Georgia Fenwick has always viewed buying vintage garments like purchasing art. “Even if I knew I would never wear it, or couldn’t fit into it, I had to buy it because it was so beautiful.” An avid collector of second-hand treasures, she decided to curate her own vintage shop on a quiet street in the heart of New York’s Chinatown.
Georgia NYC is a small shop with golden walls on Orchard in the Lower East Side. Unlike the vintage warehouses and overwhelming thrift stores Brooklyn-way, for second-hand newbies and non-thrifters it’s the dream situation. A heavily curated selection of pieces from around the world – affordable, extremely wearable and on trend.
Georgia was born in London but raised in Manhattan for much of her adolescence. A West London girl, Portobello was always an inspiration and her godmother, Mairead Lewin, the high-end vintage collector with her own appointment-only studio in London, was a big influence. Her shop is filled with pieces from her travels – from Cleveland Ohio and upstate New York to Scotland’s charity shops where her mother is from: “Wherever I go, I try to bring something home.”
Rather than hundreds of denim cutoffs or frumpy polka dot dresses, at Georgia NYC it’s all about one-off pieces. It’s the type of place you’ll find a luxe long black crochet jacket for 80 bucks or an elegant lace gown from the 60s but also the perfect butt-hugging flares or faded NYC high school sweater. This is the vintage shop you need to know about, and with fans like Kate Hudson, Kai Avent-deLeon and Laura Bailey, you know it’s the real deal.
As an authority on the New York vintage circuit, Georgia gives us some of her favourite spots to shop vintage in NYC.
There used to be one in Soho that I loved, but it closed down, so go to the Williamsburg branch. It has a really nice atmosphere and the girls that work there are very sweet. They organise the racks by colour and have a really well-curated, handpicked selection. And it’s affordable! They have really cool bags and accessories.
If you walk around 83rd street there are a bunch of old charity shops. Not many people go as it’s not downtown but you can find great pieces. Cool furs, and designer pieces. I found a pair of YSL trousers for 20 bucks. I love a hunt though.
It’s a big vintage warehouse and you can always find really great treasures in there. I prefer the Brooklyn one. (See Lauren Singer’s trip to Beacon’s closet here.)
It’s a quite civilised flea market where they have furniture, clothes and sometimes new goods.
This happens four times a year at the metropolitan pavilion. I bought my first piece there for the shop (which I actually ended up keeping). It’s a show with a bunch of different vendors that have stalls. I’m obsessed with Lula’s vintage lovelies so definitely check her out.
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