This Is What Shopping With Prince Was Like

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Prince.Photo: Tim Mosenfelder

Trash and Vaudeville — the legendary* East Village vintage rock-and-roll clothing shop — counted a lot of rock royalty among its customers over the years: Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, members of the Ramones, the Clash, Debbie Harry, up through Drake, Skrillex, and Rihanna in recent years. But perhaps one of the shop’s most memorable customers was Prince, according to shop owner Ray Goodman.

During one of Prince’s phases where he wouldn’t actually speak out loud, he figured out a way to get what he wanted from all the various merchandise on the racks or even on the walls. “He would just point,” Goodman told the Cut. “Some of the stuff hung up high, and you’d have to use these poles to get it down.” If someone mistook Prince’s pointing and brought down the wrong garment, he had a simple way of responding to that as well. “He would just shake his head, [as if to say] ‘No, that wasn’t the one,’ and point to the one he did want.”

Since this was where the Ramones stocked up on black jeans and Billy Idol found his bondage pants, Goodman suspects that Prince might have even stumbled upon an inspiration for the next phase of his career in his cluttered collections. “Maybe he found his symbol here! Maybe. I don’t think he’d have told us that, though.”

*This post has been corrected to show that Trash and Vaudeville is open.