A LOVE LETTER TO VINTAGE


 

It is hard to pinpoint exactly why I love vintage so much. It is tied up in the uniqueness, the hunt, that ah-ha moment when you find just the right piece. There is definitely some adrenaline involved. Anyone who loves vintage knows what I am talking about. Endlessly walking down rows of an antique mall, your eyes start to glaze over, and a heaviness sets in, and then you see THAT piece. Maybe it's a piece of studio pottery with a funky, unique shape or a figurative sculpture that looks like it should cost 10x more. Then, suddenly, your energy is back, and the hunt continues. I have always been driven by finding that rare showstopper object. A piece that can differentiate a room and make it stand out. A piece that makes a houseguest pause and say, "Wow, where did you get that?" I revel in the moment I can reply, "It's vintage." 

 

As a dealer, the hunt is a treat. I get to think about not only what vintage I love, but what pieces will speak to my customers. Furthermore, I get to connect with creatives all around the world who also love vintage. It is a special community, a supportive community, one driven by creativity. So today, we are asking members of that community: "why do you love vintage?"

 

 

Eve Singer, BROYT

The idea of vintage is so romantic. I always think, if these pieces could talk, what would they tell me? Whose hands touched them, which tables did they grace, what stories do they hold? When things are built to last, it’s not just empty stuff. There’s a story in each piece and whoever holds it, even for a short time, is part of the journey.

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Ingrid Reid, Casa Patina

Vintage is like a classic novel; a story that develops over time, having a compounding impact on creativity and expression. 

I come from a family of creatives who have chosen to build their lives around pursuing the arts. My great-great grandfather was an architect in Barcelona who, as a hobby, enjoyed carving ornate gilded wood frames. When my family moved from Spain to Cuba in the early 1900’s, they brought along many of those pieces which were later handed down to my mother, and now have a spot in my family’s home. 

Collecting vintage, for me, has always been about celebrating those who came before us and keeping us connected to people who led inspiring lives, whether that be through the artists themselves or the collectors. My deeply rooted familial ties to vintage are what have helped bring my business Casa Patina to life. 

Patina begins the minute we utilize an object, and, over time, these treasures start to write a story or, rather, develop a collective history. At home, I encourage my children to interact with our vintage & antique decor and to ask questions about where they originate from. If a vessel is scratched or a table stained with a water mark, I view this as our family being woven into the piece’s history. 

I founded Casa Patina with the idea that the world’s most beautiful objects have already been created, and that when a space has achieved the right balance between old and new there is an unexpected tension that will inspire storytelling.

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Megan Cherin, Cherin Studio

Vintage for me stems from a deep desire to connect with the past. A desire to connect with the stories carried by the objects I source. As we bring these objects into our homes we are immediately forging connections to the past, whether it be our own or of the people who possessed and loved these objects before us. In this we are carrying on the legacy, the beauty, the tradition. I can't help but to dream of the people who owned these objects I source before I pass them onto you.  It's easy to conjure "memories" of them using the chairs to sit around their dining table to enjoy meals with friends, lighting the menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, and placing a vessel filled with flowers from their garden on the kitchen island. It's all so magical to me that these objects have lived lives before they entered my hands and that we will continue to give them life and add to the richness of their stories through their presence in your homes. This notion brings me so much joy and I feel so honored to contribute to your homes in this way.

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Iwona Frederika, Frederika Galerie

I guess my vintage fascination came from my absolute love for Bauhaus architecture and European 20th-century avant-garde art. There was a time when I traveled through Europe exploring modernist architectural icons by Adolf Loos, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier, and I must have fallen in love with modernist furniture at the same time. I started buying objects for my personal collection first, then after a few years, somehow I very organically became a gallerist.

I founded Frederika Galerie because I simply love timeless beauty! It comes naturally with mid-century classic designs, which prioritized craftsmanship and natural materials. No compromises there. Plus I love unique art, personal objects that tell a story, and patina. This is a way I can express my personal values: honesty, simplicity, and originality.

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Zoe Katz, Good Eye Vintage

I love vintage because each piece has a story to tell. It was made by somebody or loved by somebody or found by somebody and now it’s yours. There aren’t hundreds more in stores for anyone to buy: no, vintage is unique, special, curated… personal. Vintage fosters community, it starts conversations, it helps the environment. It’s the thrill of the hunt, the commitment to the search, the passion of the ah-ha moment where you realize you found THE piece. It’s the natural ebb and flow of it - the days where you sheepishly have to be helped to your car with all your found treasures, and the weeks that go by where you find nothing at all. For me, vintage is like life; unpredictable, perfectly imperfect, endlessly fun, better in person and with friends, and all about appreciating the small things.

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Laura Thoma, LMT HAUS

My love of vintage stems from a love for this planet and it’s people. Shopping vintage means being able to curate a collection of handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces by artisans from around the world. And by collecting items from the past, it allows consumers to prioritize sustainability, without compromising style; which is what LMT HAUS Vintage was founded for. 

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Tracey Chab, MaisonIQUE

Vintage, for me, has been a life-long love affair. From picking through my grandma’s 1940s pumps as a little girl to filling my first apartment with mid century religious iconography, I’ve always been drawn to pieces that transport me in time and are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I could never feel the same kind of excitement walking into a store with shiny new vases and flawless furniture as I do digging through dusty shelves to find a hand-blown Murano lamp from Italy. The one-of-a-kind, antique, handmade, and the rare are my love language. 

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Rebekah Hildebrand, Savoring Home

It’s always been about the story for me.  And what has more story to tell than a vintage piece?  The patina, the extra worn spot in the corner, even that little repair that shows that someone cared enough to fix it. All of those things create a layering effect that brings instant character, warmth and depth to any space.  Vintage items can also bring about an ease in living with it - more life happening to it just adds on the character.  Knowing that an item has survived 20+ years brings an appreciation, knowing it was made to last. And when cared for, it can create a legacy where each new owner passes the baton in the storytelling. 

As a vintage seller, the idea of being a catalyst from one lifetime to the next for an item is rewarding.  And even more so, is the privilege of knowing that others’ lives are being enriched by the existence of these storied pieces.  Hopefully we will continue to nurture a generation that not only wants to create items with longevity in mind, but one that also has the desire to preserve what already exists and appreciates the beauty of age. 

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Melissa McCardel, Silver Line Design

My love and connection to vintage is what birthed Silver Line Design. To find the silver lining is to align oneself with a hopeful prospect and to move forward in courage that there’s something better on the other side. This phrase would often come to mind while I was out searching for vintage pieces to bring to my shop. The joy it brings to me and my customers that we can give this vintage piece new life in a home feels like a parallel to finding hope in the silver lining. Vintage items have a way of evoking deep emotions and nostalgic feelings when you find that particular piece that brings you back to a previous time or experience, and the rush of finding such piece is what keeps the spark alive in my pursuit of vintage!

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Daphne Polselli, Virga

I’ve always seen curating vintage as an opportunity to “slow down” both as a seller and a consumer. It’s the perfect counter culture to our current over-processed corporate retail environment. Finding the perfect piece isn’t as immediate, it takes time to find, package and send but the reward is tenfold. Curation replaces consolidation - it’s an artistic decision rather than a budget cut.

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