It’s so wrong to have regrets in life and we didn’t think we had any until this morning. There in our inbox from one of favorite Queerguru followers was a New Yorker documentary about an amazing couple of extreme fashion devotees who had being running this Vintage Fashion Store. If it were not the very best, then it came very close to it. Now having lost their Lease on their famed Soho Store, all that is left for us to do is watch the film and drown our regrets.
Allan Pollack and Suzi Kandel are like a couple out of Broadway Casting : eccentric, passionate, unpredictable, outrageous, lovable and always putting on a show for visitors to the store which bore their names. The clothes they stocked, new and second hand, were from a veritable who’s who in fashion but then so were their regular clientele too.
Opening in 1987 they quickly became the go-to place for the club kids who ‘lived’ at the Palladium, Area, Limelight etc. Plus they became stars of their own very cheesy Manhattan Cable TV Show where they mixed hugh fashion with their own brand of low comedy.
Watching Smriti Keshari’s affectionate documentary on the pair it’s obvious that they were never in the business for the money. In the early days when they were short of inventory they would buy $8000 gowns from Bergdorf Goodman on their credit cards, put them in their own store window, and if they didn’t sell, return them to Bergdorf in 14 days.
Allan and Suzi are part of a sadly disappearing world of fringe eccentric New York characters who put real color into the world. We were happy to hear that it was the queer community who embraced them first, and stayed with them until the store had to eventual close. We just so wish we had been part of them