Chambers Vintage: Used Yarn for the Contemporary Wardrobe | Beauty and Fashion | Hudson Valley

“I carry the kind of vintage that inspired contemporary design,” says Kym Chambers, founder of Chambers Vintage, an online vintage clothing store with a new brick-and-mortar store in Saugerties. “The designs are on the runway or in magazines — a lot of the pieces I own are, or could be, the source for this new work.”

Temporarily, that means her selection of second-hand yarns ranges from the ’60s to the late ’90s and into the early ’60s, from classic trench coats with matching belts to double-breasted jackets to silk slips and Levi’s jeans. “They’re things you can mix and match with contemporary fashion,” Chambers says. “If you’re going to put antique feathers in a wardrobe that has some Zara things on or wherever you shop, these are all pieces that will work.”

idea

The Chambers Vintage brand was born in 2019, shortly after Chambers gave birth to her son Noah. She had a background in fashion and fashion design, had experience in retail management and visual merchandising, and was looking forward to instilling her teeth into something to help weather the sea change of motherhood. “I loved being a new mom, but I also needed a new project that was just for me, and it wasn’t about being a mom,” she recalls. I asked myself, “What do I want to do in the future?” I’ve worked my way around the fashion world back to what I’ve loved most since the beginning: vintage. ”

Click to enlarge

In October 2019, the brand gave birth to an Instagram account and a guest shelf at a Midcentury Modern homeware store from two friends on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. That pop-up was just ending, Chambers was about to sign a lease on a storefront, when the pandemic hit, shutting down New York. Chambers leveraged everything she learned about e-commerce and digital inventory, site building, social media sales, and online marketing in her last job, and put everything she learned online.

“With the pandemic, I’ve really expanded my offerings online, focusing on Instagram and how to make it easier to shop and ship and for people to try things and be able to send them back in,” Chambers says. “The pandemic has been the kind of moment where online shopping – in some ways good and in some ways bad – has become something more. There has certainly been some retail therapy, but there has also been a lot of conscious consumerism. People are thinking about where they spend Where is their money, and whether they’re buying a sustainable ingredient.”

Today, Chambers’ Instagram account has over 2,700 engaged followers and still does most of her work online. Often she designs the clothes herself, and the products for sale are peppered with fun historical facts and vintage images of fashion and culture icons. In May 2021, she moved to Saugerties with her husband and son to an Old Victorian. She spent the summer building Chambers Vintage brick and mortar store, a separate space attached to the house but with its own entrance. On October 30, Chambers Vintage Studio opened by appointment. “A lot of people don’t know I’m here yet,” Chambers says. “People kind of discover me – some word of mouth, some people from town who follow me online come and realize I have a studio here.”

The shop, located on Cedar Street in Sugertes, is a white, 600-square-foot space with plush sheepskin rugs, wood accents, and shelves of clothes. During the pandemic, Chambers worries about the times ahead, preferring to schedule visits. “I want to keep going on dates with one or two people at a time because it’s not really a lot of space,” she says. “If I felt more secure about it, I would have had regular office hours, but I haven’t arrived yet. That is my summer goal.” She also looks to host in-person events, such as a monthly vintage clothing sale on the front porch of her Victorian home. In March, Chambers will share a pop-up of vintage clothing and homeware in a Brooklyn loft with 10 to 12 vendors curated by Anna Gray of Club Vintage.

Click to enlarge

Shelves of second-hand clothes at Chambers Vintage Studio in Saugretts

  • Shelves of second-hand clothes at Chambers Vintage Studio in Saugretts

push it forward

A portion of the sales from Chambers’ selection of vintage clothing, collected from thrift stores, estate sales, auctions, etc., go to periodic nonprofits. Over the past six months, Chambers has donated five percent of its proceeds to the Stockbridge Muncie Preservation Department. “I’m in the ancient land of the Mohican and Lenape,” she says. “These communities still exist. They’ve been moved to Wisconsin, but here’s this wonderful organization that’s working to locate and preserve artifacts and get the land back into their community. For me, as a new landowner in this area, with all the historical issues with land ownership. It seems appropriate for the moment I’m in.”

Click to enlarge

chambers_v vintage_shop_saugerties3.jpeg

This is the barometer Chambers is committed to using to advance their charitable giving — to find organizations that reflect where they are at a given moment, what they are learning, and what they want to highlight to their followers. In 2020, she donated to half a dozen social justice nonprofits, including The Bail Project, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), Ancient Song Doula Services, and Color of Change. “I was a sociology student and I’m from this socialist family that always talks about politics, equality, fairness and social justice – these are all very important things to me,” she says. “Fashion can be trivial, but you can also approach it in a purposeful and impactful way.”

The Chambers Vintage studio is open by appointment only. Call or email to schedule a slot.

Leave a Reply