A Vintage Village Comes to the UES
Vintage dreams – Fashion icon Madeleine Cammarata’s memory lives on in the newly opened Chuck’s Vintage on the UES. Located at 173 East 91st, basement, Chuck’s Vintage originally opened on Melrose Place in LA in 2006. Madeleine made her name in fashion, modeling, and in the world of denim and was known for her celebrity customers – Steve Jobs, Dolly Parton and Robert Plant. Back in 2016, Madeleine was described in an article in an LA publication “as being an in-the-know denim damsel,” and was quoted as saying, that she “once sold 300 pairs of jeans to a customer.” The article noted that a “world renown denim archivist even saw fit to entrust her with millions of dollars worth of collectible denim,” and Madeleine sold them all. The stock in trade at Chuck’s Vintage is its quality denim and American workwear.
The down-the-stairs basement retail shop is easily missed as you walk from the CVS corner at 91st and Third, so check it out.
There’s hand-painted script on the glass door with the store’s name and a short tribute to Madeleine. At night, white lettering with the store’s name and a horseshoe logo brighten the sidewalk outside the store. On the entrance walls leading to the retail space, there’s vintage Americana in license plates, posters, a sled, Heineken and Miller High Lite signs and pics of Madeleine modeling vintage clothes. At the foot of the stairs, a bright red Texaco gas tank stands. Music plays old tunes from a 78 vinyl record player. The songs are selected by the store’s manager Sallie Rose who worked at Chuck’s Vintage on the West Coast.
Everything’s vintage. The music. The books. The clothing. Blue jeans that are on display include Strongholds found in California Gold Rush mines, WW II-Era Levi’s, Lees, and Wranglers. And there’s 1960s ladies’ high-waisted and groovy deadstock Levi’s bells and rugged military and work boots, leather bomber jackets, as well as 70s rock tees. It’s a must go.
Chuck’s Vintage at 173 East 91st, Basement is open Tues- Sat, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For private appointments, call 646 669-7068.