What's in Store
"What's in Store" is the final segment of my three-part series with Doris Raymond, vintage fashion guru, owner of The Way We Wore and star of the Smithsonian Channel docu-series L.A. Frock Stars. In this piece, I interviewed Doris about what she has in store for her business now and in the future.
Current & Upcoming Projects
We start with Doris telling us her thoughts on LA Frock Stars Season Two and how it differs from Season One. She also promotes The Way We Wore’s amazing semi-annual 50% Off sale traditionally held every year in February and August. The sale includes pieces on the first floor that you can touch. It’s a wonderful way for people to score beautifully curated vintage at a great deal.
When asked about the possibility of opening new boutiques, Doris responded with a resounding “No” to the idea of another brick and mortar location. She did, however, relocate her vast film and television inventory from San Francisco to Los Angeles in preparation for the launch of a subsidiary retail business to The Way We Wore.
This vintage clothing retail store cleverly named “Voguely Familiar” will sell vintage clothing exclusively on-line and will offer women’s clothing at $99 and under, and men’s and children’s clothing priced as is. Voguely Familiar is projected to launch and in full operation within the next two years.
I asked Doris where she sees her business within the next ten years. She discusses part of her exit strategy and envisions the sale of The Way We Wore along with Voguely Familiar to a young, energetic, inspired (and lucky!) new owner. She sees the transition happening within the next two to three years.
With such a fascinating fashion journey she’s gone through over the past thirty-five years, I asked Doris whether she has considered writing a memoir or a vintage fashion history series. Not surprising, I wasn’t the only person who thinks this would be an exciting and well-received project.
Although she has extraordinary tales to tell, the timing for a project like this is logistically impossible to begin right now. It’s something she may consider when she’ll have more time to devote to such a project…perhaps after she sells her business.
When you consider the duration of Doris’ career, fashion bloggers are a somewhat recent phenomenon in the fashion industry. She gives her perspective on fashion bloggers in general and the challenges the vintage fashion industry faces depending on the fashion blogger’s goals. She also offers suggestions on what she believes fashion bloggers can do to impact the vintage fashion industry positively.
“If people had at least a quarter to a third of their wardrobe in vintage, Mother Earth would be much healthier.”
I was curious as to how Doris sees the vintage fashion industry evolving. She believes that since it’s becoming harder to find vintage pieces in excellent condition on a consistent basis, the future in the vintage fashion industry lies in repurposing. She imagines that more people will develop creative ways to repurpose vintage into mainstream ways. She mentions how companies like Reformation repurpose vintage into contemporary dresses from pieces selected from rag houses and thrift shops.
Doris gives her final thoughts on today’s woman and vintage fashion. She appreciates her customers taking chances with vintage and experimenting with silhouettes that can become a part of their personality.
She encourages women in a favorite expression she uses: "Don't be a weenie. Be brave." Vintage is a fun way to be creative and express your originality. She celebrates the courage it takes to stand out from wearing one-of-a-kind pieces.
It's my hope that vintage fashion lovers enjoy this interview series as much as I enjoyed producing it. Words cannot express how much of an honor it was to interview Doris. She was not only generous with her time and eloquent with her words, but also incredibly supportive of my humble grassroots effort to share the gospel of vintage in my way.
Doris continues to be my inspiration, not only to share my love for vintage, but even more important to live with an abundant heart.