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August 23 2014

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Shareen Vintage Pops Up At Madewell

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“My husband doesn’t even really know what my day is like. I’m in the trenches,” Shareen Mitchell said in front of a camera crew for her new reality series at Madewell in Los Angeles last night. To L.A. and NYC vintage shoppers in the know, Mitchell needs no introduction. The actress and former designer, typically referred to simply by her first name—the namesake of her perpetually packed bicoastal vintage boutiques—has a cult following that’s been steadily building for years. “I’m not really about vintage; I’m not about the past. I want to be about bringing fashion to you at a price you can afford,” she said. Over her shoulder, shoppers were swarming three racks of vintage pieces (some reworked) handpicked by Shareen, which will be selling at in-store pop-up shops at Madewell’s Century City and Soho stores for under $100 as long as supplies last.

Where does she find the goods? “That’s always the question,” Mitchell says. “I work with independent buyers who source things and bring them for me to buy. But I also do a lot of digging. It’s kind of an excavating process for me in places that sort used clothing. It’s not easy. It’s dirty work.” It’s this less glamorous side of her profession that will be prominently featured in a new reality TV series, Shareen Vintage, which premieres on Planet Green this fall.

As for Shareen’s styles up for grabs at Madewell: Think loose-fitting and backless dresses in Indian prints and fifties party dresses (minus their linings). “I’m seeing fashion move to a very conservative trend. There’s a need for glamour, charm, lovely…I love the word lovely,” Mitchell says of the shift she’s noticing away from the strong, structured eighties silhouettes. As we’ve seen elsewhere, it’s bye-bye eighties, hello seventies—come fall, Mitchell will be serving up plenty of Me Decade styles, of which Phoebe Philo would likely approve. “I have so much of it I couldn’t sell the last four years because no one wanted it,” she says. My, how times have changed.

Photos: Courtesy of Madewell

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