Contemporary Vintage in NYC With 'The Break'

Contemporary Vintage in NYC With 'The Break'
© Cody Guilfoyle/The Break
From hidden spots to world-famous establishments, New York City’s vintage destinations are some of the most fabulous among the international shopping scene.

With this in mind, New York fashion influencer, writer, and photographer Liisa Jokinen created a guide to shopping the best of New York City vintage. With her new website, NYC Vintage Map, Jokinen literally maps out her favorite shops for thrifting, no matter what your budget.

Jokinen, who moved to New York from Finland via San Francisco just over a year ago, has gotten to know the city and its inhabitants by photographing street style for her blog NYC Looks. For 2018, rather than following a particular style trend, Jokinen has curated a wardrobe that’s entirely vintage, which makes her an expert.

“When you dress vintage, you’re setting your style apart from the crowd,” says Jokinen.

Dressing vintage allows you to curate a look that speaks to your style aspirations and draws upon individual creativity as well as a knowledge of the current fashion cycle. The Break, a contemporary vintage store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is one of Jokinen’s top picks, especially for those who are interested in upcycling garments and reinterpreting styles du jour.

Culture Trip spoke with The Break’s founder, Hannah Richtman, about how to shop contemporary vintage, a welcome antidote to the wasteful fast-fashion market.

Models for The Break in contemporary vintage © Cody Guilfoyle/The Break

Culture Trip: What are some styling tips for making vintage look contemporary?
Hannah Richtman: Fashion is totally cyclical. All of the current trends were in style at one point in the past, so it’s easy to mix and match vintage with contemporary to create a super relevant look. That’s exactly our focus at The Break—sourcing recycled pieces that look fresh off the runway. I think pairing a strong-shouldered ’80s blouse with high-waisted jeans and boots is an easy, everyday look. Also, accessorizing is key. We love how a statement earring elevates a vintage floral dress. Add a monochrome mini leather bag to any look and revel in how you’re saving the earth and your hard-earned cash.

Contemporary vintage suit for SS18 © Cody Guilfoyle/The Break

CT: What types of vintage pieces are timeless?
HR: Suits! We’ve been selling them for years and they never cease to inspire. A tailored silk set is truly one of the sexiest, and easiest, pieces you could have in your closet.

Contemporary vintage suit accessorized with style © Cody Guilfoyle/The Break

CT: Tell me about your project TheBreakIRL.
HR: TheBreakIRL started soon after I launched the website from my apartment. I would host trunk shows in my living room for my friends to shop, drink and dance. Eventually our followers on Instagram started showing up.

The Break © Cody Guilfoyle/The Break

We got a studio soon after and have been throwing events ever since. They would get so wild that we decided to open a permanent manifestation of the brand. You can shop our selection at our store in Brooklyn seven days a week.

We get around three hundred new pieces weekly, so inventory is always fresh, and the complimentary rosé is always chilled. Our goal is to break away from the notion that retail isn’t inclusive. We challenge that constantly by hosting tattoo pop-ups, dance parties, dog adoptions, art galleries, clothing drives and even presenting our own vision at New York Fashion Week. The Break is about celebrating community, and the best way to access that is IRL.

Visit The Break at 82 Dobbin Street.

Stay tuned for more of Culture Trip’s collaboration with Jokinen and NYC Vintage for the lowdown on the best vintage shopping—from thrifting to consignment—as well as interviews with vintage connoisseurs.