For those inclined to make old new, there is no shortage of shops and boutiques that outfit with heritage in mind and respect for the past. Despite the myriad of options for garment consumption, there exists a real dearth of Latinx visibility within spaces of vintage ownership, merchandising, and influencing. We tapped LA-based Stylist/Creative Natalia Zamudio to highlight a selection of Latinx-owned vintage shops across the country that not only make a mark through the scope of their buying, but also cleverly formulate the aesthetics of their brands and build worlds unique in perspective and taste. You’ll want to keep these vintage brands on your radar and draw inspiration from the gorgeous visual stories they tell.
Featured Image by Ella Harmon
The Corner Store – Los Angeles, Calif.
For those with divine aspirations, The Corner Store is an expertly curated destination with a mix of designer and vintage pieces that bring a romantic spirit to the act of dressing. Proprietor Stacey Nishimoto is a Mexican-American creative force with an eye for prairie aesthetics that echo the feminine beauty of Mexican cinema’s golden age. A longtime stylist, Nishimoto reminds us that there’s nothing quite like that feeling of wearing something divino. Under Nishimoto’s strong and consistent creative direction, her hoards of loyal customers might envision themselves wearing un vestido delicado made entirely of sheer pale silk, a classic 1970s ivory white lace gown, or a unisex minidress patterened with a fish scale effect. In addition to vintage, Nishimoto has expanded her website to include her own designs. You can shop online or in person at The Corner Store Boutique in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
Carrousel Dreams – New York, N.Y.
You could call Carrousel Dreams a women-owned vintage shop on the Lower East Side of NYC. But you could also, like its founders Jenny Assaf & Emiliano Rodriguez, call it a transient space where unique pieces and the memories they carry come and go. With a curated selection reaching back to the ‘90s and early aughts, Carrousel carries designs from Cavalli to Vivienne Tam to Pucci. Co-owner Rodriguez is a queer creative, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of 15. Assaf is an experimental artist and stylist who previously developed Sweet & Salty Collections, an avant-garde mobile vintage retail store . With a fun and playful ethos, Carrousel’s vintage collection feels young and fresh while also embodying a joyfully ethereal aesthetic. As for the amazing name, Carrousel Dreams is meant to represent the cyclical nature of fashion trends and styles, fading into obscurity and rising back into relevance. You can shop their collection online or scroll their IG to pencil in their upcoming pop-ups.
VanJane LA – Los Angeles, Calif.
VanJane is an LA-based vintage shop owned by dos gemelas Vanessa and Janette Flores. Carrying everything from vintage ‘80s band tees, ‘90s denim overalls, Lakers leather bombers, to ‘70s summer dresses, las gemelas Flores supply Angelinos with unique basics aged to perfection. If you are as frustrated at the lack of size inclusivity in vintage spaces as we are, you’ll look forward to VanJane’s collection, which seeks to offer unisex fashions in a broader range of sizes beyond a size small. The Flores sisters launched their shop in 2017, but as first-generation Mexican Americans who come from a long line of clothing business owners, it’s in their blood to connect clients with unusual and special objects. Vanessa and Janette grew up going to Tianguis and watching their family members hustle to sell goods at outdoor marts. Merging their eye for new-school and old-school Americana and West Coast drip, you can shop Vanjane’s edit at their showroom in DTLA, online, or at the various pop-ups they attend.
Siglo Shop – online only
Sabes cuando te vas a un museo como el Met and you see precious homewares or jewelry from bygone eras that would fit right into the environments of today? Siglo Shop wants you to look way back to Pre-Columbian motifs that are timeless and fit into your modern spaces. Should you want a precious collection of objects, some for your home and some for your body, you might want to check out Siglo. Owner Xotchiltl Vasquez is Salvadoran American and has an eye for eclectic gems that feel timeless con mucha personalidad. Think Luis Barragan meets West Coast Modernism. Cheeky shapes, sculptural details, objects with faces: these are all figures to which Vasquez is drawn. Her collection of glassware and flatware is delicate yet unusual, leaving you with a longing for precious pieces you’ll want to remind your house guests to be careful not to break. Siglo is a rising vintage star to keep tabs on. You can shop Siglo via Vasquez’s website and Instagram.
Desert Vintage – Tucson, Ariz.
Desert Vintage is a treat to the eyes: elegante, culto, y fastuoso. Its edit of high-end collectibles is thrilling to explore, particularly for die-hard vintage enthusiasts willing to spend a pretty penny. Founded in 1974, Salima Boufelfel and Roberto Cowan took over as owners in 2012. Born and raised in Tucson, Boufelfel and Cowan were brought together by their love of uniquely conspicuous objects rendered in materials like raw silk, wool, linen, and lamé. They also carry a selection of expertly faded vintage Levi’s that juxtapose cleverly with the gamut of lavish fabrics on hand. Cowan attributes childhood experiences accompanying his Sonoran mother on shopping trips as his first foray into fashion. Cowan and Boufelel, the daughter of a North African professor, merge historical detail with relaxed comfort. The vintage they source is evocative not only of organic shapes from desert landscapes, but also the suggestive interiors of minimalist homes. A fantasy of ours would be to visit Lina Bo Bardi’s Casa de Vidrio draped in silk jersey, with Desert Vintage an essentially pit stop on our hypothetical design pilgrimage. You can shop Desert Vintage online or at their store in downtown Tucson.
Pechuga Vintage – Los Angeles, Calif.
If you are looking to satiate your ‘90s Vivienne Westwood cravings, Pechuga Vintage is the place for you. Pechuga, which translates to “chicken breast,” is the raw and enticing brainchild of Salvadoran-born Johnny Valencia, who artfully curates a selection of high-end vintage and contemporary pieces with quality and diversity in mind. Don Valencia, who was once a buyer for Vivienne Westwood, put Pechuga on the map by spearheading the corset trend, selling and refurbishing some of the most insanely constructed corsets you will ever lay eyes on. You’ll also sort through Dior-monogrammed denim newsboy caps, Jean Paul Gaultier Hellenic print mesh dresses, Thierry Mugler red velvet two-piece suits, and floral printed Chanel bodysuits. Valencia knows and loves talking archival fashions, from the year a piece was made to the collection it’s from to the masterful construction of a particular garment. For when you are ready to show up to the family Asado (or Parilla) feeling like Selena and Marie Antoinette’s baby, you can shop LA-based Pechuga Vintage online.