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Scaring up vintage duds

Store in Burbank features clothes for the Halloween and homecoming shopper looking for something different.

October 27, 2009|By Michael J. Arvizu

Halloween often means going to parties, balls or masquerades. People dress up in their finest costumes, hoping to outdo one another.

Unique Vintage in Burbank, at 2013 W. Magnolia Blvd., is the place to go for those looking to dress in clothing from the 1920s to the ’60s — such as a 1920s-style neon pink and black fringe flapper dress, an authentic vintage white eyelet over pink swing dress, or a 1940s-style queen of Heartz eggplant satin cocktail dress, including quinceañera dresses and bridesmaid dresses.

According to the store’s website, Unique Vintage offers everything from hand-beaded and fringed flapper dresses, 1930s style evening gowns and prom dresses to 1940s Stop Staring and Mad Med-style wiggle dresses, 1950s swing dresses and 1960s retro mod go-go dresses.

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Burbank customer Thanh Do said she needed a dress for a Halloween party as she browsed through the store’s sales rack and narrowed her choices down to two.

“It’s a can-can dancer’s costume, and it’s perfect,” Do said. “And it’s on sale. I hope it fits.”

A friend turned her on to the store, Do said. After looking through her selection, she picked the red costume.

“I think we have a dress for every type of customer that there could be,” said customer service representative Amanda Wahl. “I think it would be hard to come in here and not find something you would want.”

With Halloween approaching, the store was buzzing with customers looking for the perfect outfit. And with homecoming around the corner for Burbank’s two high schools, the store has seen an increase in the amount of young women coming in to try on homecoming dresses, sales reps said.

What Unique Vintage provides, said owner and founder Kate Echeverry, is an alternative to dresses found in department stores.

“It’s been half and half,” Echeverry said.

“We’ve been getting customers looking for flapper dresses for Halloween, but also the homecoming dresses for the dances.”

Unique Vintage began as a home-based, online operation, Echeverry said.

After being featured in Glamour magazine, she said, the website “just exploded” with orders. Pretty soon, the home-based business was bursting at the seams.

The store has been so successful that Unique Vintage will soon expand to a space across the street, where it will open a photo studio to photograph the models used on its website, Echeverry said.

The mix of vintage dresses offers customers a way to stand out, whether for a homecoming or Halloween dance, without looking as if they picked up their outfit from a department store, she said.

“It’s still conservative, and it’s still a way to be ladylike and different and unique,” she said.


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