Citizen Vintage is one of our favourite haunts in Montreal—and not just because they act as our unofficial spokeswomen in the city, representing WORN at craft shows and hosting issue launch parties. More than just a shop (and a delightful shop filled with treasures at that), the store also brings fashion-friendly folks together for various events. Partners Brooke Doyle, Rebecca Emlaw, and Lara Kaluza talk to Worn about the value of vintage clothing, the importance of keeping a strong presence in their community, and Indiana Jones’s bow-tie.
Why is it important to shop vintage?
Rebecca: Vintage is a way of life for me now. Fashion is about individuality, and vintage selection can offer that. We never have two of the same pieces on the racks. Vintage is good quality for a good price. And substainability is important to me: vintage clothes practically have a zero carbon footprint, due to the fact that everything is already there.
Lara: Personally, I wear vintage because I find the clothing sold at big brand clothing stores is made so poorly that it falls apart in a few months. Plus, I hate showing up at a party wearing the same thing as someone else—I like that uniqueness vintage pieces give to my wardrobe.
Brooke: It’s pointless to spend your money (whether it’s $20 or $200) on something brand new, only to have it fade, stretch, peel or otherwise deteriorate within days of wear. Even “luxury” brands are just not as well made as they used to be. I trust vintage. I trust that if a leather bag, pair of boots, jacket or sweater has lasted 20 years, it will last another 20. The fact that it’s unlikely you’ll see someone wearing the same garment is just a bonus! It’s more likely you’ll see a cheaply produced newer garment replicating a vintage print or pattern, so why not buy the original?
Why is community involvement so important to you?
Brooke: We really make an effort to diversify our business by collaborating with musicians, artists, and other entrepreneurs.We work really hard to know our neighbors and be supportive of local businesses, the more we extend ourselves to others the more we learn! Citizen Vintage introduced the idea of a “vintage walking map” to the neighborhood, which includes several local vintage shops and so far has been really well received. It’s important to realize there’s strength in numbers.
Rebecca: Life and work is more interesting and fulfilling when you involve your friends and neighbours around you. There is so much great energy in this neighbourhood, it’s hard to resist involvement.
Describe each of your personal styles.
Brooke: I wear whatever I can bike in! I wear a lot of button ups, cardigans, printed dresses, Converse, and flat leather boots.
Lara: I suppose out of the three of us, I like the older vintage, ’50s and ’60s, the most. I like to mix older and newer pieces together. Though at the moment I’m really into the ’90s—I pretty much wear my chunky heel ankle boots and a rotation of little floral dresses everyday.
Rebecca: I love natural fibres and I love classic styles. I like clothing that is tailored and fits well. I’m a curvy girl and I want things to fit in all the right places. Frumpy is not a good look for my shape, so when I shop I look for darts that are well placed, and fabric that has a classic drape.