Greetings mavens and bargainistas! It’s been entirely too long since we’ve delivered your fix on all things fashionable, but fret not. We at Brick City Varsity are back and brimming with news about the latest developments in Newark’s sartorial circles.
The one shop on everyone’s lips this week is Montclair’s Born Again Vintage. Recently, this treasure trove of upcycled and period clothing, jewelry, accessories and visual art became the first boutique to carry a line from Brick City Varsity, Newark’s premier vintage clothier. On the heels of that exciting collaboration, they announced that they’d be commemorating their one-year anniversary with a not-to-be-missed meet-and-greet.
We caught up with Born Again Vintage founder Bridgett Artisse to get the skinny on the brand, the event and her take on how the fashion world is making sustainability chic. Check out the exclusive interview below.
Having completed a degree at the internationally renowned Fashion Institute of Technology and worked for a number of leading retailers, it seemed likely that you would pursue a career as a fashion buyer. Was there anything in particular that caused you to change course? What inspired you to create Born Again Vintage?
Oddly enough, I was a buyer and that was my intended path. I loved being a buyer. Upon graduation, I was an assistant buyer for accessories at SteinMart. I went on to buy for Claire’s and allocate at Strawberry’s. I took a hiatus to raise my kids; unfortunately, I lost my last child, which made me create talent shows to keep from spiraling into grief. The talent shows turned into fashion shows and unbeknownst to me a talent I didn’t even know I had was revealed.
Born Again Vintage is an eclectic collective comprised of an array of designers, jewelry-makers, curators and visual artists. How are these individuals selected? Is there a particular aesthetic that unites the group?
Everyone at the collective was either drawn to store and asked to be a part of it or I knew them in some way from being in the industry awhile. I love all the designers in the store and I think collectively we are a smorgasbord of fantastic finds.
You recently showed a line of your own designs in Brooklyn Fashion Week. Can you tell us about that experience?
Fashion shows period are my favorite, because once upon a time I created pcs with no one in mind I just went with the flow. Years later I started creating based on who my customer is. So shows allow me to go back to the freedom of creating without boundaries. Brooklyn fashion week is particularly important because it highlights Eco designers. Everything I do is about spreading sustainable awareness so I’m grateful for the venue.
Essex county’s savvy thrifters know that Montclair is a vintage oasis of sorts, offering over a dozen vintage shops within a two mile radius.Can you say a bit about the retail climate and how such considerable competition impacts the market?
Every vintage shop in montclair offers something different, you will rarely if ever see the same things at any of these places. The beauty of buying vintage is everyone has their own unique eye and with that you have different takes on vintage. Instead of seeing it as competition we do a lot of cross promotion it helps everyone involved especially the customer.
In addition to garment retail, you also offer a number of workshops and consultations related to sustainable fashion. What topic areas are addressed in your sessions?
My workshops are to help people think outside the box. I teach how to recycle garments and/or show options. My consultations Are for those who have tons of stuff in their closets and don’t know what to do with them. I break everything down to what’s reworkable, sellable vs keepers.
My classes at FIT are building a vintage business and clothing reconstruction.
The streets are all abuzz about an event you’re hosting on April 19. Can you share any details about what you have planned? What can newcomers to the Born Again Vintage experience expect?
Newcomers will come to understand the infectious energy at the collective. Everyone who’s apart of the collective brings a creativity, inspiration vibe which just makes it a fun place to be. The event will introduce the new designers as well as reintroduce some old ones but it is salted for a fun packed evening!
The one year anniversary will run from 6-9pm on Saturday, April 19th at 219 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair, NJ.