Andrea Miller Hates Flip-flops But Can’t Live Without Sunscreen

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Andrea Miller in her Park Slope store. Photo: Melissa Hom

Andrea Miller is one of those inventive boutique owners who can mix design elements, genres, and eras with ease. Her Park Slope shop, Eponymy, carries everything from contemporary Korean designers to vintage Chanel jackets to artwork from her nonprofit organization, Humble Arts Foundation. She sat down to talk about where she sources her amazing finds and why she can't stand flip-flops.

The store carries everything from antique mirrors to vintage Chanel jackets, and also showcases fine-art photographers. What was your inspiration for mixing art and style?
There wasn’t really any set outlook to the whole thing. My grandparents used to own an antiques shop in New Jersey and I found jewelry cases, antique mirrors, and all sorts of fixtures there. I had started the Humble Arts Foundation with a few friends a few years ago and just sort of put the whole thing together and winged it!

How do you think art and fashion influence one another, then?
They are both expressions of who we are. One movement in fashion and art is a direct resistance of the movement that came before it.

What exactly is the Humble Arts Foundation?
Humble Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works to advance the careers of emerging fine-art photographers by way of exhibition and publishing opportunities, limited-edition print sales, twice-annual artists' grants, and educational programming.

From where do you source your goods?
You would be amazed what treasures you can find in small towns. I spend a few months driving around from Virginia to California and just meeting really interesting people!

What do you look for when buying?
I look for detail when buying vintage clothing and for pieces that will fit a variety of people.

Is there a story behind any of the more unusual things you stock?
I would say there is a real curiosity-type feel to the store, so I like to keep off-the-beaten-track-type pieces. There is a stuffed snake I have had since I was 8 years old that sits with a vintage necklace hanging out of its mouth. I also collected fossils when I was younger and have added in two displays for a personal touch.

What sort of woman shops at Eponymy?
Someone witty, adventurous, whimsical, open-minded, and with a sense of nostalgia.

What do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A good pair of boots which look nice but which you can also walk in!

What trends do you like right now?
Trends are a funny thing to me. I only really take note of a trend if a bad one happens! I like a classic, elegant look. Good structure, good lines, and a good fit are also important.

What trends do you wish would just go away?
I could write a book on this, there are so many, but if I had to pick one it would be flip-flops in NYC — a complete liability; it should be kept as a beach look!

What is the one item you can’t live without?
Sunblock or cashmere socks.