No Rent, No Problem For A New Crop Of Miami Vintage Clothing Shops
The rising costs of commercial real estate throughout Miami-Dade County means fewer choices for would-be independent retailers. See, for instance, the full mall-ification of Lincoln Road, and the sweep of new high-end luxury retail through the Design District. Small-business proprietors are even starting to move out of Wynwood’s main drag; punky street fashion boutique the Kult, to name one, recently closed up shop off NW 2nd Ave. to look for new digs.
But throughout Wynwood and beyond, young, creative businesspeople are getting around that through the phenomenon of the pop-up market, night-time flea-style strips of artisans, food vendors, d.i.y. fashion designers, and more. But one particular segment that’s slowly and markedly growing is that of the pop-up vintage clothing dealer.
Only a few brick-and-mortar vintage clothing stores have truly prospered in Miami, and many focus on higher-end goods, like Fly Boutique or C. Madeleine’s, to name a couple. At the pop-up shops, though, resellers curate collections that are more affordable and perhaps more everyday appealing to the average funemployed boho.
“The dream is certainly to open up a space of our own, but pop-ups really offer a great alternative for someone like us just getting things going,” says Vanessa Haim, owner of online and pop-up shop Dopedoll Vintage. “Even the more veteran sellers I know have a pop-up presence; it’s the perfect place to put a face to the name!”
Popping up at temporary, one-off locations from concerts to group art shows to bars, check out some of these shops for everything from vintage band shirts to psych-rock-style fringed leather jackets. Here’s a guide to five shops currently selling around town; feel free to share more in the comments.
The Look: Rock and roll with both a slightly gothy and glamorous bent. “Dopedoll was my blog name. I was influenced from reading vintage ‘50s and ‘60s paperback drug novels and their cover art, so I take a lot of the styling from that era — pin up & rock-a-billy fashion,” says owner Vanessa Haim. “I don't like to stay too confined to just one look; I have lots of other era finds. The overall image of Dopedoll: a model of a human being that is cool, fresh, or trendy.”
Unique Buys: Besides dresses and tops that fit that aesthetic outlined above, Dopedoll stocks a quickly changing selection of unique shoes, as well as plenty of handmade jewelry to accessorize everything else.
Where to Find: Friday night, July 19 at the Vagabond for a party thrown by local blog Tropicult. Visit facebook.com/Dopedollvintage for full details.
Hustle Rose Vintage
The Look: A little bit of bygone, sun-bleached South Florida — there are a bunch of ‘70s wrap dresses and crop tops here, but all with a decidedly feminine, almost prim and proper look. Nearly everything is hot weather-friendly and slyly innocent-looking.
Unique Buys: Hustle Rose is known on the local crafty scene for its Florida-themed rings, repurposing old buttons, souvenirs, and trinkets into wearable finger art. This shop also offers a fun selection of vintage housewares.
Where To Find: This one’s technically based in Fort Lauderdale, but you can find Hustle Rose pop-ups at Wynwood hot spots like Gramps. Check etsy.com/shop/hustlerosevintage or @hustlerosevintage on Instagram for upcoming pop-up dates.
Total Recall Vintage
The Look: Owners Christine Bourie and Patrick DeCarlo self-describe their look as “cyber-punk” and “electro glam.” Think retro-futurism as filtered through the ‘80s and early ‘90s, mixed with tough-girl vintage sports memorabilia and plenty of body-conscious selections throughout. Come here if you like mesh shirts, cutoff shorts, bustiers, and the kind of old gems that popular national online retailers like Nasty Gal try to recreate.
Unique Buys: Scads of ‘80s and ‘90s basketball and baseball shirts, repurposed to flatter a female silhouette; cocaine-glam bodysuits and cocktail dresses
Where to Find: totalrecallvintage.com; check there for upcoming pop-up dates
Nic Fit Vintage
The Look: This is one of the few shops that offers just as many options for men as well as women. For the guys, think racks on racks of hard-to-find vintage band shirts, along with street wear and a range of limited-edition Starter jackets and snap-back hats. For women, think a a very of-the-moment style of revivalism: the ‘90s. “We love that era — the music, the culture, the fashion (well, some of it),” says Nicole Hoffecker, who co-owns Nic Fit with partner Sergio Aguila. “Another decade that surely influences us daily is the ‘70s: paisley, bell bottoms, the music, velvet, and so on.”
Unique Buys: For women, a selection of caftans and kimonos. “For men, right now it’s vintage Miami Heat gear; jackets, t-shirts, snapbacks from the early ‘90s. They've always had the best logo in the NBA,” says Aguila.
Where to Find: NicFitVintage.com, and this Saturday night’s Wynwood Art Walk, at Style Market Miami at the intersection of NW 2nd Ave. and NW 23rd St.
The Look: A grab-bag of men’s and women’s apparel from across the decades. This pop-up is the handiwork of Jason Jimenez, co-owner of Sweat Records, blogger, event promoter, and all-around guy about town. The women’s stock comes from the late-‘00s liquidation of Rag Trade, a now-defunct store that sold gently worn new and vintage clothing in Morningside. The rest comes from Jimenez’s own admitted personal borderline hoarding over the years, in an attempt to make room and downsize for a recent move.
Unique Buys: Funky, shiny, floor-length maxi dresses from the late ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, for $30 or much less; baby carriages, art books, vintage furniture, and more
Where to Find: For now, by appointment in Miami’s Upper Eastside. Call Jimenez at 305-302-8053, or e-mail email@example.com