My interest in vintage clothing, antiques and treasure hunting began over 40 years ago - I used to sit at my grandmother's side and watch her work miracles with fabric and vintage patterns on her old fashioned foot-pedal sewing machine. We would sit into the wee hours of the morning and talk about fabric, seams, interfacing, quality garment construction, style vs. trends, the classics vs. fashion fads. Not only was she an amazing seamstress, she was a wonderful listener, mentor and friend. Her words of wisdom, encouragement and absolute confidence in my ability to succeed at anything I put my mind (and heart) to now serve as my muse for The Red Velvet Shoe.
The launch of The Red Velvet Shoe was the result of many years of collecting and studying true vintage clothing & an ever-growing predilection for high quality vintage designer and luxury goods. As the years passed and my collection grew, I would wear vintage out on the town or to special events and had complete strangers approach me to ask me where I got my dress. Friends started calling to see if they could "borrow" something vintage for a special event. I was a stay-at-home mom that had worked since I was 14 and was just itching for something creative and challenging to do. So in 2007, with zero computer experience, I decided to build a website where I could sell vintage. Thanks to some patient friends who were tech-savvy along with my inherited Swedish grit and determination, The Red Velvet Shoe was born.
My goal has always been to offer unique, high-quality, "true vintage" luxury goods. In 2019, everyone and their sister is selling everything as "vintage" on every possible platform from Instashops to Depop. While I understand the wisdom in purchasing modern designer/luxury items to preserve as "future vintage", you're not going to find Fast Fashion "vintage" 1990's t-shirts here. Fast Fashion tricks us into thinking we need to shop more, to stay on top of trends, but it never leaves you or your closet feeling satisfied. Not to mention it's modern piracy against designers and couturiers who spend hundreds of hours creating works of art that, unfortunately, aren't protected from copy cats; the Intellectual Property law does not extend to articles of clothing so Fast Fashion is pretty much an unregulated playground that is wreaking havoc on every level. Thankfully, the culture of Fast Fashion has seen it's hey-day as consumers and environmentalists are demanding change in the fashion/retail sector. The call for sustainability in production and circularity after production is being heard loud and clear across the globe. Or, in other words, let's go back to the way things were when true vintage clothing was being made. Quality over quantity. Less is more. Repair don't replace. It's a beautiful thing!
True vintage, high quality garments have the look, weight, feel and workmanship of demi-couture, especially if they were produced before or outside of the prêt-à-por·ter market. Many true vintage garments were made-to-measure or bespoke; most women either had a personal seamstress for fittings and alterations or they themselves were excellent seamstresses. So the chance that someone else will be wearing the true vintage piece you're wearing is extremely rare. This is the niche I seek to create for my discerning clientele. Offered up with the finest attention to detail and the utmost regard for client satisfaction with each and every client, each and every time.
Thank you for visiting my virtual vintage boutique. Items ship from a small town in Massachusetts, just outside of Providence, RI. Your inquiries & comments are always welcome. If you're looking for something very specific, I will be happy to check my inventory for you.
Michelle Johnson Horlbogen
Founder/Owner The Red Velvet Shoe
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