A Moment With: James Veloria
Collin James Weber and Brandon Veloria Giordano are the duo behind James Veloria, one of New York's best designer vintage boutiques. The collection is curated by the duo and filled with everything from Gaultier and Margiela to Comme des Garçons and Vivienne Westwood. Their encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion history guides the collection, with most pieces presented alongside photos of their runway counterparts. The aesthetic behind James Veloria is playful and glamorous, with a touch of camp.
The community that surrounds the shop extends past its doors, with James Veloria parties and mixtapes. The shop is a cult-favourite amongst New York's most fashionable. Back in January we photographed Brandon in the unassuming Chinatown mall under Manhattan Bridge that houses James Veloria.
VSP chats with Brandon of James Veloria about his most iconic finds, his favourite runway shows, and how he's been spending his days with quarantine in full effect.
What have your days looked like?
I usually get up around nine and open the windows and turn on the lamps and say hello to the clothes. It feels like I'm living in a showroom because we've brought a lot of our stock home to do stories with, and I love it. It's so nice having coffee every morning and looking at pieces to brainstorm outfits or themes for our IG stories in the evening. Then at one I do Ryan Heffington's dance class, which makes me so happy and sometimes cry because it feels so good to move my body. After that, I feel primed and ready to wash up, put my face on (sometimes a wig too), and do stories for JV. It's been an amazing way of staying connected with our community and can also be a creative outlet with different music and themes and locations around the house that go with the looks.
What are some things that you've been watching or working on while staying home?
Now that I'm in our apartment 24/7, I've been working on decorating and fixing things around the house that I've been meaning to do forever. I made a list of things I've wanted to repair or buy for the apartment and have been slowly going through it. It's important to not put too much pressure on yourself to be super productive but I try to do one small thing a day. I'm also trying to continue planning creative projects for the store and with our friends.
Describe a few things you're thankful to have with you while you stay indoors.
I'm so incredibly thankful for my cat Lil Kim! She's a constant source of entertainment and cuddling.
What are the brands that encompass James Veloria?
The first brand that comes to mind would be Jean Paul Gaultier. He's fun, queer, and technically adventurous. Everything that we love about fashion. The brands we favour are constantly changing but I would say those three things are key to being in JV.
How would you describe your style and aesthetic? How does that cross over into the shop?
I'd describe my style as something that's constantly changing as I'm inspired by new finds. Collin is the same way and I feel like that's reflected in what we buy for the store. We love doing designer features every season to showcase a new design period or designer that we happen to be super into. It's fun sharing our finds with our community in that way.
Who are some of your favourite New York characters (that shop with you)?
There are so many! It's hard to say but there are definitely a lot of old school New York fashion people who have fun stories about when a lot of the clothes in our shop were originally in stores. I also love all of the young fashion kids coming in and discovering pieces from the past and incorporating them into their style.
What has been the most iconic find, that you just had to keep for yourself?
I'm actually really good at turning things over in my closet. If you come to the shop and like something I'm wearing come back the next week and it'll probably be on the racks. I'd say some favourite pieces would have to be a Margiela Artisanal glove vest from SS 2001 and a Comme des Garçons SS 1997 lumps and bumps dress (which I still have).
Tell us some advice for people who want to be a little more adventurous with their style, but don't know where to start?
Start at your local vintage / consignment store. I feel like that's where you'll meet people who are also looking to be a little more adventurous. Vintage shops for me have always been my go to safe place in any city and I always meet a fun and supportive community for my style.
Your top 5 favourite runway shows of all time!
There are so many more but these are the first to come to mind: JPG FW 1993, JPG SS 1994, Margiela FW 2000, Comme des Garcons SS 1997, Alexander McQueen SS 2004.
Photos and Words by Marlowe Granados