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Joan Van Hees, Vintage-Clothing Dealer

“People obsess over vintage Gucci—that’s not me. I’m more particular: I like prints and textures.”

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Where do you find the clothes you sell?
Mostly at estate sales. I’m not big on labels though. People obsess over vintage Gucci—that’s not me. I’m more particular: I like prints and textures. At the Brooklyn Flea, where I sell, you can spot my stuff from a distance.

You have a slight accent: Are you from New York?
No, Holland, born and raised.

What brought you here?
Long story, but I met someone from New York. It was supposed to be temporary, but then love happened.

Was Brooklyn your first stop?
I lived in Manhattan for two years, then on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens in the mid-nineties. Our landlords were first-generation Italians who’d been here forever but still didn’t speak English. Back then, there was nothing there—you had to walk to Atlantic just to get a bagel.

Interview by Kera Bolonik.


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