Friday, September 16, 2011

Vintage Shop Interview: The Hip Zipper

Store: The Hip Zipper

Owner:Trisha Brantley
Manager: Kristan Schreiner

1008 Forrest Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 228-1942

*Clothing will be sold online very soon!

Monday closed
Tues-Thurs 12-6
Fri-Sat 12-7
Sun 11-6

While shopping with my sisters in Nashville, Kristan Schreiner, former fashion student and present manager of Trisha Brantley's The Hip Zipper, talked with me about all things vintage.

Q: How long has this store been in Nashville?
A: She started out of her upstairs attic and would have parties where she would bring people over and sell her vintage clothes. That gave her enough money to open up a store. Her first store was behind this building, and when she had enough money to buy this building she moved it up here. We’ve been here between 4 and 6 years, and I've been working here for 2 years.

Q: What brought you to The Hip Zipper?
A: I went to school for fashion design and merchandising, and I used to work at Forever 21 as a visual merchandiser but absolutely hated it. I would shop and spend so much money here all the time, and then finally I decided to find a new job. The day I quit Forever 21, the girl who worked here quit. She sent out an email saying, “Hey, I’m asking all of my close friends if they know anyone that needs a job that dresses like me?” [laughs] I was the first one to answer the email, so I got the job.

Q: Nice. Where did you go to school?

A: I went to the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville. I wanted to go to the one in L.A., but it was way expensive.

Q: Do you have aspirations to design your own line?

A: Yeah, I would love to do that. A lot of the time I’m working here though, so when I go home I’m just…

Q: Vegging?
A: Yeah! [laughs] I’m tryin’ to get that into motion. Slowly but surely.

Q: When did you first discover you were drawn to vintage clothing?

A: When I would go to my grandmother’s house over the summers and we would watch old movies, I became obsessed with Judy Garland. I was probably 15 when I started wearing my Mom’s stuff from the seventies and eightie

Q: Who are your style icons?

A: Stevie Nicks and Marianne Faithful are my top two people for style, but the actual women I love the most are Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn.

Q: Do you have favorite films that they have been in?

A: Of course I love The Wizard of Oz. I like Summer Stock with Gene Kelly who is just so beautiful, and Judy Garland is in it. I think it was her last film for MGM. It’s awesome. Of course Breakfast at Tiffany‘s. Any Audrey Hepburn film I’ll watch.

Q: How has your fashion taste changed since you began working here?

A: I started out liking the twenties, but with the twenties you can’t wear the clothes. They disintegrate. They’re beautiful, but they should just be put into a time capsule. I absolutely hated the fifties. Working with Trisha, her decade is the fifties, and then it became an obsession for me for awhile. I was getting all these beautiful fifties dresses, but they’re so constricting and hot. Now I’m liking the seventies. Stevie Nicks and Marianne Faithful. That’s more my thing now.

Q: Do you have a favorite vintage piece that you love to wear?

A: Hmmm…that’s hard. I have three vintage closets full of clothes.

Q: Wow! I thought I had a lot of vintage clothes because I have one entire closet devoted to vintage.
A: Yeah, I don’t really have one piece that I’m attached to.

Q: What about in the store? Is there one piece that you are dying to take home?

A: I love everything. It’s hard to pick. It’s like asking what your favorite band is. We have some bronzy gold heels that are so disco. They’re from the seventies and they remind me of Studio 54. I’ve been obsessed with that look because we had the Andy Warhol exhibit in town.

Q: Yeah, I love Edie Sedgwick's style.

A: Yes! I like her way better than Twiggy. Most people prefer Twiggy, but Edie had so much more character. Twiggy was the good girl and Edie was…

Q: …Naughty.

A: Yes! [laughs]

Q: Is there a certain trend that you see Nashville shoppers going for?

A: The Rockabilly scene was getting big for awhile. All these people were wanting to look like the early fifties. It was funny. Right now there’s a lean toward the folksy blue grass look for guys. Suspenders, button downs with rolled up sleeves, beards, and newsboys. Almost the Depression era...but in the back woods.

Q: Do you have any tips for people that don’t necessarily have the fashion background you have or understand how vintage can be an asset to their wardrobe?

A: Vintage is an asset because it's well made and it’s environmentally friendly because we’re not putting more chemicals out and causing destruction in order to make new clothes.I dress in vintage everyday, but I always wear one or two pieces that is modern so it doesn’t look like I’m trying to look like the fifties. Something might look crazy on the hanger, but if you put it with a modern piece than it will look fresh.

Shop manager: Kristan Schreiner

One of her favorite items of the moment: 5" gold heels reminiscent of Studio 54.

Their cool mid-century teal over hanging lamp.

Purses, hats, and belts oh my!


Swim caps...I might have been tempted to buy one if they had been for sale. I have secretly always thought it would be cool to be part of a synchronized swimming team.

Purses...maybe my favorite vintage items to collect. They give so much character to the walls in my closet, and the plainest of outfits suddenly become intriguing with a great vintage purse.

Creepy little dolls that I kind of liked...reminded me of the troll dolls that were so popular when I was in Jr.High.

Children's clothing...since kids tend to be much rougher on their clothing than adults, vintage clothing for the wee little ones is much harder to find.

Men's wear



It's basic, but I thought this purse would make a great addition to my collection because it would go with so much. So...I took it off their hands!

I always love purse details like this plaid fabric inside the pocket!

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