69 Vintage Collective brings together second-hand fashion and a sewing studio

69 Vintage Collective brings together second-hand fashion and a sewing studio

69 Vintage Collective stocks well-preserved second-hand fashions (Russell T. Peltonen) 

Toronto’s vintage queen, Kealan Sullivan, has expanded on the success of Queen Street’s 69 Vintage and the recently shuttered Buy the Pound with 69 Vintage Collective, a larger space in the rapidly developing Bloorcourt area.

Open since December, the shop carries pay-by-weight second-hand clothing and the fine vintage pieces Sullivan is known for, but there are also rooms on the upper floor, where independent vintage dealers showcase their clothing and accessories on a rotating basis. The basement is home to both a craft market and the Make Den, a sewing and alterations studio run by 69 Vintage manager Irene Stickney, who’s also a member of cycling brigade–design collective The Deadly Nightshades. Stickney will lead a roster of creative sewing classes; on the schedule in March is one inspired by Lady Gaga’s avant-garde style.

But Sullivan’s flair for sourcing eminently wearable pieces in near-perfect condition is at the core of the operation. There is a wide array of beautifully tailored coats, day dresses, ladylike accessories, immaculate mohair and angora sweaters that would look perfectly at home on the set of Mad Men, and a long row of leather boots in various colours and styles—at $50, they’re the store’s best-sellers.

Sullivan, who is constantly sourcing new vintage pieces, gets much of her inspiration from clients. “It’s not like a store or a brand that’s trying to dictate fashion. I’m responding to what I can find, what girls are wearing,” she says. “You never have any idea who’s going to come in the door. And the things they choose, it’s a constant surprise. It’s like when two people fall in love—it’s chemistry.”

69 Vintage Collective, 1207 Bloor St. W., 416-516-1234, 69vintage.com.