UPDATE: This story was originally published on February 20.
When we hear the words "designer vintage," something inside us perks right up. Suddenly, we're in that full-on tunnel-vision mode—the kind usually reserved for large cakes and sunny beaches. To get our fix, we like to turn to Jennifer Collins, the CEO of PinkClouds. Her well-curated e-commerce site sells expertly chosen vintage wares that still seem totally fresh—we're talking Lanvin maxi skirts, Givenchy jewelry, and Céline blouses, here.
So, we invited ourselves over to her Chelsea digs for some girl talk and got her shopping tips, interior-design pointers, and style-defining inspirations. Oh, and we showed ourselves around her super-luxe duplex/showroom, too. Think: moto jackets as wall art, Louis Vuitton luggage in the dining room, and a thrifted headboard fit for a queen. Sure, her business may be vintage, but we're calling this NYC CEO our new obsession.
Photographed by Alice Gao
Where are your favorite places to shop for vintage in NYC?
"While I love
exploring cities (especially New York) and discovering new hidden gems, at the
end of the day I always find myself back on 25th Street perusing The Garage, NY
Showplace Antique Center and, of course, New York Vintage. It truly is NYC’s
vintage golden mile."
Vintage Stephen Sprouse dress, vintage belt, Wolford tights, Giovanni Rossi for Altuzarra booties.
Do you remember your first vintage splurge?
"I have always
struggled with self-control, especially when it comes to vintage shopping and the
fear of losing out on a one-of-a-kind find. Straight out of college I landed a job at
Robert Burke Associates, and within hours of getting my first paycheck I was already
at Marlene Wetherell Vintage picking out a muted floral print Oscar de la
Renta gown. It was the most impulsive purchase, but one that continues to make
me happy to this day."
Lulu Frost bracelet, vintage rings.
What was the last great thing you bought?
"A statement Larry Vrba necklace
that I couldn’t put down once my vendor unveiled it to me. I also always have my
eyes open for the perfect shoe, and when the Giovanni Rossi for Altuzarra tassel
boots came out, I immediately clicked onto SFA.com and added them to my cart."
A closeup of Jennifer's prized Giovanni Rossi for Altuzarra booties.
Describe your interior design style. How is it similar/different than your
"I love collecting Hollywood regency pieces — anything brass, black
lacquer, or Lucite catches my eye. My apartment reflects my personality and my
style even more so than the contents of my closet...whereas I have 10 pairs of
pumps, I can only have one chandelier."
Vintage T-shirt, Oscar de la Renta skirt, vintage jewelry.
What makes PinkClouds different from other vintage e-tailers?
"PinkClouds is a home for the modern vintage girl. Our aim
is to strike a balance between an appreciation of the past and a smart interpretation
of fashion’s current trends. The PinkClouds' mission is to bring back inspiration
and the feeling of discovery to the shopping experience by offering one-of-a-kind
pieces with a unique story and history behind every item."
Who is your celebrity style icon?
"Loulou de la Falaise — she is the epitome of chic,
with just enough flair."
What are your favorite interior design stores in NYC?
"I love scouring the antique malls in Stamford and Global World in Soho."
Is there any place you go for pieces on a budget?
"I love hunting for a good deal on Etsy!"
What are your tips for making a small space look bigger while still staying chic?
"Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! I have a lot of them in every room, some for actually
getting dressed and others simply for a bit of style. I also think the right type
of shelving can make all the difference in the world. I noticed during my last
apartment hunt that I gravitate towards smaller spaces with higher ceilings and
good windows because the combo can make any space feel more spacious."
Vintage sweater, rag & bone jeans, Proenza Schouler pumps.
What is one thing you've been scouting for lately?
"I am dying for a vintage
Balenciaga mid-century cocoon cape."
What is the most worn item in your closet?
"It’s a tie between my Tom Ford
Chain Wedges and my vintage Hermès Medor belt."
A second look at those to-die-for Proenzas!
What are you always restocking for the home?
"Pellegrino and candles. My go-to
scent is Guerlain’s Hiver en Russi and I recently discovered Love by Kilian, which
has me hooked."
Eleven Objects top, The Row pants, Manolo Blahnik pumps, Larry Vrba necklace.
PinkClouds stocks amazing designer pieces — who are some of your favorites?
"I’ve fallen in love with Luis Estevez, one of the founding members of the CFDA
and a generally forgotten designer with extraordinary talent, boundless vision, and
a style that reflects my own."
Any tips for shopping vintage?
"I like to start
with texture and textiles — if you spot good materials, chances are there was a lot of
thought put into the craftsmanship. A unique vintage print is always a standout
piece and a conversation starter. Lastly, it is important to check for labels even on
the inside seams, as sometime designer labels are hidden or overshadowed by the
specialty store label."
Vintage jumpsuit, Sergio Rossi pumps.
A double dose of Hermès.
What is your goal for the coming year?
"We are really focused on building
PinkClouds’ content in The Find Notebook. Vintage lovers alike are always
drawn to the pieces they purchase because of some emotional or intellectual
connection to the piece, designer, or era, and we want to build a platform where our
readers can engage with us and learn more about the history of fashion and design."