Recently, I took a shopping stroll on Melrose Avenue, enjoying the shops and the California sunshine. I was surprised to see all the new shops and designers moving in to the neighborhood. Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenburg have now opened shops. But one store remains a Melrose tradition and offers a bit of Hollywood glamor, upscale consignor Decadestwo. I was lucky enough to meet and have a chat with the owner of Decadestwo, Christos Garkinos. Following is our interview, offering a unique glimpse into the world of consignment treasures. Remember, although this store is based in Los Angeles, CA, there are great consignment stores all over the globe. Consult YELP! for one in your area. Following is The Recessionista’s interview and pictures from Decadestwo. The Decades store is now featured in Bravo’s Dukes of Melrose TV show.
Q. Why did you start DecadesTwo?
A. I was friendly with Cameron Silver (now on TV’s Dukes of Melrose) who founded our sister store—Decades—the vintage couture boutique—in 1997. While I was in the music business, I provided seed money for Decadestwo two years after, because I felt that there was a place in fashion for pre-loved high end designer clothing—the pre-owned Mercedes of fashion if you will. I came on full time two years later. And now we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. Phew.
Q. Tell us about your selection process for the fashions you stock.
A. We are very selective. We only accept twenty percent of what we are offered. We see over 60,000 things a year and accept about 10,000.
Q. The store has kind of a magical feel. There are three beautiful Vintage gowns on Mannequins. Can you tell us anything about them? Are there any stories there?
Q. How do you manage to acquire so much vintage and new Chanel?? You have a great collection.
A. Chanel is our best seller. We are trés aggressive in searching high and low for the best pieces!
Q. I noticed some things in the store were not consignment, but were actually new with tags. Is that a new thing?
A. Actually everything in the store is on consignment. The tags are garments that were never worn.
Q. For a day of Recessionista shopping were would you go? Were can men shopping Recessionista look for bargains, outside of Decadestwo?
A. I love the outlets in Palm Springs . A little shopping. A little vacation.
Q. And finally, I have to ask any favorite restaurants in the area ( Melrose ) for cheap & cheerful dinning?
A. I like M Café very much. It’s good for you food and you can have lunch for under $8.00.
Postscript: The Decades store and Christos Garkinos are now stars of the new Bravo reality show, “The Dukes of Melrose.” In the show promotions Christos is called the “Robin Hood of Fashion.”