'It's bananas!' Celebrity stylist-turned-designer Rachel Zoe reveals her top ten vintage shopping tips - from what city carries the best selection to how one can avoid buyers remorse
- Rachel celebrates her love of vintage and glamour with her first-ever Hamptons pop-in shop at What Goes Around Comes Around
- The designer gives her best vintage shopping tips to FEMAIL
- Rachel curates a collection of her favorite vintage finds
- FEMAIL chats with WGACA founders about the store, their celeb following and more
Celebrity stylist-turned-designer, Rachel Zoe, has been one of the fashion industry's biggest tastemakers for nearly 20 years.
With a relaxed, 1970s-inspired signature look and a perennial love for vintage, it makes perfect sense that her label's first ever Hampton's pop-in shop (until August 18th) would take place at luxury vintage retailer What Goes Around Comes Around.
Here, the style icon shares her top ten tips on vintage shopping with FEMAIL.
The midas touch: FEMAIL caught up with stylist-turned-designer Rachel Zoe at the What Goes Around Comes Around boutique in East Hampton, New York. She wore the Marlene Cold-Shoulder Gold Metallic Jacquard from the Rachel Zoe Collection
1. Know what kind of shopper you are
'There are all kinds of vintage shoppers,' says Rachel. 'There are those that are looking for designer only because they’re collecting, and then there are people that just want to find a great piece, it doesn’t matter if its a label.'
2. Shop with purpose
When Rachel enters a vintage shop, she's not just aimlessly browsing around, she's 'looking for treasures.'
'I always say I’m on a treasure hunt. I feel like I've spent my whole adult life on a treasure hunt because clothing is my art; it’s what I collect; its what I invest in; it’s what I like to look at; it makes me happy.'
'When I walk into a store like this, I just get an immediate adrenaline rush to start adding to my collection.'
Professional shopper: 'I always say I’m on a treasure hunt, I feel like I've spent my whole adult life on a treasure hunt because clothing is my art; it’s what I collect; its what I invest in; it’s what I like to look at; it makes me happy'
3. Find your favorite store
'I’m not picky about where I shop. When I travel the world, I’ll go anywhere to look for a vintage treasure, but I go insane in Paris.
'I literally go insane. You get this false sense of reality when you’re there. Because you're there during fashion week and you get caught up in the moment and you spend money that you may or may not have and you don’t care, because you're in Paris.'
4. Look for quality pieces
According to Rachel, quality is most important, above all else. 'Even if its $20, you need to make sure everything is in tact. And if it’s not, is it fixable?'
'Don’t buy anything that’s not fixable, unless if you're planning on cutting it up and making something out of it.'
Mixing old and new: The pop-in (open until August 13th) showcases a curated selection of Rachel's Pre Fall and Fall 2017 collections alongside her picks from WGACA’s finest luxury vintage accessories
Check out a few items from Rachel's curated collection of vintage finds on What Goes Around Comes Around:
Left: Equestrian Enamel Bangle by Hermes, $540; whatgoesaroundnyc.com
The good stuff: 'I would never give up my collection of Hermes, of course, because everything Hermes is a collectors item'
5. Do your research
When it comes to prices, Rachel admits that you have to be really careful to not spend more than what the item is worth.
'You have to make sure that where you're going isn’t one of those over-priced pretentious vintage places. Like anything else, go online and try to find something similar to compare it to.'
6. Trust your gut
'You shouldn’t always buy, because sometimes an impulse decision really is an impulse decision and you buy something out of panic and you will never wear it in your entire life.'
On the other hand, 'I always get it,' she admits. 'But if you're really questioning and you’re leaning on no, then your gut is probably right. Always follow your gut.'
Quality is key: 'Even if its $20, you need to make sure everything is in tact. And if it’s not, is it fixable'
7. Avoid buyers remorse
'If you're leaning on yes… do it! You’ll regret it otherwise.'
She admits to being in a 'if I leave this I'll never see it again' situation a few times in her life and still regrets not making those purchases.
Even if it’s more than you want to spend, Rachel still suggests buying it. 'If it’s going to make you miss rent and not eat, then don’t do it, but I do think you should think about is it an investment and ask yourself if you will really wear this over time.'
8. Take proper care of your pieces
Rachel suggests dry cleaning. 'Not right away, it depends on where you got it from. If you're rummaging through $5 bins, yes I would wash it immediately.
'But when I leave a place like this, it doesn’t go to the dry cleaner. The more you dry clean the older, more precious pieces, the more they wear over time, so you don’t really want to do that.'
Buyers remorse: 'If it’s going to make you miss rent and not eat then don’t do it, but I do think you should think about is it an investment and ask yourself if you will really wear this over time'
Her own creations: Rachel admits her eponymous label is vintage inspired, 'because the 60's and the 70's are my thing'
9. Hold on to the classics
'I would never give up my collection of Hermes, of course! Because everything Hermes is a collectors item.
'I have a lot of Tom Ford for Gucci from the late 90's and early 2000's and I will never part with those. Anything Tom Ford never goes.'
10. Know the trends
Right now, Rachel thinks denim is hot. 'Look for embroidered denim and mom jeans. I don't wear mom jeans but everyone in my life does, so what can I say.'
She also says Gucci and Chanel are always worth buying because they 'never go out'.
Hold on to: 'I have a lot of Tom Ford for Gucci from the late 90's and early 2000's and I will never part with those. Anything Tom ford never goes'
LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
'I met Seth and Gerard (WGACA owners) before they opened their first store at the 26th street flea market in New York when I was in my early 20's,' says Rachel.
'We had mutual friends, we had the same taste in vintage and we fell in love over that, we've been friends ever since.'
Though Rachel has been shopping the store since they opened in 1993, she's not the only big name to walk through it's doors. Stars like Lenny Kravitz, The Jenner sisters and the Kardashian's all buy their vintage garb there, as do major fashion designers like John Galiano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce and Gabbana and Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent.
They go way back: Rachel became close with WGACA owners Seth Weisser (right) and Gerard Maione (left) before they opened their first store back in the 90's. Guests at the pop-in were toasting the old friends with rose sponsored by Pure Liquid Wines
CEO and Founder of WGACA, Seth Weisser, describes the store as 'the premiere luxury lifestyle store in the world.'
'Our stores (5 total) have the best of the best of every luxury brand, and we curate specific collections to create themes and stories that reflect both the collect-ability and the high-fashion perspective of the luxury.'
Their inventory comes from anywhere and everywhere. 'We have a worldwide team of buyers. We have people from private collectors to auctions and dealers.'
'Most companies are consignment but we own and buy everything. So that’s a very big separation point for us. We really select it because we own it, so we’re pickier than anyone out there in terms of quality and authenticity.'
Heavy on the bling: The Rachel Zoe Rocco High-Neck Twill Mini Dress acts as a blank canvas for vintage Chanel accessories
We were the first ones to say ‘lets get the good stuff, edit it out and create a point of view so that customers would understand it and people who had never shopped vintage could understand it.'
In 1991, What Goes Around Comes Around's Co-Founder and Creative Director, Gerard Maione, was working at Ralph Lauren and taking classes at Parsons for fashion design.
As a student, he was on a budget and needed to be resourceful. 'I was shopping vintage and extracting these incredible pieces from all over the city. People were always asking me where I was getting my stuff from.'
Shopping runs in the family: Vice Chairman at What Goes Around Comes Around, Frank Bober, points to Hermes baubles for Rachel's youngest son Kaius Jagger Berman
'While working in this beautiful Ralph world with beautiful merchandising and customer service and shopping in these dumpy vintage stores, I thought why can’t vintage be like this Ralph world?'
Taking a big leap of faith, Seth and Gerard acquired a space in Soho – where they've been for 24 going on 25 years – pioneering the way for other vintage stores.
Why shop vintage? 'If you look at the market now, everything's homogenized and the quality has gone down,' says Gerard. 'You walk into a room and girls can be wearing the same dresses or carrying the same handbag.'
Fortunately, with Rachel's tips, you can find some treasures that are all your own!
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