It’s August and the heat and humidity are still on the rise. But for Lexi Sacchi, the buyer for Frock, a new vintage boutique in Park Slope, it’s almost time to break out the winter threads.
“I just came across an amazing [wool] Yves St. Laurent jumpsuit,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what season it is — in vintage, you never know when you’re going to come across it again. In New York, people are more knowledgeable, and it’s harder to find great stuff.”
At only 25, Sacchi, a Park Slope native, has developed quite an eye for doing just that. Scouring estate sales, auctions, private collections and “hole-in-the-wall consignment shops,” she and Evan Ross, the boutique’s owner, have managed to fill two shops (the original outpost is in Manhattan) and build up a faithful clientele of fashion-savvy shoppers, stylists, designers and celebrities. Indeed, when fashion icons like Iman and Sarah Jessica Parker already flock to the location across the river, can Brooklyn stars like Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kerri Russell be far behind?
“Our clientele is very Park Slope: women who know more about fashion and appreciate high-end, vintage designer clothes,” Sacchi said on a recent afternoon. On our visit, the 450-square-foot store wasn’t open yet, but shoppers popped in through the door and proved her right, admiring floral-print Oscar de la Renta dresses and slightly loved Hermes handbags.
The prices at Frock range from $150 for a blouse to $2,600 for a one-of-a-kind dress, but this hasn’t sent second-hand enthusiasts running back to the thrift shop just yet.
“I am aware of what women will and won’t do for fashion,” said Sacchi. “People should be able to find things that they can really use.”
So far, the store has done a brisk business in cocktail dresses and purses — high-end items that are fashionable without being over-the-top. Save runway pieces that could double as prom dresses for the luckiest teenager ever, the shop leaves more extreme couture to its other branch.
“The selection here is slightly different,” said Sacchi. “In Manhattan, a lot of our clientele is editorial, but stuff here is more wearable. Sometimes we have stuff like bodysuits that are geared more toward stylists. It’s not like going to Barney’s and looking for a dress. People are looking for one specific piece, and I can help them out.”
For clients like stylist CeCe Barfield, this special attention doesn’t go unnoticed.
“I really don’t mess around with other vintage stores,” said Barfield. “I know they only have the best of the best.”
Barfield, who claimed her best find at the store was a black dress by designer Thierry Mugler that she wore to a party at the Metropolitan Museum, went on: “It seems like Brooklyn really dictates a lot of the city’s style, and Frock does the same. They complement one another.”
And for Sacchi, building a business on Fifth Avenue could be said to be a family tradition. Her grandfather, Anthony Scicchitano, owned Cucina, the fabled neighborhood eatery, and she sees his as footsteps to follow in.
“He loved this neighborhood, and I’m the same way,” said Sacchi. “I’m making a point of being in the store every day and developing a relationship with our customers.”
It seems that it isn’t just the merchandise, but the approach to customer service, that’s both charming and vintage at Frock.
Frock (274 Fifth Ave. at Garfield Place in Park Slope) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The store is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 1 pm to 8 pm. Closed Mondays. For information, call (718) 499-2950 or visit www.frocknyc.com.
©2008 Community News Group
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