V is for Vintage

Whoever says print is dead is a dirty rotten liar. Case in point: Peruse the vintage and archival collection of magazines in SoHo’s VFILES [12 Mercer, 212.804.6400] and you’ll still find inspiration in the fashion stories of seasons past, or in the words of once-in-a-generation writers gracing the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, or Esquire. A collaboration between Visionaire Magazine and Michael Gallagher of storied Gallagher’s Paper Collectibles, the shop is a blast from the past, and a welcome one at that.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, when Gallagher closed the doors of his eponymous East Village shop in 2008, his museum-quality collection of fashion and lifestyle titles–with some magazines dating as far back as the 1800s–was stored at his home in Greenville, NY. At the time, it marked the end of a New York fashion institution open since the late 80s, which catered to fashion elite such as Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Sui and Donna Karen.

VfilesFast-forward to this past April, when VFILES + Gallagher’s opened as a pop-up shop on  cobble-stoned Mercer. The playfully curated shop–which has since dropped the Gallagher moniker–showcases a rotating selection of Gallagher’s archives. Amongst the stacks set about the white, airy space, you’ll find RuPaul gracing the cover of Paper Mag, still-inspiring vintage issues of Vogue, Elle and Glamour, and some more obscure, defunct titles like Spy and Index. Mixed in with the one-of-a-kind titles are various VFILES-branded bric-a-brac: totes, hand sanitizer, lip balm and pens. Check out the tromp l’oeil door decals, or Hysteric Glamour odds-and-ends if you want a taste of stylish SoHo playfulness.

So. Print, dead? Only if you consider these pioneering mags fashionable corpses.

Photos courtesy VFILES

Note: I wrote the above write-up of VFILES in July, 2012 for a project that I am no longer part of. I’ve reprinted it here, as it is my work, but if there are problems, please contact me. 

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