For decades, the Greenwich village has served as a hub for hipsters, rebels, and creatives alike. Nearly a century ago, Painter John Sloan and the Surrealist Marcel Duchamp ascended upon the Washington Square park tower and declared that this district be known as the “Free and Independent Republic of Greenwich Village.” Since this official declaration, the Greenwich village has been a haven for freethinkers with countless artists and authors choosing to make these streets their homes.
Greenwich Village fashion is still defined today by this rebel attitude that manifested in the 1960s; biker jackets, raw denim, and camo in addition to cheap, unique pieces can be found in abundance. Much of the Greenwich Village fashion scene has been shaped by its vintage clothing stores and close proximity to NYU and the New School. Many of the fashion conscious students at these institutions seek style on a budget, making cheap, curated vintage shops extremely high in demand.
Beacon’s Closet has become a favorite to many, be it TV-stylists, students on a budget, or the extremely keen fashion trailblazer. Since its inception in Brooklyn, this female founded company, focused on sustainability and ethical business practices, has expanded with multiple outposts throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Expect to be overwhelmed by the myriads of racks stuffed to the rim with everything from that classic Jill Sander Cotton Sweater to that ruched feathered purple top you never knew existed. Beacon’s Closet has much to offer with all the prices being close to $20 with certain designer pieces being closer to $50. However, Beacon’s closet is a treasure chest with the treasures needed to be dug up. If you really dig, you will find gold! Some of my pieces that I have found at beacons closet over the years include a bondage R13 Flannel, a vintage Camel Cigarette t-shirt, and green silky jacket, and a forest green Marni bomber sweater jacket.
On my most recent trip, I found an old New York Department of Sanitation Jacket. On one side of the chest was the name A. Engleman written and on the other “DSNY” with a reflective construction strip running along the entire jacket. This jacket was especially cool, as Heron Preston, a new and upcoming designer committed to innovation, experimentation and unpredictability, recently collaborated with the NYC Department of Sanitation on a series of zero waste themed clothes and accessories. Many of the pieces featured the same “DSNY” embroidery that this faded green jacket had, making this piece a true vintage gem.
Besides Beacon’s closet, we visited Starstruck Vintage, a shop dedicated to showcasing an array of timeless styles from the 1930’s to the 1980’s. The store is filled with vintage t-shirts including band tees from 70’s and 80’s in addition to vintage denim, leather jackets, western wear, military wear, and Hawaiian shirts. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, warm, and kind. At this more curated vintage shop, there is not as much digging that needs to be done. Rather, every piece is a gem in its own way.
Undoubtedly, the Greenwich Village has much to offer in terms of unique fashion and vintage shops, and hopefully, you will consider checking it out during your next fashion craving.