I have a new favorite store and of course had to share for those of you who live in New York or may be visiting soon. Fab 208 is this hot pink store on 7th street - between First and Second Avenues - in the East Village, a little spot of color and happiness on an otherwise gray urban street. It screams “come in here! We have special things in here!” While some stores painted hot pink might tarnish the color’s vibrant reputation with cheap and tacky wares, you can tell right away from Fab 208’s window display that this store wants to stand out because what it’s selling stands out in a very good way.
Everything lately is vintage. I feel like the fact it’s become so trendy has taken something away from the true vintage lovers who revel in their individualism, who still take thrill in the hunt and the find, who truly appreciate each item for its history instead of grabbing it because it looks cool. But Fab 208 still caters to that crowd. While their things definitely look cool, they’re also totally unique, and owners Jo Custance-Smith and Alan Smith have found a way to make their vintage different. These aren’t the concert tees, plaid pants and fringed jackets of every other vintage shop that clutters the East Village. These pieces are recycled – they’re vintage pieces made new again with edgy embellishments and prints. So there’s a bit of the history and special vintage factor, but with a contemporary twist that makes every piece a true one-of-a-kind. And the prices make it easy to snatch up a few one-of-a-kinds.
On my recent first trip here, I bought this amazing sleeveless flannel shirt, an old men’s shirt that had been reinvented with gold spike-studs along, well, everywhere – yet somehow still subtly. They line the collar, the placket and the patch pockets. I wore it yesterday and couldn’t stop looking down at it – I’m pretty sure it’s the coolest shirt I own. I can’t wait to go back for this delicate white blouse that’s been toughened with a printed gun, or any of the lush-colored dresses in fabulous vintage silhouettes with modern, urban prints.
Another thing you should know, especially if you’re like me and hate trying things on and hate dealing with the people working in the stores usually since they’re all about the sell: the shopping experience here is nothing like that, and is nothing but pleasant. The owners will – nicely, of course! – tell if you try something on and it doesn’t work so perfectly, and they’ll help you find something that does, and then make you feel great about it. I’ve never been so comfortable stepping out of the dressing room in whatever I’m trying on. In short, go here. I promise you’ll be walking out with at least one thing that will change your closet forever.
- Image from GigMagNy.com