Vintage fashion comes to Crown Heights

Vintage Shaun, the collective of affordable vintage fashion for men and women will be coming to Crown Heights, Brooklyn for a Pop up Shop the weekend of April 11 – 12. Founder and Crown Heights native Shaunya Hartley, is excited to kick off a Pop Up Shop in the neighborhood she has called home all her life.

Hartley’s passion for vintage clothing and encyclopedic knowledge of styles and eras has garnered a dedicated cult like following of a young and influential clientele keeping with the saying “Vintage is the New Black.”

Taking place at the Independent Runway Boutique located at 267 Kingston Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y., the two-day pop up shop will showcase a highly curated edition of fashion forward and trendy collection of vintage clothing, very reflective of what was seen on the runways a few months ago.

Unlike, most contemporary brands, Vintage Shaun comprises recycled clothing and textiles, which are an excellent tie-in as Earth Day comes around later this month. As Hartley describes it, “Vintage Shaun is a collection of well edited and curated pieces that have decades of age to them. It is my passion. I have been a collector of vintage clothing for over 20 years and Vintage Shaun is how I bring that passion to the public.”

She described how she found her inspiration to start the Vintage Shaun Pop Up Shop in Brooklyn saying, “The Pop Up Shop came into being after working the business online and people telling me that they didn’t want to just buy one piece behind a computer screen. They wanted the personal experience of actually coming in and shopping with me.

“Usually, you go into a clothing store and the music is loud, the salespeople are kind of rude and you just end up spending your money. I wanted to bring a different experience where you come in, the music is soft and low, there is someone who is knowledgeable about the product and is there to help and you can even get a little cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage.”

Hartley in explaing her passion for vintage clothing said, “It started when my uncle bought me a vintage men’s pea coat. I was looking for one for quite some time and found one from this gentleman who had been in the Korean War. I wore that coat until the buttons fell off! I just developed this appreciation for vintage. I grew up in the 80’s and it was a very impressionable period for me; seeing my mom getting dressed up. As I got older I found myself buying clothing from that period. It shows how I was influenced by the first person who made an impression of style on me; my mom.”

Commenting on the clothing trend she would love to see disappear, she said, “I would love to see the grunge and casual look disappear. It makes my eyes bleed! I always believe in dressing to impress or as Fabulous says, ‘Dress as if you’re gonna run into your ex!’ I think that when you’re well groomed and polished, that makes the best impression.”

Fashion often ostracizes curvy and full-figured women. However, Hartley has an interesting philosophy about style and size and describes how Vintage Shaun addresses that issue. “Style and size have nothing to do with each other any more than style and social class or style and ethnicity. Style is for everyone. Style is the most democratic concept in the world. For Vintage Shaun, this will be our first pop up where we have a large selection of clothing for larger sizes. Also, we have vintage accessories that can fit any size.”

A major attraction and focus of the Vintage Shaun Pop Up Shop is its emphasis on recycling textile clothing fabrics. Hartley explains, “We only have one earth. We’ve seen what’s going on with global warming and climate change and one of the things I tell people is that so much clothing is made so quickly from textile factories. When textiles are made, they pollute our air, our water and our soil. If we can move towards thrifting and vintage clothing, we become more stylish while becoming more environmentally friendly. We are in effect decreasing our carbon footprint.”

Speaking about the future and impact of Vintage Shaun, Hartley said, “I think the impact in the community first and foremost is about someone seriously pursuing their passion, yet having fun doing it. I’m a woman of color and a native Brooklynite, so it showcases to the community that it is possible for others in the community to create their own empire. Going forward, I would like to take Vintage Shaun to other cities and even have a talk show, showcasing the beauty and style of vintage clothing and even vintage furniture.”

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