The Hudson Valley — and its trend-setting tourist destinations like Woodstock, Saugerties, Kingston and New Paltz — is known not only for its music, arts and fine dining but also for its antiques, unique boutiques and creatively curated vintage shops. In our latest local guide, Hot Shops: Hudson Valley Vintage, we pick six that span our travel award-winning region of Upstate New York.
Across from popular music venue The Colony, and located in the famed Elephant Cafe building where Jimi Hendrix and Santana once performed, Rock City Vintage is quintessential Woodstock. While one could probably spend an entire day vintage store hopping in the heart of 'the most famous small town in the world,' this particular shop is a can't miss, offering an eclectic array of clothing and accessories for all. The popular boutique, formerly known as Sew Woodstock, features a carefully curated collection of one-of-a-kind vintage, designer and original pieces, continuing the creative tradition of the historic building.
One of the newer locations on the list, Rock Candy Vintage (RCV) is owned and operated by longtime Upstater and New Paltz enthusiast Candace Schuster and her daughters Victoria (the buyer) and Genevieve (general manager and art director). Open since spring 2018, RCV features "hand-picked, restored and refined" clothing, jewelry, accessories and home goods for "the modern non-conformist, environmentally aware vintage lover." What truly distinguishes the hipsteresque Main Street New Paltz shop from its competitors, however, is its owners' commitment to the community, evidenced by the use of small, independent vendors; commissions of local artists; and donations to nearby charities.
Lovefield Vintage is not your grandma's thrift shop; bright and beautiful, the somewhat lesser-known vintage boutique is based in Kingston, on one of the main drags in the historical and increasingly trendy Stockade District. The store is owned by a husband-and-wife team and former Bishop Allen bandmates, who moved upstate from Brooklyn in 2010 and, after dabbling in movie scores (Justin Rice) and jewelry making (Darbie Nowatka), chose to open their first brick-and-mortar in Kingston, where, they say, "there's a really great energy... right now." Curated by Darbie, a lifelong vintage clothing collector, Lovefield Vintage is stocked with "a well-balanced mix of super-wearable staples, some over-the-top statement pieces, some more playful nostalgia stuff, and some special designer pieces."
"STYLE. SWAG. TRIBE" — that's the tagline for the Nettle and Violet store on Etsy and Instagram. Owned and operated by Rosendale resident, seamstress and stylist Shabbat Rusciolelli online and in town, the vintage store focuses on sustainability, quality and uniqueness. As Shabatt puts it, "fashion is what I can't not DO!" The store, across from the 1850 House on Main Street, is tastefully designed, with a variety of well-priced vintage options from the Victorian era to modern day.
If you're searching for a spectacle, you've found it on Main Street in the tiny but trendy Ulster County hamlet of Phoenicia. Need to kill time? You could get lost for days at Mystery Spot Antiques. Described by Country Living Magazine as "a love-at-first-sight wonderland of oddball collectibles, vintage clothing, and objects d'art," this antique store, museum and vintage treasure trove is a must-visit for vacationers and locals alike. While some may be overwhelmed by this self-described "shrine to clutter," opened nearly 20 years ago by eclectic visual artist Laura Levine, there is a method to the madness — with individual rooms for old records, books, and clothes. In fact, three rooms are stocked exclusively with vintage clothing carefully selected by the owner-operator.
At 21, Rayann Fatizzi, also known as Retro Ray, started her first business selling vintage clothing. What followed was a two-decade career in the fashion industry, along with a stint in costume and set design for motion pictures, photo shoots and theatrical productions. Ray has twice been selected as the Hudson Valley's best costume designer and, over the years, has opened dress-up tea rooms, art galleries and boutique stores. As she puts it, "I find my passion in collecting, curating, designing, buying and selling" things "with a look." Indeed, a quick trip to her website demonstrates her passion commitment and quirkiness — and with a visit to her Saugerties store you'll find a vast collection of unique, high-quality vintage clothes, jewelry and accessories to "guide you in your new or refining wardrobe transitions."
Got Your Eye on Another Store?
As your local guides to the Hudson Valley, and everything it has to offer, we pride ourselves on knowing the real estate market inside and out, as well as all the go-to restaurants, shops, museums, outdoor attractions and more. So, if we're missing your favorite vintage clothing collection, let us know in the comments so we can help spread the word!
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