I was introduced to What Goes Around Comes Around by my best friend who moved to the city a year before I did. She said, "We need to go in there, it's like vintage heaven." And that it was. A place where everything vintage comes to die, or rather, live on.
Enchanted by all the amazing vintage pieces, WGACA soon came to be a regular stop in my weekend "want-to-buy-everything" trips to Soho. But I always wondered, "where does all of this vintage even come from? And how does this even work?" After hearing about Jane Aldridge's trip to the WGACA warehouse, I knew where to find my answers.
So, yesterday, I made a trip out to their giant 10,000 square-foot warehouse located about ten minutes outside of Manhattan in Jersey City. (Which is technically in New Jersey, but not really.) Becka Diamond came too, since she's hosting at event at the store this Thursday. "I've been surrounded by vintage all my life. I, like, remember eating lollipops at auctions with my mom when I was young," said Becka as we headed over. "Is this your first time here?" she asked me. "You're going to die. The first time I came here I was like in shock. There's just so much amazing stuff."
Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser, WGACA's founders, store a vintage archive amassed over 17 years in this giant warehouse, which is more like an enormous loft where you want to spend hours playing dress-up. "Basically, we visit different vintage collections around the world looking for specific things. After so many years doing this, you get to know the collectors and they become kind of like your friends. So you know where to go to find exactly what you need," Gerard told me.
Housing women's, men's, and children's clothing, the warehouse is sectioned off by different eras. I was instantly drawn to the corner in the back-the 1970s section. "This is what we consider to be our Biba section," said Gerard. "You know, lots of '70s stuff and even earlier decades." There was, as you can imagine, a lot of flowy, silky dresses, amazing printed headscarves, and the most beautifully preserved furs. However, the stand-out piece for me was a pair of black suede Vivienne Westwood platforms that were so high they must require a PhD in balance.
Rummaging rack to rack, I slowly transitioned into the Victorian section, which was appropriately mixed with old English rock 'n roll and costume pieces. With a round table full of patches, old bottles of whiskey, and Union flags in the center, this area seemed to be Gerard's favorite. "Yeah, I'm really into that English rock and roll style myself so this is definitely one my favorite areas." Every piece in this section seemed almost too delicate to touch. However, it was amazing how good the quality of the pieces were, and how well they were preserved.
"And this is our Mad Men section," Gerard told me as I walked into what I dubbed as my favorite section. I was in amazement at all the Betty Draper-esque dresses and the most gorgeous full knee-length New Look-era skirts. My favorite item was a no-name one-piece swimsuit fashioned like a corset. I considered buying it and taking it home with me.
Adjacent to the Mad Men section was probably the cutest corner. The children's clothing area consisted of little vintage staples. There were mini-sized Keds and tiny flannels. I asked where he got all the children clothes from and he responded, "A lot of the clothing in this area was bought from a woman, who is actually now a close friend, that collected children's clothing from the 19th century." After looking through the kids clothing, I imagined the perfect outfit for my non-existing child.
I moved on to the military section. However, it's more than just a military section. "I like to think of this as our nomad style area," Gerard said. And that it was. Of course there were military green jackets but they successfully infused what I thought of as hunting style clothing. The color palette in this section stuck to earthy tones such as dark greens, and variations of browns.
As my time at the WGACA warehouse came to an end, I just had to ask Gerard what his favorite piece in the warehouse was. He walked around for a few minutes, then disappeared. Soon I found him sifting through the English rock/Victorian area. He pulled out an almost one-hundred-year-old English military jacket that was fit for a general. "It's like 1860s and it's this pristine!" he said. "We had one that was just a little bit longer that Lenny Kravitz purchased," he told me. "And Yoko was looking at buying one too."
What Goes Around Comes Around isn't just about collecting vintage and selling it to the public. The founders, Gerard and Seth, really have made a business out of their passion. Spending a few hours in the warehouse was inspiring and fun. I'd drive out to Jersey City any day to just spend a few more moments rummaging through everything.