Friday, January 29, 2010
For those who might appreciate this....
Last Wednesday I decided to work at the store to catch up on a few things. I opened at Noon, Cleaned the Glass, Swept, re-did some displays and at 12:30 as I was finishing vacuuming, I looked up to see our first customer of the day coming in. A Very Tall, Broad shouldered gentlemen opened the door. My first thought was how nice it was to have a customer this early on a Weekday. Then for a brief second I worried how I probably didn't have any Men’s Vintage his size in Stock and how I really needed to get some larger sizes. (See I'm always thinking about how to better the store!) He walks in and as the door closed I look up to greet him with eye contact and a "Good Morning". As I spoke the words, I recognize his face.
Could it really be? My First Customer on a Wednesday morning...
I'm on Vanderbilt Ave in Brooklyn, not the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris...
I'm in My Little Vintage Boutique, Not a Highly Publicized Designer loft in Soho. This is surreal.
Most of the time a "Celebrity" sighting is a quick glimpse on the street or sitting at a Restaurant trying not to make eye contact out of respect for their privacy. But on this day Mr. Andre Leon Talley, The Editor at Large for Vogue was in my small Boutique in Brooklyn. He was there on a Wednesday, in the cold, and had come specifically to my store because his friend had worn what he deemed an "Absolutely amazing" Belt she had purchased at 1 of a Find. With this Visit, I didn't have to avoid eye contact. It wasn’t a 2 second walk-by on the Street; it was a visit he had chosen to make to my store. I was expected to acknowledge his presence. I had worked so hard to have 1 of a Find represent my tastes and appreciation for Vintage and he was about to shop. I am not embarrassed to admit I was Nervous.
"How are you doing?" I manage to say calmly as my thoughts scammer for some logic. He replied with a kind smile and a "Good Morning" back. In an effort to calm and collect myself, I continued to straighten the store. Out of the corner of my eye I watch him browse from shelf to rack, stopping to admire certain pieces in detail. He looked over each piece of Jewelry and at one point held on to a Large 1970s Monet “Leaf “brooch that has always been a favorite of mine.”That has matching earrings" I mumble, still too shy to approach him. "This set is really Lovely" he replies in a Genuine tone. He glances up to see our wall displays. "Look at that Fortuney Pleat " he comments looking at a Mary Mcfadden piece hanging above him.” "How beautiful" he says as he continues to walk on to the Back Room. "Do you own the store?” he asks. "Yes", "My Name is Honey Moon" I say proudly with my slow growing confidence."My name is Andre" “I love your pieces." he says. I took this moment to let loose a small bit of the excitement that has been building since I recognized him. "Yes, I know who you are. It’s nice to meet you and such a pleasure to have you in my store" I say. For the next 20 minutes or so we continued to chat. Even though I was Star struck, we spoke comfortably as we walked through the store. We talked like two people discussing works of art at a Museum. We shared our knowledge of great Vintage and Designers. We Spoke of Alligator Handbags, The Sexiness of Halston and the class of Lilli Ann. At one Point he even expressed his Sadness that Paloma Picasso wasn't designing anymore and I agreed. We were Chatting. He spotted an Amazing Butter Cream Lucielle De Paris Alligator pocketbook high on display. I pulled it down for him to admire. "A perfect Gift for my Friend" he stated. I agreed. He then continued to comment on quite a few other pieces he loved. A Wonderful Deep Green VALENTINO Suit with Jet Glass Buttons, "This would look amazing on my Friend" He said as he pulled it to the side. "What an amazing Lilli Ann Coat?" he said as he spotted a 1960s Piece trimmed in Mink. "Being from San Francisco, She is one of my favorites" I add. By the end of his visit my nervousness of talking "Shop" with one of the industries foremost knowledgably people was calmed. I felt at ease like I was with one of my regular clients. I was enjoying our conversation.
He was such a nice man, not a bit intimidating. He was encouraging and his comments filled me with confidence and enthusiasm for what I do. It's nice to know that true Classic Vintage is still appreciated by the industry and the people who pioneer its future.
And the Best Part! Andre was wearing a beautiful Wool Cowichan Sweater. The Cowichan Cardigan is a classic representation of Vintage. These Wool sweaters are admired as Collectables and Coveted by the Japanese market. Not to Mention its a great modern meets Vintage Look when paired with Jeans. I think Andre rocked his perfectly.
He concluded his visit with a purchase, a smile and words that will forever inspire me. "I can tell you have Great Taste."
"Thank you" I said with a Shy but Grateful smile as he left.
"How Lucky am I?" I think to myself. I'm doing what I love and after his visit, I beleive I might be doing it well.
As I go to light our store candle, I noticed he had signed my guest book. He has left even kinder words inked forever.
Andre - VOGUE - "Exquisite Taste"
You can bet, I'm framing that!
Just a little moment in my Store and a memory to share...
Posted by 1 of a Find Vintage