Our founders sat down with Bella Magazine’s Courtenay Cooper Hall to dish about all things luxury vintage and Hollywood glamour.
What Goes Around Comes Around (WGACA) has been the leading purveyor of authentic luxury and vintage pieces since the inception of its SoHo, NYC flagship store in 1993. The core values of the company, founded by Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser, are authenticity, quality and collectability. In 2008, Gerard and Seth opened their second store in Beverly Hills to complement their highly successful NYC location. This year the company expanded further with the addition of two new locations in East Hampton and Roslyn, NY.
The WGACA buying team travels the world, hand-selecting the finest items from the most coveted fashion labels. The highly curated collection includes clothing and accessories from the 1880s-1990s for both men and women, and has the world’s largest collection of vintage Chanel and comprehensive selections from the top luxury labels, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Hermès. WGACA is also internationally acclaimed for their collections of authentic vintage rock tees, denim, militaria, and Americana.
The company’s newly expanded luxury accessories department now offers a wholesale division, which services many of the leading retailers worldwide, including Lane Crawford HK, Barneys Japan, Harvey Nichols Dubai, and many others. In November 2014, WGACA opened its first freestanding international store in Kuwait City.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Soho store recently, and after taking a few minutes to stare in awe at their one-of-a-kind Chanel and Louis Vuitton collections, I sat down with co-owner Gerard Maione to find out more about how their vision has turned into a global fashion and style success story…
You and Seth have built such a successful brand for over 20+ years. What has been the secret to your success? Many things have contributed to our success over the years – having a focused vision and plan, impeccable products and merchandising, a dedicated staff and customer service, and the ability to navigate through ever-changing global markets and economies. We also always focus on continued evolution and change to stay ahead of our competition, and it keeps the model fresh and innovative.
Your boutiques are all so stunning, what drew you to these locations? In 1993, we saw an opportunity in Soho to open our flagship store and enter an emerging artist gallery/ restaurant neighborhood that was in the infancy stages of evolving into a global tourist luxury market. Bringing our concept to the West Coast was inevitable, as we wanted to target the vintage connoisseur with an upscale mentality and there’s no better place than Beverly Hills. Although the Hamptons are seasonal, East Hampton has one of the most concentrated luxury clientele in the world and not many options for products in our sector. Roslyn is our most recent addition. Having grown up there, Roslyn and its neighboring towns have a very focused luxury clientele to whom we are introducing our brand.
What are the differences between the stores and clientele? Soho, being our flagship, has the original dynamic of a rustic, vintage, men’s rock ‘n’ roll vibe with denim, leather, and rock tees, to an incredible luxury woman’s world filled with the best edit of coveted designer vintage clothing, furs, handbags, and jewelry. We also have the largest collection there to accommodate our stylist and designer clients in our private, by-appointment-only vault. With its beautiful modern/art deco decor, our Beverly Hills location is our West Coast flagship, which caters to LA style leaders, many of whom are celebs and luxury collectors. We also have a private VIP room for stylists, designers, and red carpet pulls.
As the first of our luxury modern satellite boutiques, our East Hampton shop features a very clean white/
black with brass, chrome, and marble- accenting decor that raises the bar on pristine luxury. This allows for a very focused product mix, where accessories are highlighted in a grander manner, targeting the East Hampton client.
Roslyn is our second satellite store, which followed suit to East Hampton with a similar decor, balance of accessory/ clothing mix, and focus on the luxury clients that exist in that demographic.
Is the merchandise different based on the store location? Yes, each store has a very carefully curated range of clothing, accessories, and objects that we believe represent each market and client. Soho and LA have a very high-fashion style, and East Hampton and Roslyn are more focused on accessories and wearable modern vintage luxury looks.
Can you tell us the process of how you find the vintage products? Over these 23 years of being in business, we have built a global network of buying resourcing like no other and continue to hone in on bringing the best available luxury vintage products to market. We have a trained eye that is versed in so many genres, allowing us to curate a mix and a shopping experience that is second to none.
What are the qualifications a product needs in order to be sold in the store? The product needs to fit our demand, aesthetic, quality, and condition qualifications to make the cut. It’s a very high standard that goes through many hands to ensure we are bringing the best product to market.
What drew you to high-end vintage products? Has it always been a passion of yours? I became interested in high-end vintage products as I began working for Ralph Lauren at the mansion in 1991 and taking classes at Parsons for fashion design. I started shopping vintage stores and extracting incredible pieces out of all the mixed-in thrift and it opened my eyes to a whole other world – the history of fashion.
How do you determine what will be strictly sold online? Since it’s a small ratio compared to our brick and mortar inventory, we make sure we have a range of products that is representative across the board of our national and global clients, some being classics and some being show-stoppers. We know through strong online communication and our network resourcing that we can fulfill requests with items we don’t have posted and achieve ultimate client satisfaction.
Tell us about some of your celebrity clientele. There is quite a long list of celebrity clientele that shop with us, including Amal Clooney, Adam Levine, Pharrell, Lenny Kravitz, David Beckham, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Rita Ora, Katy Perry, Rachel Zoe, and many more. They shop in both our NY and LA locations. It encompasses the worlds of film, music, fashion design, modeling, sports, and more. We feel they know they can have a unique, professional, and relaxed experience that keeps them coming back!
What quote do you live by? Do your best and be good to others, and life will be good to you.
What is next for WGACA? To expand our brand globally to all key luxury markets both online and brick and mortar, always striving to be the best in our sector.
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