It's a nightmare for hipsters!
The East Village's vintage-clothing shops are about to go the way of leisure suits and flapper dresses, as a wave of closures hits home.
The latest blow to the corduroy-wearing set came [Saturday] when O Mistress Mine -- which counted Madonna, Paul McCartney and Marc Jacobs as customers -- closed its East 11th Street shop after some four decades in business.
Its owner, finding the city too expensive, is moving to cheaper space in Hoboken, NJ.
"I just couldn't make it," Wanda Hanlon said last week as she packed up her furs, beaded bags and gowns.
The article also notes that "Atomic Passion, which opened on East Ninth Street 17 years ago, may close in February if its landlord doesn't lower the rent. 'This has been the worst year we've had since 1992,' said co-owner Justin Vogel."
This Page 3 trends piece also noted that Loves Saves the Day and Poppet (East Ninth Street) closed last year. (No mention of Howdy Do, though.)
While the closure of these stores is a sad, troubling development, the article makes it seem as if you'll never be able to find another Wrangler snap-button western shirt from the 1970s anywhere in the neighborhood. The article doesn't mention any thrift/vintage shops that remain, such as Physical Graffiti on St. Mark's Place, Buffalo Exchange on 11th Street and No Relation on First Avenue. (And you could do a piece on any mom-and-pop shop with a specialty struggling now in NYC.)
Plus, there's more to it than higher rents/bad economy, at least in the case of vintage clothing stores. There's also the mindset of the younger generation, the privileged post-NYU/wherever-they-came-from crowd.
For instance. Late one Saturday afternoon this past summer, I bought a bunch of books and albums and a stupid shirt from a veteran sidewalk vendor on Second Street. I said that I was surprised such seemingly good items remained so late in the day. He shrugged and said "the kids who have moved into the neighborhood don't want used stuff. Everything has to be new. I call them the 'Ikea Generation.'"
An unemployed friend recently took a stack of clothes over to Beacon's Closet to try to get some cash. She said that they didn't want any of the vintage stuff. The only thing the store bought was a Banana Republic shirt that her sister gave her.
Or maybe more people are scoring vintage finds at thrift stores away from NYC. Like my unemployed friend who returns from visiting her parents far away with $2 shirts that would run about $200 at Cheap Jack's.
Or maybe we can just blame all this on Bloomberg, which is always fun. This all falls in step with the Bloomyberg mindset: Unique vintage stores don't fit in with his vision of a suburban American city.
Whatever the case, the neighborhood continues to slowly slip away....