Hi Haley, tell us a lit bit about yourself
I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and went to college in New York, studying English and Creative writing at NYU. From there, I went to San Francisco and lived there for 7 years before coming back to the East Coast to start my business. I worked in book publishing for most of my relatively short "working for others" career. I always felt, at my core, I was doing the wrong thing until I started Wayward Collection. And after taking the leap into self-employment, so many of my insecurities about who I was and where I was going kind of fell away--I'm good at this! I have other worries that plague me now because that's my nature, but the existential dread of my 20s is gone!
I live in Philadelphia with my husband, Ryan, and our small and very bad dog, Susan! We run Wayward out of a Showroom/Studio in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. We buy vintage all over the country and sell online and at shows and events up and down the East Coast.
Tell us about your first experience with vintage
Well, my parents are antiques dealers--though they don't do clothing--and they were always friends with vintage clothing sellers, many of whom are still in the business, probably because my mom has always been such a fashion plate. So when I was a kid I was wearing 30s gowns for dress up and Edwardian lawn dresses at Easter, baby Navajo jewerly, little 70s Levi's jackets....I distinctly remember my favorite "dress-up dress" being a 30s velvet gown in royal purple with long pointed sleeves. I started thrifting in middle school because I was obsessed with fashion and I already kind of knew that everything I saw in Vogue could at least be approximated with vintage/used clothing just because I had so much exposure to vintage already and saw a lot of people in my life wearing it. I actually started selling my thrift finds on eBay when I was 14 and in my first listing, my dad thought I was such a genius because I wrote that a 1960s bouclé skirt suit was "SOOOO Marc Jacobs." It sold right away!
What is the most amazing vintage treasure that you've ever had come across your shop?
That's a hard one! I always love to find antique and vintage Japanese and Chinese garments, like pajamas, souvenir jackets, WWII souvenir lingerie...all that good stuff. A 1950s horsehide motorcycle jacket with a very outsider-y pin-up girl painting on the back was one of my all time favorites. OH! I know--one of my favorite pieces ever actually belongs to my friend, and she wears it a lot. It's a 1950s indigo and white cotton/linen robe with this fabulous Gaugin-style nude woman motif--we think it was made for a Gentleman's club. It was/is sublime and I'm glad someone I know has it just in case I have to buy it back some day....
What are some pieces that you just CAN'T let go of?
I lucked into an amazing collection of early 1970s Glam Rock Marc Bolan/David Bowie-worthy pieces from the London boutique scene last year and sold pretty much all of it, but I still have a crazy rare Mr. Freedom Mickey Mouse t-shirt that is kind of priceless.
I am too afraid to sell it because I tend to lose my nerve on those high ticket items and I'm sure I'll never find one again. I also have an 80s polka dot Christian Lacroix silk wrap dress that I got at a Housing Works Warehouse sale in college and it has always been my lucky dress. I even wore it on my first date with my husband.
What is your favorite look or era?
I love the 1970s--the glam, louche silhouettes and drapey materials and then the sporty, body-conscious side of it as well. Everyone looked good in the 70s. But I also love the 1930s, probably because I love the 70s so much--beach pajamas, lounge sets, silk palazzos pants, bias cut dresses, dramatic sleeves....divine.
What is one vintage look that you just can't pull off?
I actually kind of like the super 90s club kid look that is everywhere right now but I don't feel like I could ever get it right. I'm too much of a goodie goodie...I will wear a turtleneck to the club. A tight one, but still... I'm that girl.
Tell us, what part of the process do you love most?
The best part is traveling and hunting for stuff. I love to shop, and this job 100% scratches that itch. I barely buy anything for myself anymore (except for skincare products!). I also really really love styling for my web shop. I hope that I can pursue that more seriously in the future. Hire me for you next photoshoot, people!
Any passions outside of selling vintage?
I'm sad to say, this job is all consuming for me so I don't have many hobbies or even things that I do that don't involve work, but I would like to get more serious about my political involvement--I spend 70% of my waking hours thinking about the business and the other 30% worrying about the latest injustice meted out by the powers that be. There are so many issues that I feel drawn to, and I definitely need to pick one and run with it. I also REALLY love to eat good food and drink martinis....like I know everyone says that, but I really do like to eat :D
THE SHOP LIST
Shopping vintage is a LIFESTYLE choice, a SUSTAINABLE STYLE SOLUTION.
We are supporters of all the retailers who do the work to save these amazing pieces, and offer them back to those who appreciate them
FOR DESIGNER VINTAGE
FOR THE ROMANTIC
FOR THE MINIMALIST
FOR DENIM & STREET STYLE