Vintage lovers around the globe celebrated another glorious season of L.A. Frock Stars. The Smithsonian Channel premiered the second season of L.A. Frock Stars on March 19th. Six hour-long episodes highlighted Doris Raymond and her staff's adventures in vintage fashion, designer glamour and fashion history.
I planned a short business trip to Los Angeles in February when I thought about treating myself with a visit to vintage fashion heaven a.k.a. The Way We Wore. A massive fan of the TV show, I was hoping to buy a couple of statement pieces that I can research and blog. And if Doris Raymond were in the house, well that would be THE ultimate "LA Star Sighting" for me!
Google "Doris Raymond" and you'll note both business and fashion publication heavy hitters have shared Doris' story including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Variety, Harper's Bazaar, LA Times, and the New York Times. Doris is the vintage maven who owns and operates The Way We Wore and stars in the unscripted, docu-series L.A. Frock Stars. She has been appropriately nicknamed the vintage fashion guru, vintage fashion royalty, fairy godmother of vintage clothing, queen of vintage fashion, vintage ninja...you get the picture.
Fortunately for me, Doris would be in town. I was more than thrilled that she kindly carved out some time for an interview and a tour. She walked me through the bi-level boutique and explained how she categorizes each section by decade. As seen on the show, the upper level houses her more upscale designer pieces. She also shared some of her most treasured items from her personal collection locked away in her back office (insert fainting scene here!).
Next door, Doris showed me the famous Inspiration Room filled from floor to ceiling with textiles, adornments, notions sold to designers all over the world. Her elaborate fashion library is also kept here (books not for sale!). She recently acquired a new collection. As the pieces still needed categorization, the room wasn't quite photo-ready, so I included this clip provided by the Smithsonian Channel to show how unique the contents of this room are.
A Rare Look Inside Doris Raymond's Inspiration Room. Credit: Smithsonian Channel.
We discussed her personal interests, the impact of the show on her business and her designer collaborations. We also touched on her Chicago connections, advice for vintage dealers, her take on the fashion industry and how the future looks for her and the business.
This video is the first of my 3-part interview series: Doris: Frock Star Status. I call Part One "Personally Speaking" as we cover the interesting backstories to:
What is memorable about my interview with Doris is how engaging and passionate she is. She exhibits eloquence and shrewd business acumen. Also, as much as she is in the Hollywood spotlight, she remained humble, warm and inspiring.
"To me, the definition of power is someone who has the ability to have a positive impact on someone and chooses to do so." - Doris Raymond
It's an honor to present Doris' story in her voice. At the end of the day, Doris is a vintage treasure hunter and fashion historian. A dynamic woman with a background in anthropology, the mission of her fashion life's work may be summarized as "spreading the gospel of vintage."
I left her store feeling grateful and completely inspired to "spread the gospel of vintage" in my own unique way. To me, that means sharing fashion history, showcasing vintage fashion aficionados and celebrating businesses making a difference in the vintage industry.
After the interview, she made her graceful exit to attend an Oscar party. And I returned the next day to scoop up some amazing vintage pieces!
The Way We Wore
334 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Stay tuned for Doris Raymond: Frock Star Status - Part Two.