Jill Stuart: Swankiest Vintage in New York

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As I was researching this story, I became more and more amazed that no one has really covered this lesser-known vintage enclave. Of course, BlackBook covered Jill and her daughter Alexandra Richards, touching on their love of vintage, but no mention of the genius vintage collection actually housed and for sale in the Jill Stuart stores. I am a huge Jill Stuart fan and own at least six of her fabulously girly frocks. I have always shopped the Soho store and was beyond excited when she opened her jewel of a venue in East Hampton a couple of years ago. It was out East that I started to truly appreciate Stuart’s amazing eye not only for relevant designer name vintage, but also for non-branded, must-have lace and crocheted pieces. I started to make frequent trips to the Soho store this fall, not only because I covet the brand, but also because I adore the vintage collection and the truly swanky environment it inhabits.

The Soho store has a brilliant lower level dedicated solely to some of the most well-selected vintage treasures in Manhattan. Sure, you’ll find the perfect mix of requisite labels like Chloe et al, but the best finds are the unknown or non-branded pieces. I must have tried on 20 pieces on my last visit, as each was better than the last. I was breathless over the LBD offering. Girls, if you need that perfect black dress for day of for evening, this is the best place in town to find it. From the perfect Balenciage-esque power dress to frilly lace showstoppers, you can’t go wrong. The vintage is accessible and relevant, so even a newbie will shop with ease.

Now for the swank. Most vintage stores are a little dusty, a little musty, a little makeshift. Not this one. As you walk down the staircase at the store’s entrance, you notice a golden glow emanating from a gorgeous, grand chandelier. The space is warm and posh — a dramatic departure from the white, clean, modern retail spaces we have grown so accustomed to. It feels like you might be shopping in someone’s private dressing room, in some historic apartment on Park Avenue. The space isn’t garish or over-designed; it’s simply luxe, inviting, and a welcome change from a typical vintage shopping experience. The clothes are always the focus, and everything is beautifully displayed. Since the vintage level appears to be semi-undiscovered, you might even get lucky and have the entire space to yourself.