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Q&A: Boutique Owner Malena Martinez

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Photo by Tessa Marie Images

The owner of West Chester’s Malena’s Vintage Boutique shares her go-to looks. 

PERSONAL STYLE: I love vintage bohemian items with a mix of hard-to-find designers. I like things that are a little bit more unique, like capsule collections or pieces from the early ’60s and ’70s.

GO-TO EVERYDAY LOOK: A long 1970s dress with a denim jacket and a bold necklace.

GO-TO LOOK FOR A NIGHT OUT:
A shorter dress with a tall boot and a cool scarf.

ON BUILDING HER BOUTIQUE:
I started collecting vintage items when I was about 12. I went to school for clothing design and worked at vintage stores. I opened the store about a month after my 23rd birthday.

WHY SHE LOVES VINTAGE: They’re one of a kind pieces, so you’re really able to showcase your individual style. Then there’s also the sustainability factor. We created a formula to see how much the store has saved from landfills by selling vintage, and we’ve hit over 37 tons.

 

FAVORITE DESIGNERS FOR BUYING VINTAGE: Gucci, Pucci and Missoni.

NEWEST ADDITION TO HER WARDROBE: A hand-printed Zandra Rhodes dress. It’s silk chiffon with smocking and big kimono sleeves. The print is handwritten positive messages.

SHE’ll SPLURGE ON: A good Gucci bag. My favorite one is from the 1960s. It’s a suede box purse with red and green ribbon down the front and a natural bamboo handle.

FAVORITE FALL TRENDS: Missoni knits—or a silk knit, because it breathes.