My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The End of an Era

13 Comments

Allan Pollack and Suzi Kandel were the infamous proprietors and curators of the vintage shops in Soho and the Upper West Side known as Allan & Suzi. As young adults, my friends and I went to the Soho shop all the time, to the chagrin of our parents. Just to vex them, we used to refer to it as the cool A&S. My mother loved the real A&S, and it drove her nuts. She just couldn’t get her head around vintage clothing.

Mom: Donna, what are you wearing to your cousin’s wedding?
Me: I got a dress.
Mom: Is it a new dress?
Me: It’s new to me.
Mom: (eyeroll) Please promise me you’ll wash it at least twice before wearing it.

I was also obsessed with their cable access show, At Home With Allan and Suzi, which came on after Robin Byrd. After the mini-doc below from The New Yorker, you will find the one episode I managed to find. Watching it now, I wonder what I was thinking. It’s pretty terrible, though very camp. We just didn’t have as many TV options in those days!

Even when I was older and no longer shopping for club clothes, I used to find excuses to head to Centre Street so I could just drop in. Most of my weirdest, most favorite clothing came from this pair. I hadn’t heard they’d closed. I’m so sad they’re gone!

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#allanandsuzi #NY #soho

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Watch allan and suzi video on V magazine

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Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

13 thoughts on “The End of an Era

  1. About 5 years ago I went back to St. Louis for a month. Yes, I was happy and sad that some of my old handouts were gone or very close to being gone. The kids just don’t want the old ‘mom and pop” stores like the old days. At least a couple of restaurants were going strong by the second generation with the same recipes. I love thinking about the old days in St. Louis but I am happy to stay here in Florida and avoid the snow and ice. Today’s post did bring back a flood of memories of the ‘old’ days. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Crazy interesting. Did they put everything on Etsy?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A&S–what a blast from the past. In my early 20’s I got a part-time job there over Christmas (working in Houseware Dept). After that I was asked to stay on–this time working in the Men’s Department. Talk about a dream job. This was in a new mall that had opened…so many fun memories of working there.

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  4. You must read Cousin Whitehead’s “Lost and Found*/ This is Alec Baldwin reading it. (Not sure what the photo of the woman has to do with it.). https://m.soundcloud.com/marisacatalinacasey/colson-whitehead-lost-and

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  5. You must read Colson Whitehead’s “Lost and Found”. This is Alec Baldwin reading it. (Not sure what the photo of the woman has to do with it.). https://m.soundcloud.com/marisacatalinacasey/colson-whitehead-lost-and

    Like

  6. I had not (for obvious reasons) hear of them or their shops but the look like an absolute hoot and I am sure I would have had fun poking around in their stores. For budget reasons, I got into the habit of buying second hand clothes in my early teens and I kept at it even when I had more disposable income because vintage finds meant I didn’t look cookie cutter – and vintage clothes are usually better made – and now I still thrift a lot of our clothes for environmental/recycling reasons. The best vintage stores are always the quirky and creative ones.

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  7. I very much miss the vintage days (both when had the willingness to wear ANYTHING and could also fit into it). I’m so sorry I never got to go to this store. And I’m glad this is another thing we have in common!

    Liked by 1 person

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