mainly known for t-shirts. In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

BSC: Very niche. So then, who’s your clientele, mainly? Vintage heads, celebrities, dressers or costumers in the industry?

FM: It’s all over the place. We definitely get celebrities, because this is a celeb spot now, but our clientele is a lot of vintage heads - the people that collect this stuff. Recently, we started getting more music and fashion industry people - but also the people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.

“The people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.”

BSC: You’re right off of Melrose Ave, so maybe it’s a little gentrified now?
FM: I think so, it seems to just be coming North, especially with the new coffee spots. BSC: Yeah, the blue bottle next door totally speaks to gentrification.

FM: Then we do the new shirts which are customized for bands, hotels, and different groups - which brings in advertising. People see the tag in the shirt and then come by. That creates relationships. A big seller is the Peyote one - that’s pretty iconic. What also sell really well are all these test prints for when we’re first designing a shirt. Testing the registration and all. So these are really cool and we’ll even do a drop every month or so; each one is a one of a kind print.

BSC: Do you silkscreen them yourselves?

FM: Yeah, we do, we use a printer right up the road, and we usually do a bunch of variations for each print - short and long sleeved, henley - so people have a couple of options. He does the art - both hand-drawn and collaged prints and then I usually work on the printing - well we both work on the printing.

BSC: And obviously besides repping your store, do your own clothes, the ones you wear, come from here?

FM: I mean I love shopping but I don't buy new stuff - there are enough clothes out in the world. I mean I could go to YSL and shop, but you wouldn’t find me at Free People, or something. Or Urban, or Anthropology - is Anthro even around? It’s too old, too bohemian Talbots for me. No, I prefer the actual old stuff! Those newer, wannabe boho stores are for moms.

BSC: My mom loves that store!

Squaresville
1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Squaresville was brought to my attention by my friend and TikTok star, Vienna Sky, who always hits their racks while in town. I’ve borne witness to some enviable finds, so I knew the trip was well worth my time. But there is nothing square about a store that is the rendezvous point of celebrities, TikTok stars, stylish, everyday people, and those who stumble in from the french bistro next door. The clientele are perfectly current and the clothes are perfectly vintage, which means you’ll leave with some perfectly curated pieces for your new-old closet.

I had the pleasure of speaking not only with the owner, Reiko Roberts about her store and deep love of vintage that brought it to fruition, but also to Brandon Walsh, who runs PR for Squaresville and talks shop with the best of them.

BSC: Can you tell me how you came up with ‘Squaresville’ as a name? Because I was walking around LA and I couldn’t figure it out based on building shape!

SV: So, Squaresville. When you’re opening a checking account for a new business, you have to have a name for it, even if you’re not going to use it - you call it a fictitious business name. Annyways, I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal - buyers, sellers, everyone. Kind of feels like they're getting a square deal? Plus, it was sort of a put down in the ‘50s and ‘60s - calling someone ‘square’, or ‘a square’ but then at the same time we wear/wore our parents' clothing? And that was and still is cool. So even though we think of our parents or older generations as clueless and straight, we still want their clothes whether they’re square or not.

“I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal.”

BSC: Oh so you mentioned you loved wearing the ‘40s/’50s to school - is this what you try to curate in ‘ville? It seemed like you have a more broad curation from what I saw on the racks and in speaking with your PR man, Brandon.

SV: I did start wearing vintage young, I was 12 or 13 years old. My mom kept boxes of her clothes in the basement and the stuff fit me as a teenager. Classic 1940s suits, kind of how the Pointer sisters were wearing them while also making vintage popular. My most iconic vintage moment had to be in middle school, and I remember it vividly, it was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I thought I was so cool, I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic. I really got into thrifting and vintage as the youngest of four, lots of hand-me-downs from my brothers and sister. New shoes, new underwear - obviously! - but a lot of ‘vintage’ too. There’s some of that 1940s stuff I liked to wear in the store, but really it goes all the way from the ‘30s to the ‘90s, even with a few late 18th or 19th-century pieces. Those we tend to price lower because we don’t want people trying them on, since they’re so fragile. Instead - impulse buy!

“My most iconic vintage moment was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic.”

BSC: Who tends to buy those pieces?

SV: Vintage heads, but regular people as well as pattern makers who are going to take them apart and remake them or people buying for the (tv & film) industry.

BSC: Who else tends to come into Squaresville the most? A lot of celeb clients, TikTokers, etc? That’s actually how I heard about you - from a friend of mine who does TikTok.

SV: I mean it’s LA, so naturally celebrities, but TikTok isn’t my generation, so I don’t usually know one from the next. My employees usually do, though, and say “that’s so and so” or “we just got mentioned by account xyz” so I do stay in the loop. I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.

“I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.”

BSC: No, of course, she and her little cursive insignia were the rage some twenty years ago. I remember clomping around in my mom’s JS heels feeling like hot shit. Is there a last bit of info you want to include here that we haven’t already discussed?

SV: Maybe just the fact that our store is entirely buy-sell-trade, meaning everything is brought to us, we don’t go out to source pieces for the store. The advantage there is that we have full say

over our curation, so if one day we spot a trend, we can immediately adjust our intake or what’s on the floor to reflect that. Also, so many people have been getting cancelled lately, so if we have to we can quickly take their stuff off of the floor since we generally know what we have. Like we had a couple of Marilyn Manson tees that we sold right before it started getting ‘worse’ and then pulled the rest of the stock.

Aralda
2691 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the expression ‘save the best for last’ or maybe it’s because I just wanted to hike the Hollywood Hills at dusk. Either way, the sun began to set over the small hut that is the hallmark of designer vintage as an equally powerful orange light shone through the egress windows. I’m greeted by four strongly orange walls with a blue ceiling rivaling the darkest skies. I take stock of me, my photographer, Brynn’s assistant, Sara, and Vanessa Hudgens. The store’s almost closed, so the four of us have the run of the place.

Aralda’s owner, ex-model and vintage influencer Brynn Jones told me to try on anything, and ‘have fun’ with her exquisite curation. And once Hudgens finished picking out her pre-Oscar party dresses, I began to pile high my wildest Dior and Chanel dreams. Chanel wellies, pink and blue Dior ski sunglasses, a Versace safety-pin dress. Reverently, I grab the Lacroix holy cross sweater off the rack, my Anna Wintour cut never more fitting.

Brynn: It’s an insane piece that’s so hard to find, so I think about keeping that one all the time. It’s not the exact piece from the cover, it’s the ready-to-wear version.

BSC: Oh I mean, it would be so hard for me to part with stuff. I’d want to try everything on, and then wear it and bring it back. But I know that’s impractical.

Aralda: Yeah. I mean, it's so funny, because people do say, ‘how do you part with all of this?’ but actually the whole shop is filled with a sort of alter ego of mine. I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives because there are people who do wear those types of clothes.

“I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives.”

BSC: No, totally, and it’s funny because I was actually going to ask you about your personal aesthetic since I know that sometimes when a store is being curated, that personal style almost curates the store itself - but I guess that’s not really the case at Aralda?

Aralda: Yeah, I'm very particular about the pieces I've sourced and I'm really, really into fun, exciting pieces. Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices. I love to keep it eclectic in there. But because I personally dress

a lot more simply from day to day, I also try to have options like a beautifully tailored black coat or a little black dress, so I do try to keep staples sprinkled in throughout the store. I want people to find that dress they’ll keep forever or that coat they’re going to wear all winter long.

“Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices.”

BSC: Right? So that way, if they're spending that much on a vintage designer piece they can be practical too; they don't just have to get something that's insane that they'd only wear a few times - or even buy it to just have it, without ever even wearing it..

Aralda: We do have a lot of collectors come in and it's just going in their collection/archive or whatever. But honestly, the things that I have such a hard time parting with, which is why you didn't see any, are vintage T-shirts. I basically wear one every day - a vintage band tee with jeans or baggy pants. And so every time I’m sourcing for the store, and I find that Smashing Pumpkins shirt, I have to keep it. I actually have a collection in storage. And I've been working on opening a new store for almost a year but just recently made the difficult decision not to open it for various reasons. But anyways, it was going to be the store that had all kinds of non-designer and lots of T-shirts. But now I just have all these still sitting in storage so I might do an online drop or something. Since it’s such a nice little collection - I’d like to release them all together. Right now, I’m just waiting for a special occasion to release them into the world. I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.

“I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.”


BSC:
You definitely have an eclectic clientele. I’ve seen a bunch of teen girls pulling platform Jacobs for a party and then obviously Vanessa Hudgens was in there pulling for the Oscars, which was interesting to see. But you’ve curated a whole experience with the beautiful interior space, and you’ve elevated the shopping experience by just having a brick and mortar versus an online selection.

Aralda: Well I totally redid the space with my good friend Natalie Ziering who is a production designer. She does amazing site design work and she has a similar eye, so I knew that she would be on the same page as me. We played around with color and wallpapers, and then she helped me source some of the pieces like the little couch, which we upholstered, and also the front desk, which was vintage and needed to be restained. Inexpensive and fun.

As for the curated experience, it's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on as opposed to just going online. Eventually, we'll have the digital world dialed in as well, but brick and mortar is my main focus for now.

“It's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on.”

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

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Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Brownstone Cowboys Magazine CONSCIOUS GIVING Main Image

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Filth Mart
1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

I started at Filth Mart at the behest of my editor. The name doesn’t do the very selective curation of (very clean) vintage band and custom printed t-shirts justice. The owners Mike Sportes and Maggie Fox have built their store one tee at a time, beginning in the east village in the late ‘90s, and 25 years later, they’re still in the business, only now across the country.

BSC: I wonder how much the village has changed since you left. What did they even have there in the ‘90s - was St. Dymphnas around then? In Saint Marks?

FM: It’s still there?
BSC: Yeah, it’s still there. How long did you keep shop in the village?
FM: Seven years.
BSC: So it’s safe to say you’ve been in the business for more than a few years. You know your way around. Wait, that’s 25 years?

FM: Wait what? Yeah.
BSC: Are you going to do anything to celebrate the anniversary, or?

FM: I mean we just realized it! So. Just now. Better get planning. It’s in September, right (to Mike)? We’ll be in Marfa.

BSC: That sounds like a great way to spend your anniversary. Do you guys ever take your stock out on the road? Trade shows, vintage shows or something?

MF: Well yeah that’s what I was just saying about Marfa, there’s only one thing we really do. Every year we go to a music festival in Marfa, it’s around the last weekend of September. Very cute, very curated - like 1200 people - so it’s not some insane festival, it’s arty and curated with a really nice vendor circle. The place is called El Cosmico and it’s basically a campsite with yurts and teepees and a couple of Airstreams.

BSC: For those wanting to glamp more than camp - like a bougie Airstream?

FM: Like a bougie airstream! But it’s all really fun. It’s usually a long weekend, and we close here and basically make a store out there. We usually rent a sprinter-type van, or a big Mercedes van. But we stay in the Airstream, we’re some of those bougie ones. Don’t need to spread tents on the ground, we take our dogs and our son, and we’ve been doing it now for about 11 years.

BSC: Do you still source from New York? I would never ask for your sources, but I’m curious if you still pull from the East Coast or...

FM: We have dealers that source from everywhere, so potentially still New York. Like this one is from the T-shirt Gallery in New York. We don’t go to warehouses or rag houses. What we’re looking for is more ‘needle in a haystack’ type things, and they want you to buy a lot.

BSC: I know there’s like a minimum purchase.

FM: Right, and we basically buy one piece at a time. I mean, sometimes one of the guys will present us with a little group, but usually it’s one t-shirt at a time.

“In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.”

BSC: That could be your new slogan.
FM: Haha, very limited in our selection, and not that we have a ton of space, either. BSC: So it’s mainly t-shirts that you purchase then?

FM: There are some jeans, leather jackets, but we’re mainly known for t-shirts. In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

BSC: Very niche. So then, who’s your clientele, mainly? Vintage heads, celebrities, dressers or costumers in the industry?

FM: It’s all over the place. We definitely get celebrities, because this is a celeb spot now, but our clientele is a lot of vintage heads - the people that collect this stuff. Recently, we started getting more music and fashion industry people - but also the people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.

“The people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.”

BSC: You’re right off of Melrose Ave, so maybe it’s a little gentrified now?
FM: I think so, it seems to just be coming North, especially with the new coffee spots. BSC: Yeah, the blue bottle next door totally speaks to gentrification.

FM: Then we do the new shirts which are customized for bands, hotels, and different groups - which brings in advertising. People see the tag in the shirt and then come by. That creates relationships. A big seller is the Peyote one - that’s pretty iconic. What also sell really well are all these test prints for when we’re first designing a shirt. Testing the registration and all. So these are really cool and we’ll even do a drop every month or so; each one is a one of a kind print.

BSC: Do you silkscreen them yourselves?

FM: Yeah, we do, we use a printer right up the road, and we usually do a bunch of variations for each print - short and long sleeved, henley - so people have a couple of options. He does the art - both hand-drawn and collaged prints and then I usually work on the printing - well we both work on the printing.

BSC: And obviously besides repping your store, do your own clothes, the ones you wear, come from here?

FM: I mean I love shopping but I don't buy new stuff - there are enough clothes out in the world. I mean I could go to YSL and shop, but you wouldn’t find me at Free People, or something. Or Urban, or Anthropology - is Anthro even around? It’s too old, too bohemian Talbots for me. No, I prefer the actual old stuff! Those newer, wannabe boho stores are for moms.

BSC: My mom loves that store!

Squaresville
1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Squaresville was brought to my attention by my friend and TikTok star, Vienna Sky, who always hits their racks while in town. I’ve borne witness to some enviable finds, so I knew the trip was well worth my time. But there is nothing square about a store that is the rendezvous point of celebrities, TikTok stars, stylish, everyday people, and those who stumble in from the french bistro next door. The clientele are perfectly current and the clothes are perfectly vintage, which means you’ll leave with some perfectly curated pieces for your new-old closet.

I had the pleasure of speaking not only with the owner, Reiko Roberts about her store and deep love of vintage that brought it to fruition, but also to Brandon Walsh, who runs PR for Squaresville and talks shop with the best of them.

BSC: Can you tell me how you came up with ‘Squaresville’ as a name? Because I was walking around LA and I couldn’t figure it out based on building shape!

SV: So, Squaresville. When you’re opening a checking account for a new business, you have to have a name for it, even if you’re not going to use it - you call it a fictitious business name. Annyways, I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal - buyers, sellers, everyone. Kind of feels like they're getting a square deal? Plus, it was sort of a put down in the ‘50s and ‘60s - calling someone ‘square’, or ‘a square’ but then at the same time we wear/wore our parents' clothing? And that was and still is cool. So even though we think of our parents or older generations as clueless and straight, we still want their clothes whether they’re square or not.

“I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal.”

BSC: Oh so you mentioned you loved wearing the ‘40s/’50s to school - is this what you try to curate in ‘ville? It seemed like you have a more broad curation from what I saw on the racks and in speaking with your PR man, Brandon.

SV: I did start wearing vintage young, I was 12 or 13 years old. My mom kept boxes of her clothes in the basement and the stuff fit me as a teenager. Classic 1940s suits, kind of how the Pointer sisters were wearing them while also making vintage popular. My most iconic vintage moment had to be in middle school, and I remember it vividly, it was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I thought I was so cool, I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic. I really got into thrifting and vintage as the youngest of four, lots of hand-me-downs from my brothers and sister. New shoes, new underwear - obviously! - but a lot of ‘vintage’ too. There’s some of that 1940s stuff I liked to wear in the store, but really it goes all the way from the ‘30s to the ‘90s, even with a few late 18th or 19th-century pieces. Those we tend to price lower because we don’t want people trying them on, since they’re so fragile. Instead - impulse buy!

“My most iconic vintage moment was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic.”

BSC: Who tends to buy those pieces?

SV: Vintage heads, but regular people as well as pattern makers who are going to take them apart and remake them or people buying for the (tv & film) industry.

BSC: Who else tends to come into Squaresville the most? A lot of celeb clients, TikTokers, etc? That’s actually how I heard about you - from a friend of mine who does TikTok.

SV: I mean it’s LA, so naturally celebrities, but TikTok isn’t my generation, so I don’t usually know one from the next. My employees usually do, though, and say “that’s so and so” or “we just got mentioned by account xyz” so I do stay in the loop. I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.

“I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.”

BSC: No, of course, she and her little cursive insignia were the rage some twenty years ago. I remember clomping around in my mom’s JS heels feeling like hot shit. Is there a last bit of info you want to include here that we haven’t already discussed?

SV: Maybe just the fact that our store is entirely buy-sell-trade, meaning everything is brought to us, we don’t go out to source pieces for the store. The advantage there is that we have full say

over our curation, so if one day we spot a trend, we can immediately adjust our intake or what’s on the floor to reflect that. Also, so many people have been getting cancelled lately, so if we have to we can quickly take their stuff off of the floor since we generally know what we have. Like we had a couple of Marilyn Manson tees that we sold right before it started getting ‘worse’ and then pulled the rest of the stock.

Aralda
2691 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the expression ‘save the best for last’ or maybe it’s because I just wanted to hike the Hollywood Hills at dusk. Either way, the sun began to set over the small hut that is the hallmark of designer vintage as an equally powerful orange light shone through the egress windows. I’m greeted by four strongly orange walls with a blue ceiling rivaling the darkest skies. I take stock of me, my photographer, Brynn’s assistant, Sara, and Vanessa Hudgens. The store’s almost closed, so the four of us have the run of the place.

Aralda’s owner, ex-model and vintage influencer Brynn Jones told me to try on anything, and ‘have fun’ with her exquisite curation. And once Hudgens finished picking out her pre-Oscar party dresses, I began to pile high my wildest Dior and Chanel dreams. Chanel wellies, pink and blue Dior ski sunglasses, a Versace safety-pin dress. Reverently, I grab the Lacroix holy cross sweater off the rack, my Anna Wintour cut never more fitting.

Brynn: It’s an insane piece that’s so hard to find, so I think about keeping that one all the time. It’s not the exact piece from the cover, it’s the ready-to-wear version.

BSC: Oh I mean, it would be so hard for me to part with stuff. I’d want to try everything on, and then wear it and bring it back. But I know that’s impractical.

Aralda: Yeah. I mean, it's so funny, because people do say, ‘how do you part with all of this?’ but actually the whole shop is filled with a sort of alter ego of mine. I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives because there are people who do wear those types of clothes.

“I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives.”

BSC: No, totally, and it’s funny because I was actually going to ask you about your personal aesthetic since I know that sometimes when a store is being curated, that personal style almost curates the store itself - but I guess that’s not really the case at Aralda?

Aralda: Yeah, I'm very particular about the pieces I've sourced and I'm really, really into fun, exciting pieces. Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices. I love to keep it eclectic in there. But because I personally dress

a lot more simply from day to day, I also try to have options like a beautifully tailored black coat or a little black dress, so I do try to keep staples sprinkled in throughout the store. I want people to find that dress they’ll keep forever or that coat they’re going to wear all winter long.

“Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices.”

BSC: Right? So that way, if they're spending that much on a vintage designer piece they can be practical too; they don't just have to get something that's insane that they'd only wear a few times - or even buy it to just have it, without ever even wearing it..

Aralda: We do have a lot of collectors come in and it's just going in their collection/archive or whatever. But honestly, the things that I have such a hard time parting with, which is why you didn't see any, are vintage T-shirts. I basically wear one every day - a vintage band tee with jeans or baggy pants. And so every time I’m sourcing for the store, and I find that Smashing Pumpkins shirt, I have to keep it. I actually have a collection in storage. And I've been working on opening a new store for almost a year but just recently made the difficult decision not to open it for various reasons. But anyways, it was going to be the store that had all kinds of non-designer and lots of T-shirts. But now I just have all these still sitting in storage so I might do an online drop or something. Since it’s such a nice little collection - I’d like to release them all together. Right now, I’m just waiting for a special occasion to release them into the world. I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.

“I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.”


BSC:
You definitely have an eclectic clientele. I’ve seen a bunch of teen girls pulling platform Jacobs for a party and then obviously Vanessa Hudgens was in there pulling for the Oscars, which was interesting to see. But you’ve curated a whole experience with the beautiful interior space, and you’ve elevated the shopping experience by just having a brick and mortar versus an online selection.

Aralda: Well I totally redid the space with my good friend Natalie Ziering who is a production designer. She does amazing site design work and she has a similar eye, so I knew that she would be on the same page as me. We played around with color and wallpapers, and then she helped me source some of the pieces like the little couch, which we upholstered, and also the front desk, which was vintage and needed to be restained. Inexpensive and fun.

As for the curated experience, it's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on as opposed to just going online. Eventually, we'll have the digital world dialed in as well, but brick and mortar is my main focus for now.

“It's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on.”

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
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Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

FASHION & BEAUTY

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Filth Mart
1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

I started at Filth Mart at the behest of my editor. The name doesn’t do the very selective curation of (very clean) vintage band and custom printed t-shirts justice. The owners Mike Sportes and Maggie Fox have built their store one tee at a time, beginning in the east village in the late ‘90s, and 25 years later, they’re still in the business, only now across the country.

BSC: I wonder how much the village has changed since you left. What did they even have there in the ‘90s - was St. Dymphnas around then? In Saint Marks?

FM: It’s still there?
BSC: Yeah, it’s still there. How long did you keep shop in the village?
FM: Seven years.
BSC: So it’s safe to say you’ve been in the business for more than a few years. You know your way around. Wait, that’s 25 years?

FM: Wait what? Yeah.
BSC: Are you going to do anything to celebrate the anniversary, or?

FM: I mean we just realized it! So. Just now. Better get planning. It’s in September, right (to Mike)? We’ll be in Marfa.

BSC: That sounds like a great way to spend your anniversary. Do you guys ever take your stock out on the road? Trade shows, vintage shows or something?

MF: Well yeah that’s what I was just saying about Marfa, there’s only one thing we really do. Every year we go to a music festival in Marfa, it’s around the last weekend of September. Very cute, very curated - like 1200 people - so it’s not some insane festival, it’s arty and curated with a really nice vendor circle. The place is called El Cosmico and it’s basically a campsite with yurts and teepees and a couple of Airstreams.

BSC: For those wanting to glamp more than camp - like a bougie Airstream?

FM: Like a bougie airstream! But it’s all really fun. It’s usually a long weekend, and we close here and basically make a store out there. We usually rent a sprinter-type van, or a big Mercedes van. But we stay in the Airstream, we’re some of those bougie ones. Don’t need to spread tents on the ground, we take our dogs and our son, and we’ve been doing it now for about 11 years.

BSC: Do you still source from New York? I would never ask for your sources, but I’m curious if you still pull from the East Coast or...

FM: We have dealers that source from everywhere, so potentially still New York. Like this one is from the T-shirt Gallery in New York. We don’t go to warehouses or rag houses. What we’re looking for is more ‘needle in a haystack’ type things, and they want you to buy a lot.

BSC: I know there’s like a minimum purchase.

FM: Right, and we basically buy one piece at a time. I mean, sometimes one of the guys will present us with a little group, but usually it’s one t-shirt at a time.

“In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.”

BSC: That could be your new slogan.
FM: Haha, very limited in our selection, and not that we have a ton of space, either. BSC: So it’s mainly t-shirts that you purchase then?

FM: There are some jeans, leather jackets, but we’re mainly known for t-shirts. In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

BSC: Very niche. So then, who’s your clientele, mainly? Vintage heads, celebrities, dressers or costumers in the industry?

FM: It’s all over the place. We definitely get celebrities, because this is a celeb spot now, but our clientele is a lot of vintage heads - the people that collect this stuff. Recently, we started getting more music and fashion industry people - but also the people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.

“The people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.”

BSC: You’re right off of Melrose Ave, so maybe it’s a little gentrified now?
FM: I think so, it seems to just be coming North, especially with the new coffee spots. BSC: Yeah, the blue bottle next door totally speaks to gentrification.

FM: Then we do the new shirts which are customized for bands, hotels, and different groups - which brings in advertising. People see the tag in the shirt and then come by. That creates relationships. A big seller is the Peyote one - that’s pretty iconic. What also sell really well are all these test prints for when we’re first designing a shirt. Testing the registration and all. So these are really cool and we’ll even do a drop every month or so; each one is a one of a kind print.

BSC: Do you silkscreen them yourselves?

FM: Yeah, we do, we use a printer right up the road, and we usually do a bunch of variations for each print - short and long sleeved, henley - so people have a couple of options. He does the art - both hand-drawn and collaged prints and then I usually work on the printing - well we both work on the printing.

BSC: And obviously besides repping your store, do your own clothes, the ones you wear, come from here?

FM: I mean I love shopping but I don't buy new stuff - there are enough clothes out in the world. I mean I could go to YSL and shop, but you wouldn’t find me at Free People, or something. Or Urban, or Anthropology - is Anthro even around? It’s too old, too bohemian Talbots for me. No, I prefer the actual old stuff! Those newer, wannabe boho stores are for moms.

BSC: My mom loves that store!

Squaresville
1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Squaresville was brought to my attention by my friend and TikTok star, Vienna Sky, who always hits their racks while in town. I’ve borne witness to some enviable finds, so I knew the trip was well worth my time. But there is nothing square about a store that is the rendezvous point of celebrities, TikTok stars, stylish, everyday people, and those who stumble in from the french bistro next door. The clientele are perfectly current and the clothes are perfectly vintage, which means you’ll leave with some perfectly curated pieces for your new-old closet.

I had the pleasure of speaking not only with the owner, Reiko Roberts about her store and deep love of vintage that brought it to fruition, but also to Brandon Walsh, who runs PR for Squaresville and talks shop with the best of them.

BSC: Can you tell me how you came up with ‘Squaresville’ as a name? Because I was walking around LA and I couldn’t figure it out based on building shape!

SV: So, Squaresville. When you’re opening a checking account for a new business, you have to have a name for it, even if you’re not going to use it - you call it a fictitious business name. Annyways, I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal - buyers, sellers, everyone. Kind of feels like they're getting a square deal? Plus, it was sort of a put down in the ‘50s and ‘60s - calling someone ‘square’, or ‘a square’ but then at the same time we wear/wore our parents' clothing? And that was and still is cool. So even though we think of our parents or older generations as clueless and straight, we still want their clothes whether they’re square or not.

“I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal.”

BSC: Oh so you mentioned you loved wearing the ‘40s/’50s to school - is this what you try to curate in ‘ville? It seemed like you have a more broad curation from what I saw on the racks and in speaking with your PR man, Brandon.

SV: I did start wearing vintage young, I was 12 or 13 years old. My mom kept boxes of her clothes in the basement and the stuff fit me as a teenager. Classic 1940s suits, kind of how the Pointer sisters were wearing them while also making vintage popular. My most iconic vintage moment had to be in middle school, and I remember it vividly, it was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I thought I was so cool, I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic. I really got into thrifting and vintage as the youngest of four, lots of hand-me-downs from my brothers and sister. New shoes, new underwear - obviously! - but a lot of ‘vintage’ too. There’s some of that 1940s stuff I liked to wear in the store, but really it goes all the way from the ‘30s to the ‘90s, even with a few late 18th or 19th-century pieces. Those we tend to price lower because we don’t want people trying them on, since they’re so fragile. Instead - impulse buy!

“My most iconic vintage moment was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic.”

BSC: Who tends to buy those pieces?

SV: Vintage heads, but regular people as well as pattern makers who are going to take them apart and remake them or people buying for the (tv & film) industry.

BSC: Who else tends to come into Squaresville the most? A lot of celeb clients, TikTokers, etc? That’s actually how I heard about you - from a friend of mine who does TikTok.

SV: I mean it’s LA, so naturally celebrities, but TikTok isn’t my generation, so I don’t usually know one from the next. My employees usually do, though, and say “that’s so and so” or “we just got mentioned by account xyz” so I do stay in the loop. I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.

“I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.”

BSC: No, of course, she and her little cursive insignia were the rage some twenty years ago. I remember clomping around in my mom’s JS heels feeling like hot shit. Is there a last bit of info you want to include here that we haven’t already discussed?

SV: Maybe just the fact that our store is entirely buy-sell-trade, meaning everything is brought to us, we don’t go out to source pieces for the store. The advantage there is that we have full say

over our curation, so if one day we spot a trend, we can immediately adjust our intake or what’s on the floor to reflect that. Also, so many people have been getting cancelled lately, so if we have to we can quickly take their stuff off of the floor since we generally know what we have. Like we had a couple of Marilyn Manson tees that we sold right before it started getting ‘worse’ and then pulled the rest of the stock.

Aralda
2691 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the expression ‘save the best for last’ or maybe it’s because I just wanted to hike the Hollywood Hills at dusk. Either way, the sun began to set over the small hut that is the hallmark of designer vintage as an equally powerful orange light shone through the egress windows. I’m greeted by four strongly orange walls with a blue ceiling rivaling the darkest skies. I take stock of me, my photographer, Brynn’s assistant, Sara, and Vanessa Hudgens. The store’s almost closed, so the four of us have the run of the place.

Aralda’s owner, ex-model and vintage influencer Brynn Jones told me to try on anything, and ‘have fun’ with her exquisite curation. And once Hudgens finished picking out her pre-Oscar party dresses, I began to pile high my wildest Dior and Chanel dreams. Chanel wellies, pink and blue Dior ski sunglasses, a Versace safety-pin dress. Reverently, I grab the Lacroix holy cross sweater off the rack, my Anna Wintour cut never more fitting.

Brynn: It’s an insane piece that’s so hard to find, so I think about keeping that one all the time. It’s not the exact piece from the cover, it’s the ready-to-wear version.

BSC: Oh I mean, it would be so hard for me to part with stuff. I’d want to try everything on, and then wear it and bring it back. But I know that’s impractical.

Aralda: Yeah. I mean, it's so funny, because people do say, ‘how do you part with all of this?’ but actually the whole shop is filled with a sort of alter ego of mine. I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives because there are people who do wear those types of clothes.

“I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives.”

BSC: No, totally, and it’s funny because I was actually going to ask you about your personal aesthetic since I know that sometimes when a store is being curated, that personal style almost curates the store itself - but I guess that’s not really the case at Aralda?

Aralda: Yeah, I'm very particular about the pieces I've sourced and I'm really, really into fun, exciting pieces. Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices. I love to keep it eclectic in there. But because I personally dress

a lot more simply from day to day, I also try to have options like a beautifully tailored black coat or a little black dress, so I do try to keep staples sprinkled in throughout the store. I want people to find that dress they’ll keep forever or that coat they’re going to wear all winter long.

“Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices.”

BSC: Right? So that way, if they're spending that much on a vintage designer piece they can be practical too; they don't just have to get something that's insane that they'd only wear a few times - or even buy it to just have it, without ever even wearing it..

Aralda: We do have a lot of collectors come in and it's just going in their collection/archive or whatever. But honestly, the things that I have such a hard time parting with, which is why you didn't see any, are vintage T-shirts. I basically wear one every day - a vintage band tee with jeans or baggy pants. And so every time I’m sourcing for the store, and I find that Smashing Pumpkins shirt, I have to keep it. I actually have a collection in storage. And I've been working on opening a new store for almost a year but just recently made the difficult decision not to open it for various reasons. But anyways, it was going to be the store that had all kinds of non-designer and lots of T-shirts. But now I just have all these still sitting in storage so I might do an online drop or something. Since it’s such a nice little collection - I’d like to release them all together. Right now, I’m just waiting for a special occasion to release them into the world. I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.

“I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.”


BSC:
You definitely have an eclectic clientele. I’ve seen a bunch of teen girls pulling platform Jacobs for a party and then obviously Vanessa Hudgens was in there pulling for the Oscars, which was interesting to see. But you’ve curated a whole experience with the beautiful interior space, and you’ve elevated the shopping experience by just having a brick and mortar versus an online selection.

Aralda: Well I totally redid the space with my good friend Natalie Ziering who is a production designer. She does amazing site design work and she has a similar eye, so I knew that she would be on the same page as me. We played around with color and wallpapers, and then she helped me source some of the pieces like the little couch, which we upholstered, and also the front desk, which was vintage and needed to be restained. Inexpensive and fun.

As for the curated experience, it's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on as opposed to just going online. Eventually, we'll have the digital world dialed in as well, but brick and mortar is my main focus for now.

“It's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on.”

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

Los Angeles: The Allure Of Western Vintage

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

There are excellent vintage stores in this city, New York City, to be sure, and a wealth of fashion for any stylish wannabe. But East Coast fashion is runway, it’s couture, it’s new age - it’s not vintage. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of options here for people getting their thrift on, embracing sustainability and upcycling while staring at Union Square’s daily doomsday reminder, but at the end of the day it’s a new age city.

Almost all of my clothes are vintage, living out their past lives well into the 21st Century, making me feel semi-sustainable as my (vintage) Chanel wallet loses its contents for the sake of fellow classic items. But when I begin to think of the word ‘vintage’ I see lace and fraying denim, buttery, worn-in leather, old Hollywood starlet dresses, and a holy grail of David Bowie T-shirts. This then takes me out west, where sun-bleached jeans are the norm, not a ‘steal’, and an old prairie dress is not half difficult to find.

To think of fashion in a context other than the newest spring or fall season immediately makes it more accessible, opening up the mind to the bigger picture that lies outside the confines of one particular city. In this case, I am specifically talking about Los Angeles because what says vintage more than old Hollywood glamor, the Rose Bowl Flea, and the countless stores lining Melrose, Vermont, and Sunset Blvd?

Each store represented in this piece was chosen specifically for their appeal to a particular clientele, each of which represent the diversity of LA style and reflect an ever-evolving clientele - celebrity, Dead Head, influencer, and overall vintage junkie. To me, these spell out the wide range of styles only found in the OC.

Filth Mart
1038 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

I started at Filth Mart at the behest of my editor. The name doesn’t do the very selective curation of (very clean) vintage band and custom printed t-shirts justice. The owners Mike Sportes and Maggie Fox have built their store one tee at a time, beginning in the east village in the late ‘90s, and 25 years later, they’re still in the business, only now across the country.

BSC: I wonder how much the village has changed since you left. What did they even have there in the ‘90s - was St. Dymphnas around then? In Saint Marks?

FM: It’s still there?
BSC: Yeah, it’s still there. How long did you keep shop in the village?
FM: Seven years.
BSC: So it’s safe to say you’ve been in the business for more than a few years. You know your way around. Wait, that’s 25 years?

FM: Wait what? Yeah.
BSC: Are you going to do anything to celebrate the anniversary, or?

FM: I mean we just realized it! So. Just now. Better get planning. It’s in September, right (to Mike)? We’ll be in Marfa.

BSC: That sounds like a great way to spend your anniversary. Do you guys ever take your stock out on the road? Trade shows, vintage shows or something?

MF: Well yeah that’s what I was just saying about Marfa, there’s only one thing we really do. Every year we go to a music festival in Marfa, it’s around the last weekend of September. Very cute, very curated - like 1200 people - so it’s not some insane festival, it’s arty and curated with a really nice vendor circle. The place is called El Cosmico and it’s basically a campsite with yurts and teepees and a couple of Airstreams.

BSC: For those wanting to glamp more than camp - like a bougie Airstream?

FM: Like a bougie airstream! But it’s all really fun. It’s usually a long weekend, and we close here and basically make a store out there. We usually rent a sprinter-type van, or a big Mercedes van. But we stay in the Airstream, we’re some of those bougie ones. Don’t need to spread tents on the ground, we take our dogs and our son, and we’ve been doing it now for about 11 years.

BSC: Do you still source from New York? I would never ask for your sources, but I’m curious if you still pull from the East Coast or...

FM: We have dealers that source from everywhere, so potentially still New York. Like this one is from the T-shirt Gallery in New York. We don’t go to warehouses or rag houses. What we’re looking for is more ‘needle in a haystack’ type things, and they want you to buy a lot.

BSC: I know there’s like a minimum purchase.

FM: Right, and we basically buy one piece at a time. I mean, sometimes one of the guys will present us with a little group, but usually it’s one t-shirt at a time.

“In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.”

BSC: That could be your new slogan.
FM: Haha, very limited in our selection, and not that we have a ton of space, either. BSC: So it’s mainly t-shirts that you purchase then?

FM: There are some jeans, leather jackets, but we’re mainly known for t-shirts. In vintage it’s hard to do everything if you want to do it well or high end. The jeans are so expensive, and the tees are so expensive, you have to pick. If you want the cream of the crop, you pick a category.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

And people that come in can’t get these shirts, they’re pretty inaccessible. I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much money to acquire them, but that’s what they cost.

BSC: Very niche. So then, who’s your clientele, mainly? Vintage heads, celebrities, dressers or costumers in the industry?

FM: It’s all over the place. We definitely get celebrities, because this is a celeb spot now, but our clientele is a lot of vintage heads - the people that collect this stuff. Recently, we started getting more music and fashion industry people - but also the people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.

“The people who shop down the street at Supreme are now coming into FIlthmart, and that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve always pulled the cool young crowd, but now more than ever.”

BSC: You’re right off of Melrose Ave, so maybe it’s a little gentrified now?
FM: I think so, it seems to just be coming North, especially with the new coffee spots. BSC: Yeah, the blue bottle next door totally speaks to gentrification.

FM: Then we do the new shirts which are customized for bands, hotels, and different groups - which brings in advertising. People see the tag in the shirt and then come by. That creates relationships. A big seller is the Peyote one - that’s pretty iconic. What also sell really well are all these test prints for when we’re first designing a shirt. Testing the registration and all. So these are really cool and we’ll even do a drop every month or so; each one is a one of a kind print.

BSC: Do you silkscreen them yourselves?

FM: Yeah, we do, we use a printer right up the road, and we usually do a bunch of variations for each print - short and long sleeved, henley - so people have a couple of options. He does the art - both hand-drawn and collaged prints and then I usually work on the printing - well we both work on the printing.

BSC: And obviously besides repping your store, do your own clothes, the ones you wear, come from here?

FM: I mean I love shopping but I don't buy new stuff - there are enough clothes out in the world. I mean I could go to YSL and shop, but you wouldn’t find me at Free People, or something. Or Urban, or Anthropology - is Anthro even around? It’s too old, too bohemian Talbots for me. No, I prefer the actual old stuff! Those newer, wannabe boho stores are for moms.

BSC: My mom loves that store!

Squaresville
1800 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Squaresville was brought to my attention by my friend and TikTok star, Vienna Sky, who always hits their racks while in town. I’ve borne witness to some enviable finds, so I knew the trip was well worth my time. But there is nothing square about a store that is the rendezvous point of celebrities, TikTok stars, stylish, everyday people, and those who stumble in from the french bistro next door. The clientele are perfectly current and the clothes are perfectly vintage, which means you’ll leave with some perfectly curated pieces for your new-old closet.

I had the pleasure of speaking not only with the owner, Reiko Roberts about her store and deep love of vintage that brought it to fruition, but also to Brandon Walsh, who runs PR for Squaresville and talks shop with the best of them.

BSC: Can you tell me how you came up with ‘Squaresville’ as a name? Because I was walking around LA and I couldn’t figure it out based on building shape!

SV: So, Squaresville. When you’re opening a checking account for a new business, you have to have a name for it, even if you’re not going to use it - you call it a fictitious business name. Annyways, I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal - buyers, sellers, everyone. Kind of feels like they're getting a square deal? Plus, it was sort of a put down in the ‘50s and ‘60s - calling someone ‘square’, or ‘a square’ but then at the same time we wear/wore our parents' clothing? And that was and still is cool. So even though we think of our parents or older generations as clueless and straight, we still want their clothes whether they’re square or not.

“I had been looking through a book of old photos from the Depression era and there was this one picture of a fruit stand with a sign something like ‘square deal fruits’ or ‘get a square deal.’ I took that and used it because I created the store wanting everyone to get a square deal.”

BSC: Oh so you mentioned you loved wearing the ‘40s/’50s to school - is this what you try to curate in ‘ville? It seemed like you have a more broad curation from what I saw on the racks and in speaking with your PR man, Brandon.

SV: I did start wearing vintage young, I was 12 or 13 years old. My mom kept boxes of her clothes in the basement and the stuff fit me as a teenager. Classic 1940s suits, kind of how the Pointer sisters were wearing them while also making vintage popular. My most iconic vintage moment had to be in middle school, and I remember it vividly, it was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I thought I was so cool, I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic. I really got into thrifting and vintage as the youngest of four, lots of hand-me-downs from my brothers and sister. New shoes, new underwear - obviously! - but a lot of ‘vintage’ too. There’s some of that 1940s stuff I liked to wear in the store, but really it goes all the way from the ‘30s to the ‘90s, even with a few late 18th or 19th-century pieces. Those we tend to price lower because we don’t want people trying them on, since they’re so fragile. Instead - impulse buy!

“My most iconic vintage moment was this purple outfit with purple velvet hot pants, a crochet vest, a fox fur coat and really chunky purple platforms complete with purple stockings. I mean I got laughed at, but I thought I looked fantastic.”

BSC: Who tends to buy those pieces?

SV: Vintage heads, but regular people as well as pattern makers who are going to take them apart and remake them or people buying for the (tv & film) industry.

BSC: Who else tends to come into Squaresville the most? A lot of celeb clients, TikTokers, etc? That’s actually how I heard about you - from a friend of mine who does TikTok.

SV: I mean it’s LA, so naturally celebrities, but TikTok isn’t my generation, so I don’t usually know one from the next. My employees usually do, though, and say “that’s so and so” or “we just got mentioned by account xyz” so I do stay in the loop. I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.

“I remember vividly Jessica Simpson came in with her hairdresser and platinum AmEx card back in the ‘90s, but she was so iconic then.”

BSC: No, of course, she and her little cursive insignia were the rage some twenty years ago. I remember clomping around in my mom’s JS heels feeling like hot shit. Is there a last bit of info you want to include here that we haven’t already discussed?

SV: Maybe just the fact that our store is entirely buy-sell-trade, meaning everything is brought to us, we don’t go out to source pieces for the store. The advantage there is that we have full say

over our curation, so if one day we spot a trend, we can immediately adjust our intake or what’s on the floor to reflect that. Also, so many people have been getting cancelled lately, so if we have to we can quickly take their stuff off of the floor since we generally know what we have. Like we had a couple of Marilyn Manson tees that we sold right before it started getting ‘worse’ and then pulled the rest of the stock.

Aralda
2691 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the expression ‘save the best for last’ or maybe it’s because I just wanted to hike the Hollywood Hills at dusk. Either way, the sun began to set over the small hut that is the hallmark of designer vintage as an equally powerful orange light shone through the egress windows. I’m greeted by four strongly orange walls with a blue ceiling rivaling the darkest skies. I take stock of me, my photographer, Brynn’s assistant, Sara, and Vanessa Hudgens. The store’s almost closed, so the four of us have the run of the place.

Aralda’s owner, ex-model and vintage influencer Brynn Jones told me to try on anything, and ‘have fun’ with her exquisite curation. And once Hudgens finished picking out her pre-Oscar party dresses, I began to pile high my wildest Dior and Chanel dreams. Chanel wellies, pink and blue Dior ski sunglasses, a Versace safety-pin dress. Reverently, I grab the Lacroix holy cross sweater off the rack, my Anna Wintour cut never more fitting.

Brynn: It’s an insane piece that’s so hard to find, so I think about keeping that one all the time. It’s not the exact piece from the cover, it’s the ready-to-wear version.

BSC: Oh I mean, it would be so hard for me to part with stuff. I’d want to try everything on, and then wear it and bring it back. But I know that’s impractical.

Aralda: Yeah. I mean, it's so funny, because people do say, ‘how do you part with all of this?’ but actually the whole shop is filled with a sort of alter ego of mine. I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives because there are people who do wear those types of clothes.

“I don't dress in those types of clothes at all but I'm kind of living out a fantasy, right? Being able to source them and help them find new lives.”

BSC: No, totally, and it’s funny because I was actually going to ask you about your personal aesthetic since I know that sometimes when a store is being curated, that personal style almost curates the store itself - but I guess that’s not really the case at Aralda?

Aralda: Yeah, I'm very particular about the pieces I've sourced and I'm really, really into fun, exciting pieces. Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices. I love to keep it eclectic in there. But because I personally dress

a lot more simply from day to day, I also try to have options like a beautifully tailored black coat or a little black dress, so I do try to keep staples sprinkled in throughout the store. I want people to find that dress they’ll keep forever or that coat they’re going to wear all winter long.

“Whether the shape is really special, the pattern is bold, or the embellishment is superb, it's driving my choices.”

BSC: Right? So that way, if they're spending that much on a vintage designer piece they can be practical too; they don't just have to get something that's insane that they'd only wear a few times - or even buy it to just have it, without ever even wearing it..

Aralda: We do have a lot of collectors come in and it's just going in their collection/archive or whatever. But honestly, the things that I have such a hard time parting with, which is why you didn't see any, are vintage T-shirts. I basically wear one every day - a vintage band tee with jeans or baggy pants. And so every time I’m sourcing for the store, and I find that Smashing Pumpkins shirt, I have to keep it. I actually have a collection in storage. And I've been working on opening a new store for almost a year but just recently made the difficult decision not to open it for various reasons. But anyways, it was going to be the store that had all kinds of non-designer and lots of T-shirts. But now I just have all these still sitting in storage so I might do an online drop or something. Since it’s such a nice little collection - I’d like to release them all together. Right now, I’m just waiting for a special occasion to release them into the world. I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.

“I'm not going to turn something down if it's really beautiful just because it's not designer.”


BSC:
You definitely have an eclectic clientele. I’ve seen a bunch of teen girls pulling platform Jacobs for a party and then obviously Vanessa Hudgens was in there pulling for the Oscars, which was interesting to see. But you’ve curated a whole experience with the beautiful interior space, and you’ve elevated the shopping experience by just having a brick and mortar versus an online selection.

Aralda: Well I totally redid the space with my good friend Natalie Ziering who is a production designer. She does amazing site design work and she has a similar eye, so I knew that she would be on the same page as me. We played around with color and wallpapers, and then she helped me source some of the pieces like the little couch, which we upholstered, and also the front desk, which was vintage and needed to be restained. Inexpensive and fun.

As for the curated experience, it's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on as opposed to just going online. Eventually, we'll have the digital world dialed in as well, but brick and mortar is my main focus for now.

“It's fun to actually go somewhere and treat yourself to the experience of just looking at everything and trying it on.”

Text: Camille Bavera

Photo: Jenn Kang

`Copy Editor: Kerry Shaw

Special thanks to Filth Mart, Squaresville, Aralda

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