New York Fashion Week alternative? City’s vintage shops offer funky, affordable clothes

The haute couture that will be on display at New York Fashion Week (Sept. 6-14) is largely unobtainable for just about everybody, but locals know they have much cheaper options to be fashion-forward — second-hand clothes shops.

The city is chock full of stores that specialize in classic or funky fashions of the past. While thrifting and vintage clothes shopping has always been popular, interest has grown in recent years, shop owners say.

Jade Oliver, the owner of Vintage Queens NYC, says that younger people are appreciating that older craftsmanship stays together well, and at the same time, dressing in older clothing “gives them a chance to time travel.”

Plus, it’s fashionable — modern labels are pulling from decades gone by, according to Carrie Peterson, who co-owns the vintage shop Beacon’s Closet.

“A lot of designers come to Beacon’s Closet to find something for inspiration,” she says. “They’re coming to see the vintage clothing to create and modify their designs. It happens quite a bit.”

New York City in particular is a gold mine for such things thanks to locals, from students to the older population, who donate their items big and small, shop owners say.

Here’s what you can expect to find at a few of them.

Shaye Weaver