Business Spotlight: Virgo Downtown
thrifting // When one visits several different thrift shops, second-hand shops, and vintage clothing stores in the hopes of buying several items of cheap and unusual clothing and other items. One usually does this with friends. Via urbandictionary.com
Thrift shopping or thrifting has become SO popular, and we are here for it! Virgo Downtown is a store located at 216 E 9th St and it has easily become one of the most popular vintage boutiques. So...we sat with Rana Shoar of Virgo to give us a little more info about thrifting and her business. She's also the model you sometimes see on their Instagram account!
1. Tell us the story behind Virgo Downtown. Who’s behind the brand?
I guess I should start with the fact that we just had our 10 year anniversary in November! It's crazy to think its been that long! We are constantly being asked "when we opened". I love the thought that customers feel like were new! We'll be having an Anniversary party in February. I'll keep you guys posted on it!
As for myself, I feel like I "grew up" in Downtown in a way. My entire family had businesses in the Fashion District in the 80's and 90's, be it as clothing store owners or as manufacturers for department stores. So after working in retail for years and also styling to some capacity, it was an easy decision to open a business here. I'd already been selling vintage for years, before myself and a friend decided to get a studio space (it was on 9th and Main) to be more accessible to customers. We would have shopping events and little pop-up sales and also worked out of it. That was around 2007. The next natural step was to open a store and of course we didn't look far for a location! We're one block away! The store was opened in Nov 2009. It's named "VIRGO" after my mom's astrological sign!
2. What’s your role at Virgo?
I'm the owner, buyer, designer, social media nerd, sometimes fit model, forever shop girl.
3. Virgo is all about new and vintage clothing. What made you decide to incorporate vintage clothing?
Actually, the store was completely vintage for the first two years. I decided to start mixing in new merchandise because it was how myself - and most of my customers - dressed. It was the idea of dressing high-low, meaning some expensive pieces in your outfit were pricey but were mixed with some trendy accessible items that you didn't have to spend a fortune on to complete the look. Now our store is a mixture of handpicked vintage items including tees and Levis, our own designs (our "CHAMP" Sweatshirt has been something we've been making for almost 4 years) and fun accessible garments that won't break the bank.
4. Tell us your thoughts on thrifting.
I love it! It was what inspired me to sell vintage in the first place.
5. What makes Virgo unique?
Most regulars know that our vintage Levi's come with custom tailoring. We will make them fit to your body and its included in the price of the jeans.
6. Share your favorite fashion tip/trick.
- Don't be afraid to get things tailored! I am 5'2" and always need things hemmed or taken in slightly.
- The question I get asked the most from customers after I shoot the model for the IG is "where are the shoes from?" The model and I wear the same sizes so I used all of my own shoes for the looks. Shoes have always been the key to pulling my outfits together so I tend to spend money on them. They're an investment!
- Red Lipstick goes with everything. I like So Chaud and Lady Danger from MAC
7. Anything else you’d like to share?
We sell wholesale and do private label production! It's a part of our business that many retail customers don't know about, but we manufacture our designs for other stores also. Both under the "VIRGO" brand or under their own label. So if you see something that looks like it was made by us, it possibly was!
P.S. Working on a online store now! It'll hopefully be up soon!
BONUS: Favorite pair of vintage Levi’s?
My personal favorite pair are Levi's Orange Tab 505's! They are a 12" rise which makes them a little higher than a 501 which is 11".
We can't wait to see you in your new Virgo Downtown finds ;) Be sure to follow @virgodowntown AND @lafashiondistrict for fashion finds and all things Fashion District.