The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Reworked Vintage Clothes Get New Life at East Village Store

By Serena Solomon | September 6, 2012 8:57am

EAST VILLAGE — For those who feel an exclusive piece of vintage clothing isn't quite unique enough, an East Village store is reinventing timeless shirts and jackets with its own clothing line.

Grey Era Vintage on East 9th Street is recreating classic denims, leathers and silk shirts by tearing pieces apart before piecing them back together with studs and vintage fabric.

"The idea is staple to statement," said Sierra Fromberg, 31, who owns the store and is partnering with local designer Rebecca Formichella, 26, to create the line titled "Rebecca Marrin for Grey Era Vintage.”

While the store focuses on staple pieces such as silk tops, flannel shirts and denims with an "androgynous, 90s feel," the new line can easily flow between day and night wear, according to Fromberg.

"There is grey area in between having a lot of these basics in your wardrobe and having something really special to go along with those clothes," she said.

The designing force behind the line is Formichella, who lends her middle name "Marrin" to the line.

"I don't want to overwhelm people, but there is a little bit of flair to each piece," said Formichella.

For the line Fromberg, uses pieces drawn from her usual haunts of flea markets and secondhand stores.

Formichella, a fashion graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design, then takes over by attaching each stud and sewing each jacket or shirt back together by hand in her East Village apartment. Whether it is dyed, reconstructed or studded, each piece can take her days.

One standout piece is a denim jacket that was once covered in an "ugly white lace," according to Formichella. After removing the lace, she pulled the jacket apart before replacing certain panels with fabric from a South American blanket with bright stripes. A series of studs dot the front of the jacket for a more glamorous effect. 

"It is still a staple. It is something you can get away with every day, but it can transition you into night," Fromberg said. A studded vintage silk shirt will go for under $100 and a denim jacket embellished with studs will cost about $150.

The line will launch on Sept. 15, the first anniversary of the store.

"I think I came of age fashion-wise in the 90s," said Fromberg, explaining why Grey Era Vintage leans toward that decade for its style.

"It was a time where designers were really pushing their creative limits and thinking more about the art of clothing and less about the business," she said.

Fromberg, born and raised in Manhattan, was devastated when her go-to vintage stores around the city shut down while she studied at a college in Boston for almost a decade. After working in fashion PR and at other boutique clothing stores around the city she branched out on her own last year.

"I wanted a place where people would come and build a wardrobe and not have people saying, 'am I going to be buy this stuff and pay my rent?'" she said.