The Vintage Twin, an online retailer started by Morgan and Samantha Elias when they were 19-year-old college kids, has popped up on the Bowery, and the twin sisters are serving free cocktails to shoppers until 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow.
The Eliases, now 24, sell what they call “reworked hunted treasure”: they buy ’60s-to-’90s pieces from estate sales and then adapt them by, say, turning a gown into a short skirt, adding lace to the bottom of some short shorts, or sewing a section of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedsheets onto a denim jacket. They also make body chains out of broken necklaces and chandelier parts, and they silkscreen sayings like “Bless This Mess” or “I Woke Up Like This” onto plaid and cotton tops.
At the pop-up, most of these unique pieces – along with sunglasses, LPs, and accessories like bow-ties made from the scraps of denim jeans or leather jackets – are $15 to $45, with only a few breaking the hundo mark. You’ll get still more bang for your buck should you take advantage of the open rum and coconut water bar, in the back.
So why is the shop, which has popped up at various locations around Manhattan, called The Vintage Twin and not The Vintage Twins? Samantha says she got the name from her family — which is based in Long Island and owns a closeout boutique in the Garment Center — after she first discovered thrifting while a student at University of Michigan. The party photographer decided to open a shop after attendees of the events she snapped stopped to ask her where she scored her custom-made outfits.
Though she and her sister are twins, they don’t necessarily dress alike. “Morgan’s uniform is all black everything and I’m a lot more liberal,” said Samantha, pointing at her tye-dye Grateful Dead tee and cut-offs. “A little more groovy.”
The Vintage Twin, 355A Bowery, bet. 3rd and 4th Sts.; open May 19-20 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.