October 1, 2012

Fall Fashion Preview

Fall Fashion Preview

Dear Golden Vintage

Lauren Naimola is just the kind of person you want to be running your local vintage shop: she’s zany, driven, adorable and has an impeccable eye for quality when it to comes threads that might be older than your grandparents. She is basically a secondhand superhero. And like any good superhero, she has a great backstory. While some kids grew up scouting the mall for the “hottest” fashions, she had to make due with things she found at the Salvation Army and garage sales of her youth. It was then that her skills were forged – skills which she later parlayed into a hot online resale business and most recently into a storefront in downtown Ypsilanti.

At 108 Pearl, down past Déjà Vu, past the bus stop and the fried chicken joint, you’ll find it. The huge doors are big enough to drive a car into (the space used to be an auto shop), and they have the slightly whimsical phrase “Dear Golden” inscribed on them.  Upon entering the store, I felt my eyes get wide and visions of the most epic game of dress up imaginable danced in my head. It was like entering a treasure chest. Guests are surrounded on all sides by exquisite garments in sumptuous fabrics. Offerings include dresses in silks and taffetas, details fashioned from such delicate lace and miniscule glass beads that you can’t help but be amazed. Naimola is the woman behind it all. She runs herself ragged scouring estate sales and thrift stores for hidden treasures. She wakes up early and drives far and wide to battle it out with crazy old ladies to bring her finds back to us here in good ol’ Ypsi.

After crazy competition is bested, seams sewn and dresses pressed, it’s show time. Dear Golden Vintage is open by appointment only, but before you go thinking that sounds like a no-no for customer service, you must understand the motivation. Naimola makes the point that she insists on personal customer service and is a practitioner of safe shopping. She helps every guest pick just the right thing, and she is not afraid to tell you if you look horrible in something. She’ll pull something special from the back for you if she thinks it’ll look great on you, and you always get the benefit of her years of experience with advice on care for fabrics that you don’t see every day.

You can call 734-323-7179 to make your appointment or you can cruise on over to deargolden.com, but be advised – your computer may malfunction if you drool on it.

Dear Golden Vintage

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Underground Printing
Whether it be one of their five locations in Ann Arbor or one of their t-shirts you’ve seen somewhere around town, you know Underground Printing. Underground has everything a Wolverine fan can want and more, but that’s not all. While they’ve been able to produce athletic apparel that you’d never think about wearing in the gym, they also have a great line of local and vintage tees. Looking to show some Michigan [state] pride? Look no further as they’ve got a bunch to choose from. Are you a fan of the ABA, USFL, AFL or CBA or another dufunked league that no longer exists? Check out  www.ugpclassics.com for a plethora of classic sports tees like the Detroit Fury (AFL), Detroit Express (NASL), Michigan Panthers (USFL), Michigan Stags (WHA) and many more.

Underground doesn’t only produce their own unique and cool designs, they also offer one of the best custom apparel services in the country. If you’re looking to order some custom tees, this is the place. You’ll get a quality, good looking prodcut with great customer service to boot. Considering they’ve got locations all over town, including their huge, brand new space off of S. Main street (formerly Blockbuster), you should have no problem finding the right solution for you, your band or your organization.

Starting out of a their dorm room while undergrads at UofM, now alumni Rishi Nurayan and Ryan Gregg have built a collegiate empire covering 14 college campuses throughout the Big Ten and then some. They’ve been featured in Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies for four years in a row (2008-20011), printed merchandise for three Super Bowls, the NHL and NBA finals, the 2006 World Series and 2009 Final Four. EMU Eagle and Huron fans keep a look out for www.shopemueagles.com which is coming soon. The site should be launched within the next couple weeks.

For more information on Underground Printing, to buy some swag or to create your own masterpiece, visit www.undergroundshirts.com.

Underground Printing

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Finally, there’s some new life for men in the Ann Arbor style scene. The recently opened Maple offers a variety of fresh, new looks for fall. Carrying unique brands like The West is Dead, Penfield, BWGH, Quality Peoples and Swims among others, Maple offers a curated selection of men’s products.

When you walk into the boutique space located at 406 E. Liberty, you get the idea that Maple isn’t just a clothing store, but it’s more of a lifestyle. From the brands they carry to the layout and design of the store, you can tell this is a way of life, not just another spot to grab some mustard chinos. It seems like a perfect mix of skate and surf urban-Michigan. In one stop you can grab a longboard, pick up some water sport shoes, some headphones, a new backpack and an outfit to wear after the adventure. The only thing missing is the fixed gear.

While the Ann Arbor location is new, Maple’s original space is located in Birmingham. The Ann Arbor locale is techinically a “pop up retail” store, meaning they only have a three month lease. Whether it be for one of their monthly events, to grab the latest looks or just to support a local retailer on the rise, make sure to swing by and check Maple out. For more info, you can visit their website at www.thatsmaple.com or “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thatsmaple.


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About the Author

iSPY Team
iSPY Team
This piece was so awesome it took a whole bunch of iSPY team members to put together.

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