Wade through the bustle of vendors, tourists, and blase New Yorkers into a nondescript mall marked only with Chinese letters. Climb up a rickety elevator to the second floor. Pass through a few otherwise empty hallways punctuated randomly by stunning pieces of abstract art, and then step into the mystical realm of James Veloria.
It could definitely be the early 80’s in here, or so says the New Wave music playing in the background. One can easily imagine Grace Jones or David Bowie sweeping in, wearing a sharp Yves St. Laurent suit.
Alternatively, it could be sometime in the future, as evidenced by the smiling customer with huge silver Moon Boots gleefully clutching his newly purchased Prada mesh hoodie, zipping off into the glittering night.
And the delightful paradoxes don’t end there. While the shop screams “whimsy,” its foundation is serious fashion. And despite the speakeasy vibe, it’s more accessible than any high-end couture shop on Madison Avenue. Fashion can be intimidating, but James Veloria makes it fun: it’s a place where even a fashion neophyte feels at home.
The brainchild of Collin Weber and Brandon Giordano (middle names James and Veloria, respectively, another subtle nod to fashionable recycling), James Veloria started as a side project based on their love of experimental fashion design, and has evolved in a few short years into a rapidly growing yet still-unassuming empire of couture clothing and accessories rental and resale, not to mention a darling of Vogue, Bazaar, and in-the-know fashionistas.
The vintage and contemporary couture they sell is acquired “from closets all over the city,” explains Brandon. Word of mouth has been the golden ticket for James Veloria, and a way to move at a slightly slower pace and do things the right–and sustainable–way.
After all, sustainability was one of the primary motivators for Brandon and Collin to create James Veloria in the first place.
“Being mindful consumers is how we’ve always shopped,” Brandon notes. “We came to see a long time ago that new clothes are NOT needed in our world. It’s like feeding a mouth that’s already full.”
The items for sale at James Veloria may have been previously used or lived in, but the energy surrounding them is so damn good thanks to the founders’ curation for quality: pre-owned doesn’t preclude pristine condition.
And Brandon and Collin take meticulous care of not only the clothing and accessories they offer, but also, and more importantly, their beloved customers.
“We honestly don’t even care if you buy anything or not,” says Brandon, as he luxuriates at the end of the workday on a plush lime green easy chair tucked in a corner of the shop. “We just want you to come in and have fun. It’s an experience.”
Fox Holt is so excited to be partnering with James Veloria on this sustainable adventure! We are proudly bringing our customers ongoing accessibility to an exclusive, luxurious, pre-loved collection courtesy of these two wonderful humans. Join the fun here.
Words by Leanne Shear