For a Gay Old Time, Shop This Brooklyn Vintage Store

Written by | Lifestyle

1926 Vintage Store in Brooklyn

(Image courtesy 1926 Vintage)

We trace the journey of a ’20s-themed brooklyn vintage store — from Flea Market Flip to a fabulous storefront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

1926

676 Driggs Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
1926nyc.com

Hours

Monday: 12-8PM
Tuesday: 12-8PM
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday – Saturday: 12-8PM
Sunday: 12-7PM

What Will You Find in this Brooklyn Vintage Store?

Williamsburg is home to countless trendy boutiques and vintage stores. But there is only one that seems to aptly embody the freewheeling spirit of prohibition era New York. Enter 1926, a two-room paradise for seekers of all things glitzy and glamorous, retro and revived.

“Our shop offers a different point of view from the other vintage stores in Williamsburg,” explains Founder and Co-Owner, John Fondrisi. (He goes by JJ for short.) “We aren’t just pulling vintage clothes because it’s what people want. The whole backbone and vibe is driven by the history of my grandfather’s fashion drawings.”

These heirloom sketches have been weaved into the literal and figurative fabric of 1926. The flapper decal that dominates the shelves and adorns the brand’s social media handles was originally created by JJ’s late grandfather. (He was an esteemed designer for the department store Barney’s New York.) Almost a century later, those same images embellish the shop’s popular line of screen printed t-shirts, harem pants and incoming collection of handblock-printed duvet covers, bed linens — among other unique home decor items.

How Did JJ End Up Running a Brooklyn Vintage Store?

“Art runs in my blood,” JJ says with a laugh. “I can’t escape it.” Prior to running 1926, JJ worked as an interior designer, serving high-profile clients like Good Morning America co-anchor and self-proclaimed flea market enthusiast Lara Spencer. She eventually helped JJ and partner Chris Quinn land a slot on the popular HGTV game show Flea Market Flip.The pair were awarded a modest cash prize after winning the televised competition. They used it to fund the first iteration of 1926 – a series of weekend pop-up booths at tourist hot spots like Artists and Fleas and Chelsea Market.

As their potpourri of upgraded antiques and retro clothing continued to expand, so did their professional connections. Now in its permanent brick and mortar location on Driggs Ave., 1926 offers not only original designs and vintage apparel, but a decadent selection of specialty items from local vendors they’ve met over the years at small makers markets.

Whose Work Will You Find at this Brooklyn Vintage Store?

“I work with people who LIVE what they are making,” JJ shares with pride. “I’m not making a t-shirt just to make a t-shirt. There’s roots and history behind every design. I look for that quality in our vendors too.” A woman who has been crafting handmade jewelry since she was three years old and a couple who lives in Rome and runs their own organic candle-making business, are among the few featured artists.

With treasures for every taste, it’s no surprise that 1926 attracts a compelling audience. “We have a lot of drag and nightlife performers who shop with us,” JJ explains. “And we get a tremendous amount of tourists who come in here and feel that they’re among the lucky few to have discovered something no one else knows about. It’s magical.”

Though this brassy boutique pays homage to a time well before Brooklyn was the height of fashion, its appeal is timeless. “We provide a vibe and an experience,” JJ says warmly. “Maybe you’ll get a glass of wine. Maybe we’ll make you an espresso. Either way, you’re likely to stay a while and learn something new.”

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Last modified: December 4, 2019