Liz Burn of Seattle, Washington. Liz is the owner of Figure 8 Studio.
Figure 8 Studio tied for first place in the 2014 Lulu's Vintage People's Choice Awards for Best Online Vintage Clothing Store.
Please tell us a little about yourself. Hobbies, interests and work outside of the vintage world.
Live music, gathering with friends, traveling, cooking, reading books and playing percussion. We also volunteer in several community organizations including our neighborhood food bank.
What got you into vintage clothing? How long have you been collecting vintage clothing for?
I have been wearing vintage since I was 14 years old, began collecting since college in NYC in the 80s and working at YSL's Manhattan offices peaked my interest in the fashion runways.
How long have you been selling vintage clothing for?
Since the early 90s when a friend suggested we thin out our closets at the flea market. Later I ventured into festivals, shows and music venues. Two promoters buddies gave me permission to have a table and rack at their shows.
What avenues have you sold your vintage merchandise through? Your own web store, Etsy, eBay, Vintage Shows, Antique Malls, Flea Markets, Your Own Brick & Mortar?
Online I began at Ebay. Figure 8 Studio was one of Babylon Mall's first stores. Deb Whitten, is a wonderful webmistress. I recommend Babylon to anyone starting out. I still sell there, also on Etsy as well as my own web store Pete and Hall Stuart-Lovell of Dungeness Communications are the best.
How much do you incorporate vintage clothing and accessories into your everyday wardrobe?
I always try to include vintage in my wardrobe but I am a casual gal these days. The days I walked for miles in heels are over but be it jewelry, a scarf, handbag, Im mad about vintage sunglasses...always something vintage.
Do you source most of your vintage locally or do you shop online or travel to other cities and states to do your shopping?
All of the above. I always include vintage shopping in my vacations. I make lists of the best vintage stores in the cities I'm visiting. No vacation is complete without some level of shopping for vintage. I also love vintage fashion shows.
What do you feel differentiates your store from others?
There are so many wonderful vintage stores on the web, we love psychedelic 60s hippie bohemian and Hawaiian; both men and women's garments. We have local - by appointment only - clients we cater to for special occasions. We like to keep our store simple, easy to navigate and pride in restoring, disclosure and passionate about the care of vintage textiles.
How do you feel the vintage selling market has evolved since you first began selling?
Today's vintage community has access to wonderful blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram...all sorts of venues where sellers are able to showcase their stock and buyers can easily find them. When we began selling we didn’t have anything like it and if we did, like blogging, it was very basic. Now there is an entire industry created just for bloggers. It is amazing how far we've come.
Do you have any advice that you would like to offer people just starting out selling vintage clothing online?
Place yourself in your buyer's shoes. Measurements and condition are paramount. Don’t forget to measure shoulders and from shoulder to waist.
Arm yourself with a good reference library. Some of my favorites are; Julie Parker's Fabric Reference Series. RN & WPL Encyclopedia, 'Fashion, A History from the 18th to the 20th Century', Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles, Fairchild's Dictionary of Fashion, The Aloha Shirt, Hawaiian Shirt Designs.
Finally, join vintage fashion groups. The Vintage Fashion Guild and many other vintage fashion groups on facebook with members who are just as passionate and happy to help.
Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out shopping for vintage clothing online?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions specially when you see "vintage condition" with no other details. Request clear close up of labels and flaws. I also recommend asking for care instructions, if possible, and try to never throw vintage in the washing machine, specially if you own one with an agitator.
What are your favorite eras of clothing for wearing? What are your favorite eras of clothing for admiring?
I love wearing bohemian, easy flowing dresses. Im a hippie at heart. I admire the Deco era, the roaring 20s and 40s. My son is more of the designer clothes horse and he wears it well, he is 6' 6" tall, he also collects vintage cufflinks.
What do you like about clothing from these eras?
It is difficult to say as I love everything from the 20s to the 50s New Look but the workmanship of some of the pieces from the 20s is amazing. The beading...even the fringes. I owned a silk 20s fringed dress that weighted close to 15 lbs. The stitching was impeccable and all done by hand.
Who are some of your favorite vintage designers?
To wear personally; Halston, Betsey Johnson, Norma Kamali, Lily Pulitzer and Pucci.
Admire Emma Domb, Schiaperelli.
Who are some of your favorite modern designers?
What would be your ultimate vintage fashion find?
My Holy Grail is an Emilio Pucci 60s dress.
Is vintage clothing popular in the city that you live in?
Yes and all ages. I recently stopped to chat with an older lady who was wearing the cutest Pulitzer dress.
Who are some of your favorite style icons?
Rita Lydig, Clara Bow, Jackie Kennedy, Coco Chanel and Princess Grace.
What are your favorite vintage movies, music and television programs?
Miracle In The Rain, Roman Holiday, Valley of The Dolls, Barefoot In The Park, The Bad Seed. I collect vinyl from the 50s and love jazz.
Television shows; That Girl, I Love Lucy. We had great viewing parties for Dynasty in the 80s!
Do you collect any other types of collectibles or antiques?
Yes. Victorian to Art Deco furniture. Peter Max art and music posters. I recently found a vintage Turkish tapestry with Jim Morrison's face I am hanging in the bedroom *swoon!*
Thanks to Liz for participating in The Style Council! To check out my recent picks of favorite vintage clothing items from Figure 8 Studio check out this blog post: Lulu's Favorite Finds from Figure 8 Studio 2014 Lulu's Vintage People's Choice Tie for # 1 Award Winner
Stay tuned for Style Council interviews with all of the winners of the 2014 Lulu's Vintage People's Choice Awards, as well as Style Council interviews with my 2014 Lulu's Online Vintage Clothing Store Recommendation winners.
If you are interested in participating in The Style Council please contact me at lulusvintagepdx (at) gmail.com
This post was originally published on March 6, 2014.