By Lauren Finney | August 22, 2016 | People
The duo behind What Goes Around Comes Around talks the Hamptons, Hermés, and the state of vintage.
Owners of What Goes Around Comes Around Seth Weisser and Gerard Maione are the ultimate go-to duo for vintage finds in their East Hampton boutique.
For editors, designers, and other fashion personalities, the retailer and fashion resource What Goes Around Comes Around is well known—since 1993, they’ve been providing industry insiders with one of the most extensive archival fashion libraries on the planet. There is also the original store on West Broadway that caters to those seeking out the perfect military, rock ’n’ roll, or Americana piece of vintage to round out their wardrobes. But since that first inception, owners Seth Weisser and Gerard Maione have expanded the WGACA business into so much more.
“What’s changed for us most is that when we originally opened, the idea of vintage was very clear to a specific translation of how each era’s style was identifiable,” says Weisser, the company’s CEO. “The breakdown was really black and white.” But they noticed that as “we really got into the later eras, fashion started being more about the brands themselves. For the last seven years, it’s been moving more towards a designer-based platform for us, because the consumer is very comfortable with the brands we are offering.”
That they’ve seen a tremendous shift toward accessories isn’t surprising—luxury accessories have been reputed to be more financially stable over time than a real estate investment. “The demand for Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and more is far exceeding the supply,” says Maione, who holds the title of chief creative officer. “On the resale market, a brand-new Hermès bag is often worth more now. It holds a large amount of value and collectability, and our customers treat it as an investment.”
Continues Weisser, “Previously, it was always a typical cycle when things would come back—i.e., bohemian, black and white, mod—and now fashion is either luxury or disposable and less trend based. But we’re always able to satisfy the trends. Our selection and curation is very specific, piece by piece, and we believe it’s the piece and not the trend that will fit the modern wardrobe.”
That means shoppers at the East Hampton store could find everything from a rare Chanel 1960s necklace to a Stephen Sprouse Louis Vuitton bag, with vintage tees and Levi’s sprinkled in. Says Weisser, “East Hampton has been a test model for this shift in vintage, and we evolved it to become a luxury vintage store. It’s very clean and elegant, not what you expect from a typical vintage store.”
From there, the duo have expanded their empire to five stores, including one in Roslyn, New York, and one in Kuwait, and have Beverly Hills and Miami on their radar for later this year, with Beverly Hills being “our biggest project to date at 3,800 square feet,” says Maione.
The pair might seem an unlikely team to be hunting for the best luxury vintage worldwide, but Maione insists it’s highly addictive. “There’s always something new and fresh, and it’s a very selective process.” Adds Weisser, “There’s no retail store in the world that has collected and represents all these brands in the way we do. It’s creating a new experience for the customer to be able to look at Chanel next to Christian Dior next to Saint Laurent, and to have an incredible range of opportunities available with our fashion experts to help them navigate the unique shopping experience.”
As for what will be flying out of their stores this fall, they both answer, “Gucci and Saint Laurent.” 48 Main St., East Hampton, 324-0874
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND