Bushwick is slowly but surely become a mecca for vintage clothes of all sorts. Several boutiques have opened in the area in the past year, expanding our vintage selection from the very luxurious ($600) to the very casual ($6). And while we love our Bushwick vintage stores, we have to admit that Urban Jungle holds a special place in our hearts. This giant warehouse on Knickerbocker Ave is one of the oldest vintage clothing stores in the area (opened in 2007–watch this cute documentary if you want to find out more) that, thanks to its low prices and a huge selection of truly bizarre clothes, offers a unique, fun, and splurgy shopping experience. Many local fashionistas virtually owe their looks to this fun warehouse…
Needless to say, we were pretty stoked when we found out that Urban Jungle’s youngest sister, Vice Versa had newly relocated (and expanded) from Bedford Ave to White and McKibbin, virtually steps from McKibbin Lofts. We swung by, and took a bunch of photos of endless racks of 1920s sequined dresses ($30 each), authentic sombreros, millions of plaid shirts, and tons of faux fur coats. It is almost impossible to catch the owners of The L Train Vintage, a company that now runs a chain of vintage clothing stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan, so we interviewed the mysterious folks, nicknamed “The Thrift and Vintage Mafia,” via email…
BD: Why have you decided to open a second location in Bushwick after Urban Jungle?
Well, we felt there is a large demand in Brooklyn and in the neighborhood. Bushwick and East Williamsburg are becoming global centers for independent commerce and artistic endeavors. Brooklyn has a large community and the stores are very different.
BD: What is the main difference between Vice Versa and Urban Jungle?
The quality of the clothes is different. I’m not going to say that one is superior to the other but they cater to different markets. Urban Jungle is more of a thrift and vintage warehouse. Prices are lower and the quality is for the industrial and artisanal sectors that need to look good while they work hard. These are clothes that you can rough around in. While Vice Versa, formerly located at the hub of Bedford Ave, has a slightly more selective and delicate quality of clothing.
BD: The L Train Vintage has been expanding successfully all over the city, which is really impressive. We understand that your first location was Urban Jungle in Bushwick (yay!). Can you tell us your secret to success?
Our first store was actually Village Style located in the east village. 111 East 7th St New York, NY. Village Style is a very small shop which has extremely selective and exclusive vintage pieces.
We try to keep the prices honest and I think we succeed in that.
BD: Also who are the owners and where are you guys based?
You know Heisneberg and Jesse? Well, some people call us the Thrift and Vintage Mafia. It’s best not to ask. And we are based and bred in Brooklyn, NY.