Anna Bloda first ventured into Beacon’s Closet around 12 years ago, when she was living in her native Krakow, Poland and visiting the States. With its giant Polish population, naturally Anna stayed in Greenpoint and soon found herself exploring Williamsburg. That’s where she came upon the essential go-to for hipster and vintage wear.
Beacon’s Closet was everything Anna had dreamed of ever since her mother, on an extended stay, first mailed boxes of thrift-store clothes from America back home to Poland. While the store has long been a fixture of the neighborhood and an enduring symbol of Willamsburg’s claim to being hipster fashion central, this Sunday, this location will close and migrate to Greenpoint like so many priced-out thrifty types. (It’s only traveling a handful of blocks: The new store is tentatively scheduled to reopen March 8 at 74 Guernsey Street, near Nassau Avenue.)
Now living in Chelsea, Manhattan on a journalist visa, Anna still has a home in Warsaw, Poland. After visiting the states off and on for a decade, the 38-year-old has now been here for two years and will continue serving as a photographer abroad for various European outlets. Funny enough, Anna’s work has appeared in Vice magazine (whose offices are next to Beacon’s): she loves to explore “the young generation” through racy and revealing NSFW pics.
Among the colorful and crowded clothing racks at Beacon’s, Anna has both discovered beautiful models for her work and hidden gems for her personal art and personal life. Before the pink neon glasses on Baby Beacon fade forever on the sign for the Williamsburg store, she tours the racks one last time to talk style, sex, shoes, and beauty.
I grown up in Communism, and then I come to America. Americans to me are kind of like aliens because I grown up in a world where we couldn’t even afford banana.
In the ‘80s my mother, she came here for two years. And she was sending us the boxes with beautiful clothes from Salvation Army. So for us in Communist, it was quite shocking this colorful clothes. We had whole basement of clothes. Me and my sister could swim in the clothes. I didn’t understand the names of the designers at this time, but I knew that it was a lot of good stuff.
My style is sometimes freaky, like casual freaky.
I just love to be seen on the streets. I love to attract attention. I am quite unhappy when nobody look at me. After shopping in Beacon’s Closet, this is almost like sure that I’m going to be like screaming, like with my outfit. It’s going to be loud.
I love this space, but there maybe sometimes reason to change something. Every change has some aspect of good.
Recently, I got beautiful Chanel shoes here from ’80s in excellent shape. And I spend on them $39. This is like magical moments in Beacon’s Closet, like small miracles. I love my shoes, and I’m going to kiss them every night.
When I work with the model, I want to just see them naked. Just real. I don’t really like totally naked body. I always try to keep something because I find it more erotic. And I am crazy about erotica. I like to make people horny, you know? And I like to be horny shooting. This is all about sexual energy.
I found beautiful Japanese model here. She had the green hair. I am really crazy about Japanese girls because they are mysterious, and this is what I like about people. She had very funny socks with print of the marijuana.
Sometimes I am really curious why I am so interested about girls, why I like to see them naked. I am not lesbian at all. Exploring in other girls, I can describe myself better way.
For shoot, I got so many beautiful erotic outfits at Beacon’s Closet. They have one rack with the corsets, beautiful bras, beautiful panties. This is very interesting that I can grab something erotic and vintage and from many different decades.
I found once beautiful Givenchy from ‘60s with lace. Very beautiful electric blue. It was so beautiful my hands were shaking. There is photo of me on Instagram wearing this.
Sometimes I have a date and I have to have something amazing. And so I come straight to the Beacon’s and always I can figure something out for small money. It makes me happy.