Exclusive Interview and Fall Campaign Preview with Candy Shop Vintage
Photos by Mark Champion
If you are a lover of Vintage then you are a lover of the local Candy Shop Vintage collection from Deirdre Zahl. She has the eye for great archival accessory finds but the true prize is the price point! Almost everything falls under $100 and most under $50! On a recent trip to NYC, Zahl collaborated with actress and style blogger, Amelia Alvarez, who has a blog called Clotheshorse NYC and styles for J.Crew, American Eagle, ADAM, and other brands in between acting jobs and her husband Mark Champion, a fashion photographer, to shoot the Fall 2010 collection! Here, I caught up with Deirdre and got the full scoop on Candy Shop Vintage style!
CM: Why the name Candy Shop Vintage?
DZ: I wanted a name that evoked a feeling of nostalgia and excitement that you get walking into a candy store... like "There's so much to choose from and it's all so amazing!" I'm all about affordability and variety, which just seemed to go hand-in-hand with the idea of a Candy Shop.
CM: How did you get started launching this business?
DZ: I've always collected vintage jewelry for myself and love the experience of hunting it down at flea markets, estates sales and antiques shops. I decided to start by selling some of it on Etsy, and quickly found a market for it both online and by doing my first event at Mac & Murphy in Charleston. It clearly hit a nerve with women of all ages and I just ran with it. I've been working as a graphic designer for 8 years, so I also love putting the time into all the design elements a small business requires, logo, websites, postcards, earring displays and blogging. I am in the process of redesigning the website around the fall campaign images. It's an exercise in creativity.
CM: As a Vintage Broker what goes into buying for Fall (thought process)?
DZ: In buying jewelry for Fall I gravitate towards more statement pieces, like great long necklaces to wear over sweaters, with jeans, or fabulous bib necklaces to wear to a cocktail party. I think fall is a little more formal and you tend to layer on the accessories more than in this kind of heat, so I definitely found pieces that are both festive and eye catching!
CM: What makes Candy Shop Vintage unique?
DZ: Both the price point and the specialized nature of the product. It is really all about fun, affordable jewelry (and the occasional purse) and about the experience of buying a piece from me. Each piece comes with piece of candy, a mini business cards and is carefully packaged to feel like what you are buying is special, and one of a kind - which it is!
CM: Typically what are the types of vintage finds you look for?
DZ: Pieces that are 1) in very good condition 2) are a good deal, so I can turn around and give my customer a good deal and 3) have a contemporary appeal. I follow style blogs and read a lot of fashion magazines and try to highlight jewelry trends on my blog and then look for vintage pieces that fit within current trends, like big earrings, stacks of bangles, or floral jewelry.
CM: What doesn't usually make the cut?
DZ: Anything too scratched, tarnished or old-fashioned looking.
CM: What was your inspiration behind this Fall shoot?
DZ: The inspiration for the photo shoot I did with Clotheshorse NYC were the ads that Jurgen Teller shoots for Marc Jacobs. They all have that desaturated, almost 70's look, and yet are still totally contemporary. They are also quite playful and fun, but also sexy and feminine without being "in your face" about it. Mark Champion (the photographer's) style is very sophisticated and also pretty raw. I wanted the photos to convey energy, a little nostalgia but still be current and I think we accomplished that!
CM: How did this collaboration come about?
DZ: I love Amelia's style blog and I've known her for years. I've always admired her style and her effortless ability to make vintage items look very chic and current. She and Mark Collaborate on her blog (he does all the photography) and in real life (they recently got married!). Mark bought some jewelry for Amelia from me last Christmas and it ended up on her blog and when I saw the way he shot it I knew I wanted to do a project with them.
CM: If you could style anyone in your pieces who would it be?
DZ: If it were an actress, it would be January Jones. I love her look, she transition easily from Betty Draper, to young Hollywood. She's got that classic beauty that sort of transcends eras, which is why she's so perfect in MAD MEN. If it were a model, I'd pick Chanel Iman. Terry Richardson shot her for H&M last year in a bunch of their costume jewelry and it's one of my favorite campaigns in recent memory.
CM: Describe your personal style?
DZ: Since I've moved to the South I've definitely veered in a more "girly" direction with my wardrobe. When I lived in the East Village in NYC, my look was a bit rock n' roll, but living in Charleston makes you want to put on a dress and heels every day! I think a could sum it up with "Feminine with a twist."
CM: If you were stuck wearing one jewelry piece for the rest of your life what would it be?
DZ: Besides my wedding ring? Ha! Actually, my husband bought be a very beautiful engagement ring from an estate jeweler in Greenwich CT. It's a very unique looking pale blue sapphire in a deco-style setting. I still love it every time I look down at my ring finger.
CM: What's next on the horizon for Candy Shop Vintage?
DZ: Next for Candy Shop Vintage is a new website and look book and a lot of new inventory going online this September! Also, lots of local events like the Fall Fashion Event at the Sanctuary in September, the Dock Side Fashion show in October and another big trunk show somewhere downtown this fall. I'll be starting a section of my online shop dedicated to bridal jewelry with some of the new pieces I've found. And, I see a lot more flea markets in my future.