February: Allen.Studio

How and why did you start collecting vintage? 

I started collecting vintage in earnest when I was in my teens—as soon as I got my driver’s license, I was thrifting every weekend and going to yard sales with my friends. Initially, I was drawn to vintage in part because I would become fascinated by the fashion from a certain time period. But beyond that, I was drawn to the idea of objects with their own unique histories, and I was attracted to the element of serendipity in finding and collecting these objects. There is also the superior quality of vintage clothing, which I appreciated more and more as I became interested in textiles and sewing. 

Who are your style icons? Where do you draw inspiration when you’re out sourcing vintage? 

I would say that Georgia O’Keeffe is far and away my top style icon. I love the way that she dressed, not only for her understated and refined taste, but also in terms of the way she embodied “style” as a concept. She developed a distinctive, focused signature style which she maintained throughout her entire lifetime—a style that existed outside of “trend” and that was at once utilitarian and visually expressive.

In terms of my own taste and the curation for my brand, I land pretty firmly within a minimalist aesthetic. When I’m out sourcing vintage, I look for things that feel timeless and classic. I am drawn to simple shapes, neutral colors, and high-quality natural fiber fabrics. I find a lot of inspiration in the minimalist fashion movements of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and in the simplicity and elegance of Bauhaus furniture design and architecture.

What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve found, any stand outs? 

One of my favorite finds is an ‘80s Issey Miyake coat—it’s very architectural and feels like a wearable piece of art, and it was certainly unexpected to find such a rare and coveted item “in the wild,” so to speak. It is definitely a piece that I will keep permanently in my personal wardrobe.  Another favorite is a vintage Italian-designed leather sofa which I had coveted for years. I stopped into a random thrift store one day, and there it was. Again—serendipity!

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