At Chess & The Sphinx (All photos by Ankita Mishra for Bushwick Daily.)

As our neighborhood continues to grow and evolve, there’s simply no shortage of brand new businesses popping up left, right, and center. Now, it’s time to add Chess and the Sphinx to the mix – vintage lovers, rejoice! Located conveniently on Knickerbocker Avenue, right across from Maria Hernandez Park, you won’t be able to resist the temptation of making a stop at this chic, shiny new Bushwick boutique.

Chess & the Sphinx owners Sara & Erika strike a pose.

Upon entering Chess and the Sphinx, you’re sure to be greeted by the lovely faces of co-owners Sara Chess and Erika Perenic. These longtime friends and vintage mavens – originally hailing from Westchester and Detroit, respectively – have utilized their art backgrounds in creating the perfect blend of affordable and high-end, designer fashions. From shoes (fly beaded sneakers and perfectly adorable pumps) and accessories (bags, berets, and full cases worth of swoon-worthy jewelry) to clothes from nearly every decade of the 20th Century, there’s something to satisfy even the most discerning vintage shopper.

Sara and Erika cultivate their collection from a variety of sources, including friends from other cities and local estate sales. While we checked out the store (and enjoyed background tunes from the likes of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg), several one-of-a-kind pieces caught our eye: a slinky, silky, delicate lingerie set from the 1920s; an elaborate Jean Paul Gaultier denim skirt from the 1990s; a mod, marvelous checkered suit from the 1960s.

During our visit, Sara explained that her grandfather was an art dealer who collected crates of Japanese scrolls post-World War II. As a result, the minimal, gallery-like walls of Chess and the Sphinx are accented by vintage works of art, including a rather peculiar (and awesome) octopus scroll from the 1800s. Between the art, the jams, the jewels, and the racks upon racks of gorgeous fashion, you’ll never want to leave!

Not surprisingly, Chess and the Sphinx has already been embraced by the local community. Erika and Sara believe that their store appeals to both the knowledgeable vintage consumer as well as the pedestrian window-shopper. Whether you’re from Bushwick or beyond, Chess and the Sphinx is well worth the trip. Start making room in your closet, pronto – you’re going to need it!


Chess and the Sphinx is located at 252 Knickerbocker Avenue, between Starr and Willoughby, and is reachable by phone at (718) 366-2195. The store is open Tue – Sat from 12:00 pm- 8:00 pm, and from 12 pm- 7 PM on Sundays.