Old Is New Again

imageAdmit it. When you think about shopping for vintage clothes, the following images of a Goodwill thrift shop probably come to mind: a musty, moth-balled space with dim lighting, cluttered racks, creaky wooden floors and, dare I say, cobwebs. Well, that perception will instantly change the moment you set foot inside Dear:55 – a surprisingly clean-cut boutique with a beautifully blended assortment of new and pre-loved designer threads, shoes, bags and baubles.

Run by Moon Rhee and designer Hey Ja Do, antique dealers who always dreamt of opening a vintage clothing and accessory shop with a modern twist, Dear:55 is quickly becoming the go-to destination for downtown and uptown shoppers alike. A cutting-edge gallery-like space that’s painted a blinding shade of snow white (from the white walls to the white antique furniture and the white facade), Dear:55 is easily spotted from a mile away.

Eye-catching décor aside, it’s the boutique’s eclectic mix of designer clothing that will lure you inside. Expect a stellar selection of avant-garde labels culled from Europe and Japan, including Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens, Martin Margiela and Helmut Lang. Vintage junkies will love pawing through the racks for original ‘80’s pieces from Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons. Other retro standouts I spotted during last week’s sojourn include a DKNY military jacket, a sequined cardigan, a denim bubble skirt, an ivory tunic adorned with gemstones and a black leather motorcycle jacket. But the real show-stoppers were Hey Ja Do’s reconstructed creations, ranging from one-of-a-kind handbags (fashioned from recycled fabrics), chunky beaded jewelry (handmade from found objects like lace and charms) and futuristic frocks such as an asymmetrical cobalt blue skirt and a tuxedo blouse with tiers of cascading chiffon ruffles (pairs perfectly with my new men’s-inspired wide-legged pants).

No matter what your preference, perhaps the most en-dear-ing thing about Dear:55 – all the garments are so well preserved, you can wear ‘em out the door without first stopping at the dry cleaners. 

  • Dear:55
  • 55 Clinton Street (between Stanton & Rivington)
  • 212-673-3494
  • Monday-Sunday, 1pm-9pm
  • $100-$300
  • store credit or exchange within 7 days of purchase
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