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Today: 1–6pm
304 East 5th Street
Anna 1 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village

“I make dresses for people who don’t like to buy dresses, and it’s a shop for people who don’t like to shop,” Kathy Kemp said. Though she insisted she was never a terrific seamstress, Kathy has enjoyed design since her childhood days crafting outfits for herself. As an adult, she turned her keen eye to refashioning vintage clothes.

Kathy opened ANNA — named for the grandmother who taught her to sew — shortly after moving to New York, where she laid roots in the East Village. Being in the neighborhood in the 1990s was a particularly special time, and she believes the area’s unique spirit remains today.

Kathy sources her fabrics from New York’s Garment Center, translates them into her own style, and has the final products refined by local seamstresses. “I like comfortable clothing that’s a little bit different but not crazy.” After stitching up a sample, she will wear it for a few days, judging how the piece feels, how it looks in different lights, how it moves, and how people react to it. It is a deeply personal and empathetic creative process.

Her intimate connection to her work and her customers forms the business’ strong community. “ANNA is the kind of store you only tell your best friend about. We have a very well-edited group of people who shop here: it’s special people and their special people.” Just stepping into her cozy, old-fashioned boutique will let visitors experience what Kathy calls “ANNA magic.”

Anna 2 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village
Anna 3 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village
Anna 4 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village
Anna 5 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village
Anna 1 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village
Anna 6 Jewelry Womens Clothing East Village

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Tokio 7 1 Consignment Womens Shoes Mens Shoes Womens Clothing Mens Clothing East Village

Tokio 7

Most business owners know how difficult it is to bounce back after being robbed. Makoto Wantanabe has done it twice and, ironically, has a thief to thank for the very birth of Tokio 7.Makoto was globetrotting in the early 1990s when he arrived in Southern California on what was supposed to be the penultimate stop on his tour. He befriended a homeless man and let him stay in his hotel room for the night, but Makoto awoke to find everything except for his passport was stolen. Stranded with no money and far from his home in the Japanese countryside, Makoto called one of his only contacts in the U.S., who worked at a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan. He scrounged up enough money for a bus ticket and was off.While in New York, Makoto felt that men’s clothing suffered from a lack of style. Having always had a knack for fashion, he knew he could change that but lacked the funds to open a store with brand new clothing. So, after several years of saving his wages as a waiter, he founded one of the first consignment shops in New York City.Tokio 7 now carries men’s and women’s clothes, with the overarching theme being, as Makoto says, that they are simply “cool.” The clothes are mostly from Japanese designers and name brands with unique twists. In the store, clothing that has been donated with a lot of wear is labeled “well loved.”Despite its importance in the community, the shop fell on tough times during the COVID-19 pandemic. To make matters worse, Tokio 7 was looted in the summer of 2020 and had 300 items stolen. When Makoto contemplated closing his doors permanently, longtime customers begged him to reconsider. Resilient as ever, he set up a small photography area in the back of the shop and sold a portion of his clothes online to compensate for the decline of in-person purchases.Reflecting on his journey, Makoto marveled at the whims of fate. Had he not been robbed all of those decades ago in California, he had planned to start a life in the Amazon rainforest

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D.L. Cerney 1 Womens Clothing East Village

D.L. Cerney

Since 1985, D.L. Cerney has been a treasure-trove for any lover of vintage clothing. Heedless of changing fashion and consumer trends, as well as the general loss of public appreciation for well-made, long lasting, beautiful clothing that they have noticed, creators Linda St. John and Duane Cerney continue to stay true to their increasingly rare style. The creation of D.L. Cerney was entirely serendipitous: Linda and John arrived in Manhattan in 1984 to visit a friend with the intention of staying only for the week. Instead, they fell in love with the city. The ease with which they obtained their much-loved, first location on 7th Street was like “magic," as was the contents of their store. As great admirers of vintage clothes, both Linda and Duane used all of their money throughout their 20s to amass the collection - culminating in the 26-foot U-Haul full of unworn, vintage clothes in the original factory boxes - that they would sell in their new store. Knowing their collection was finite and irreplaceable, Linda and Duane began to slowly reproduce the vintage clothing they loved, relying on their far-reaching background with clothing design and creation. Linda taught herself to sew when she was twelve and always loved the beauty of well-made clothing. "We were so poor I would go to the junk stores. I looked at what rich ladies were throwing away and knew it was out of style, but marveled at the quality… And the quality of clothing back then lasted until around the late 60’s because the consumer… expected quality for their money. Quality’s out the window now - it’s all hype, advertising, and just total BS." Linda creates “statement maker” clothing in the style of the 1930s through 60s and emphasizes “quality, flattering fit, and beautiful fabrics.” After closing their 7th St. location in 2013 and opening a studio in upstate New York, in 2017 the East Village once again had the good fortune of having D.L. Cerney open in the neighborhood. Today on 9th St., D.L. Cerney enjoys a dedicated following of long-term customers and newcomers alike. The store also frequently provides clothes for period piece TV shows as well as numerous Broadway plays, including the Color Purple, Memphis, and South Pacific. Linda's designs influenced by Broadway, old movies, her research, and her own memories. As we walked through her store, Linda excitedly pointed out a few of her favorite designs, including brightly patterned blouses in the style she remembers her aunts wearing, the timeless, high-waisted “field trouser” that dominate almost all old Hollywood movies, and a row of reversible, wool jackets in the style of the '50s reversible jacket fad. Passing by a patterned tent dress with wide, square front-pockets, she plucked it off the rack and deemed it perfect for a day at the beach “with a pair of little red tennis shoes.” D.L. Cerney not only displays clothing, but is also Linda's own studio. “When I’m not busy with people, I am working with all my projects.” These projects include her critically acclaimed memoir, "Where Dogs Go to Die," as well as her exhibit of dolls, “1000 Skinny Girls in a Dirt Yard," showed in the American Visionary Art Museum. The dolls’ clothing features junk food wrappers, potato bags, and other sorts of traditionally discarded items. Linda is especially frustrated that many fashion businesses use plastic in their fabrics and wishes that more people would be interested in investing in clothing with fabrics that are wonderful, last for a long time, and naturally decompose.

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Trash and Vaudeville 1 Womens Shoes Hats Mens Shoes Jewelry Belts Womens Clothing Mens Clothing East Village

Trash and Vaudeville

Trash and Vaudeville is actually two stores – Vaudeville, full of colorful, ornamented clothing pieces, is a more kitsch environment, while Trash “is one of the seminal punk and goth stores of NYC.” Founded in 1975 by Ray Goodman, Trash and Vaudeville began adorning Rockers, Mods, Punks, Goths, and Rockabillies – “everyday working class heroes who just wanted to walk and dress on the wild side.” Today, the store continues to cater to a similar audience, dressing rock stars, such as Lady Gaga, counter culturists, as well as the average New Yorker and tourist. Besides the bright colors, feather boas, and rubber dresses, the store’s character is derived from the people working here – most notably, Jimmy Webb. He is the epitome of rock n’ roll and an era gone by - wearing tight pants that hug his body, a leather studded vest, metal bracelets that coil up his arm, and a shag haircut that shields his eyes. Jimmy's tough appearance is marked with the gentlest of souls. He tells us that he loves Iggy Pop, that he wants to be a “little piece of a great big thing happening,” but most importantly that he loves this store. In fact he is completely devoted to it. As he bops from left to right, Jimmy cannot help but charm every visitor...and he treats each of them with the utmost kindness, whether it be a star who walks in, a music lover, or someone who is simply exploring - like us. While the store is aesthetically memorable, Jimmy makes it much more noteworthy. A few years after our interview with Jimmy, Trash and Vaudeville moved from its longstanding home on St Marks to a location on 7th Street. However, the spirit, punk vibe, and killer style (not to mention Jimmy!) followed the store. We have left up our photographs of the St. Marks store as an homage to the location that started it all. Can't get enough? See more of our interview with Jimmy here.