June 11, 2009

Fashionistas are Flocking to Thrift Stores...

GRACE BELLO clutched her prize to her chest. “This Marc Jacobs dress is making my day — I need it,” she said. At that moment, Jim DePaolis, a sales associate, raced toward her with a Diane Von Furstenberg frock in one hand and a black cocktail dress in the other.

Ms. Bello held up the little black dress, assessing its charms, as Mr. DePaolis began courting her in earnest: “I’m seeing a little retro ’60s girl,” he said. Next, he produced a punkish satin gown that bristled with safety pins, urging Ms. Bello to “imagine this with a pair of motorcycle boots.”

A style-struck pair, Ms. Bello, a writer, and Mr. DePaolis, who has worked for Banana Republic, might have been haunting some Manhattan citadel of chic — Jeffrey in the meatpacking district or Barneys on Madison Avenue. In fact they were in Chelsea, spelunking for treasures at the Goodwill store on West 25th Street.

The 5,500-square-foot thrift outlet is a laboratory of sorts for Goodwill and its 2,200 stores around the country. Intent on sprucing up an image that conjures low-end castoffs and no-frills ambience, many Goodwill stores are courting the shoppers who scour high-end resale shops and department store sales racks for bargains.

“We are making a particularly strong push right now to improve our image, our reputation and our brand, to promote Goodwill as a cool place to shop,” said Jim Gibbons, the chief executive for Goodwill Industries International in Rockville, Md.

Continue reading this article over at the New York Times.

1 comment:

  1. Least we forget, thrift shoppers are Environistas too! "Green Shopping, Don't say 'eww' to thrift stores" http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0302/p09s03-coop.html