The Origin of Malin Landaeus’s Vintage Collections
From a very young age, Malin had been obsessed with fashion. She would help her mom get dressed for work, play “store” with her friends and save up to buy coveted jeans by collecting bottles for deposit return.
By the time Malin moved to New York in 1987, she had already received a tailoring degree in Sweden. She had also worked for several years at Gul & Blå in Lund (a popular store with many locations in Sweden carrying brands like Fiorucci). She had become store manager at age 20 and at 23 was offered to take over ownership of the store. Instead, she went to New York to study fashion Production* and Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). She had never been to America before, but made new friends and quickly felt at home.
*Production is no longer offered at FIT as there is hardly any large-scale production of apparel happening in the States.
After graduating from FIT, Malin moved (with her new family) to California, where she started working for Earthlings, an organic cotton children’s brand. It was a time of “environmental awakening”, as Malin puts it, and those who were paying attention to the surmounting evidence were becoming more conscious of their impact. People everywhere were slowly understanding their personal contributions to our unsustainable consumption of resources and were trying to find ways to change their habits to make a difference. Malin made a commitment, together with her co-workers, to curb their own impact by consuming as little new product as possible. This spurred Malin’s pre-existing interest in shopping second-hand. She would peruse thrift stores & garage sales in order to find used clothing, shoes and such that still felt cool, current and fashionable.
After many years of working at Earthlings, Malin decided to quit her job in order to home-school her daughter, Nova. They moved back to New York – and eventually to Williamsburg – where Malin spent the majority of her time as a stay-at-home mom (with some freelance fashion consulting jobs sprinkled in). When Nova was a bit older, Malin took a part-time job for another children’s clothing company called Zutano, as their New York sales rep.
Over the years, Malin had accumulated quite the collection of vintage apparel. In 2005 she took some of her clothes and opened a booth at Artists’ & Fleas, an indoor weekend flea market in Williamsburg. Very quickly, customers realized the unique eye she had for collecting and curating. Customers returned, word spread and people sought her out. Designers from different brands would come to peruse her collection for inspiration. Her business grew, and she expanded her booth, until she’d taken over a large corner of the flea market space.
After 2 years at Artists’ & Fleas, Malin took a small storefront on N. 6th Street, off the corner of Bedford Avenue. The shop was officially open for business June 6th, 2007. It has been a neighborhood staple ever since, and a regular first stop for designers shopping for inspiration. Over the past 10 years, the store has continued to grow and gain traction with local shoppers and fashion industry folks alike, who come here to have fun, get inspired, be creative and build community.
Read more about our store here.
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