Homeward Bound

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Italian-born owner of Amarcord Vintage Fashion, Marco Liotta, doesn't just live and breathe fashion: It's in his DNA, literally. As long as he can remember his family has been dealing with clothing in some shape or form. His grandfather was a personal tailor to one of Italy's last kings and he, along with the rest of Liotta's family, owns a shirt-making company in Italy. Liotta himself runs a sizable vintage empire in New York, one that's gained major notoriety over the years. Despite his homeland's reputation for high fashion, Liotta felt stifled there and, instead, began his business in New York. But now the entrepreneur is expanding yet again and this time the new store is located on native soil.
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Amarcord's two vintage stores in the East Village and Williamsburg (which Liotta co-owns with partner Patti Bordoni) focus on high-end European designers. "We put together vintage collections based on what the original designers were doing." It's a recipe that others have followed, and Amarcord has established itself among the crème de la crème of vintage stores worldwide. But the Amarcord stores are more of a side business—the company's real bread and butter is derived from its consulting business for a vast portion of the fashion world's heavyweights (Liotta is discreet with names for the sake of his clients, but past patrons have included Celine).
Such firm footing has allowed Liotta and Bordoni to return to Italy to do what they do best: sell vintage, but a sort of vintage that has little in common with the high-end aesthetic the pair is known for. Instead, Amarcord's new outpost in the cosmopolitan city of Rimini, located along Italy's Adriatic Coast, will exclusively carry clothes bought in the U.S. with a distinct Americana theme. "You have to
know the Italians to understand what's going to sell," says Liotta. "They love Abercrombie, so I'm buying all things Abercrombie. They love Ralph Lauren, so I'm buying '70s and '80s Ralph Lauren. There will also be a lot of sweatshirts, college t-shirts, and old-school jeans and sneakers."
So much for seasons-old Versace. According to Liotta, there's a long-standing aversion to buying vintage clothing in Italy. "My mother used to wear clothing that her brothers used to wear. She made skirts from pants. Here, people do it for fun, but my mom hated it, and that mentality lives on," Liotta says. "That distaste is still very strong in memory."
Apart from counting on a successful venture, Liotta also has a more altruistic vision. "People in Italy are very intolerant of anything unusual," he says. "My goal is to show Italians to be different and not part of the masses...to be part of something different."
Amarcord's Italian-bred duo, Marco Liotta and Patti Bordoni, head back to the Adriatic Coast to introduce American vintage to the folks back home.
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