We are welcoming Le and Lo as our Visiting Vintage Seller for January. Le and Lo was created out of founder, Michelle's, love for sustainability and style. Michelle will be bringing nostalgic knits, romantic silhouettes, and casual-cool vintage clothing to Moon+Arrow all month long.
Q: What is the significance behind your company’s name?
It’s really a combination of names from my dog, Leo, and my niece, Lorelai. They’re my two babies, and when I was trying to think of what I would call the shop, I thought of a lot of different names, but something close to home felt right; it’s a trifecta of sorts - this vintage shop being my third love ❤️
Q: Why did you start collecting and selling vintage?
Oof! I don’t know that I can remember why I started collecting; I think I’ve always been really enamored with fashion and the experience of shopping for something special. Collecting, more generally, is a thing, I think, I learned from my parents, squirreling away the cool stuff and then happily explaining to people the backstory. When I was in middle school I collaged my entire bedroom wall with cut out pictures from Vogue and Seventeen Magazine, which is funny to think about now because it feels like a cliche.
In 2018, I started reselling with the purpose of turning a profit, something I had been more casually doing since high school. Then, I was selling a little of everything, but at some point I just shifted my focus towards vintage. There’s so much to learn and that process of finding, researching, testing different laundering techniques, mending and reworking, and all that comes with it has just been incredibly enjoyable. It’s definitely a labor of love I feel grateful to work on everyday.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a vintage curator here in the Philadelphia area?
I’m from North NJ originally, and after I left my full time job working at an art gallery in NYC, my partner and I moved to Philly (Leo in tow, of course).
That was the summer of 2019, and having a blossoming small business, in a new city where I knew very few people, right before COVID, has been interesting, to say the least! I’m still learning about Philly every day, but as things started to re-open last year, I started doing markets. I love connecting with people online, but meeting people in real life has been my favorite part of this “new normal”. By contrast to where I was before, I love that this is a more relaxed, accessible city to be in. Philly very much feels like a small-big city and over the last few years of life indoors, it has been especially apparent to me that the best part about this city is the people.
Q: This one is just for fun. Who is your favorite musician or type of music? What is your inspiration when looking for vintage?
I really like country music right now, which might be funny for my friends in the Northeast to hear. My partner lived in North Carolina for a while and put me on to Chris Stapleton and Colter Wall. I have eclectic musical tastes though, and could vibe with just about anything if it feels right. On any given day I could be listening to Maggie Rogers, Bad Bunny, Antonio Carlos Jobim, or even more likely, a true crime podcast or an audiobook.
When I’m looking for vintage, I think the same sentiment translates; I’m not looking for a particular era, just a feeling. I look for good quality materials, usually casual pieces that can be styled and worn today, regardless of where or when they are from. I do reference movies and TV fairly often. There was a few months last year where I decided to rewatch all of Friends from Season 1 and found myself asking “Would Monica wear this now?”, but more often than not, if it isn’t something I would style a friend in, I leave it behind for someone else to enjoy!
Trends come and go all the time, which can be fun for a moment, but I gravitate toward elevated basics with a fun mix of color. It’s always really cool to feel nostalgia when I’m pulling something, or think “Oh, this totally reminds me of *insert random friend or memory here*. That being said I do take note of what people are looking for at any given time and try to meet that need.
Q: What does the future hold for you? Anything fun or exciting on the horizon?
As a person who tends to cycle through hustle + burnout I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit, at least until Spring! I have been daydreaming about a studio space or showroom, so maybe that will go on my vision board for the year, but until then I’ll continue weekly website drops on leandlo.com. And in the meantime, you can always catch me on Instagram (@)leandlogoods where I post about my pop-ups and schedule for fun happenings!