Seattleite goes one-on-one with WGACA Co-Founder and President Seth Weisser.
There are few places in the world as thrilling as What Goes Around Comes Around when it comes to fulfilling your passion for vintage fashion. With a collection of more than 100,000 pieces of clothing that date back to the 1860s — and stores in New York and Los Angeles — WGACA co-founders Seth Weisser (currently president of the company) and Gerard Maione have taken vintage to the next level.
WGACA puts a modern spin on their amazing finds, and the result is a series of ready-to-wear collections, which are available at Nordstrom stores and online. To celebrate the release of their fall collection, WGACA President Seth Weisser visited Nordstrom Seattle with a collection of vintage Chanel and gold jewelry.
“Everyone needs a little Chanel,” said Weisser about the new line. “It’s their moment. The young collectors are looking for gaudy, overstated jewelry pieces like the flap bag earrings, a real classic.”
The Fall 2011 collection is heavily influenced by one of Weisser and Maione’s many muses, Lauren Hutton. The new line mixes bell-bottoms and fur vests of the 70′s with traditional mandarin collars and large enamel buttons from the 60′s, all with a modern spin.
“Part of what we do,” Weisser explained, “is see something that’s great and we figure out how we can modernize or retranslate it to a new place. We’re not ever specific. We never stay in one spot. One of the things we love is how all of these eras come together.”
Weisser claims he has always been passionate about clothing. In 1993, he began collecting vintage with Maione, who was working for Ralph Lauren at the time. As two active participants in the dynamic New York fashion scene, the duo managed to stand out thanks to their eclectic personal style.
“Downtown New York was where fashion was generated,” Weisser said, “and I was in the mix with a lot of people who loved my style and my partner’s style. We were rocking 17-inch bell bottoms and everyone was asking us where we shopped.”
The partners traveled the world to find items from every era and niche, and their passion turned profitable when they opened their first store in SoHo. Since then, Weisser has outfitted fashion designers, celebrities and vintage enthusiasts all over the world. He believes there is much more to the style than just wearing older clothes. ”There’s a lot of people who think they can pick vintage,” Weisser said, “but it’s not that simple. You have to pick the right vintage.”
Weisser explained his selection process as he gave me an exclusive tour of the WGACA tent currently on display in a secret hallway behind Nordstrom’s Savvy (Women’s) department. “It’s all about quality control,” he said. “When we’re selecting clothing for the store, it’s really about defining what is vintage and wearable and what is collectible, and weeding out anything outside of that.”
What’s the best part of owning one of the most famous vintage collections in the world? “Inspiring other companies,” said Weisser. “Every design house comes to us for inspiration. When people remember items from the past and think, ‘I wish I had one more of that,’ they come to us.”