CLEVELAND, Ohio - Walking into the new Retro Rosie (17110 Detroit Ave.) boutique in Lakewood feels a bit like being allowed behind the scenes of a pin-up fashion shoot in the 1940s. Red-and-white candy striper dresses, embroidered cardigans and slinky flapper numbers with matching headdresses and gloves fill the racks of the shop that opened in mid-September. It's a little bit "Happy Days," a little bit Bettie Page.
This isn't your typical vintage shop. Retro Rosie owner Miranda Scott takes a slightly different approach by focusing on retro-inspired recreations from the 1920s to 1950s by brands like the United Kingdom's Lindy Bop and California's Voodoo Vixen and Unique Vintage. The keyhole necklines, swing skirts, tea dresses and saddle shoes are cut from the same cloth as timeless trends, even if they're entirely brand new. She'll also soon add pin-up lingerie to the mix.
The look has been a lifelong love affair for Scott, who grew up watching "American Graffiti" and idolizing the iconic style of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. Ask her about her quintessential vintage look, and she'll even tell you it's blue denim pedal pushers, a white v-neck and a red bandana.
It's beautiful and sexy without even trying," says Scott. "It has this classic feel to it. I've always just been in love with that.
It couldn't come at a better time. Vintage shopping continues to be hot in Cleveland with the recent addition of events like the reoccurring pop-up re:COLLECTION and shops like Planet Claire within the West of Venus storefront.
Re: COLLECTION is a reoccurring event that brings together vintage and designer resale for pop-up markets. This October, the show will head west with three days of selling at two locations.
I knew there was a following, but I didn't realize quite how huge it really was until I opened my shop," says Scott. "There's a big swing dancing community in Cleveland, and so many girls around here who model pin-up. I would attend events in Cleveland like burlesque shows, but there weren't many places to purchase the clothes locally and try them on.
To channel the local passion for vintage and make it more approachable, Scott made a point to offer range of sizes from 0 to 22. The Cleveland native has always loved vintage shopping, but it's not without its challenges when it comes to sizing. Often, one-of-a-kind vintage finds require alterations to get the perfect fit.
You might find a great piece, but if it's not your size, unfortunately you usually can't buy it," says Scott. "I wanted to bring vintage for more sizes.
The wide selection paid off. Within a month of opening, the swanky speakeasy-themed Society Lounge on East 4th St. stumbled upon Rosie when their servers were having trouble finding outfits that fit their throwback aesthetic. A week later, they were outfitted in Voodoo Vixen nautical navy blue dresses patterned with white anchors.
Mother-daughter team launch new vintage shop, West of Venus. It specializes in retro mid-century modern furniture, accessories and other goods. One of the four rooms is also dedicated to the 1980s, 90s and early aughts.
Rosie's baby pink walls are filled with more than clothes. Scott collects handmade items by women, like beauty products, home décor, bath bombs and cross-stitchery with cheeky messages. You'll also see the whimsical, devilishly adorable illustrated work of Cleveland artist Angela Oster. The collection is a coquettish blend of sassy and sweet that embodies the playful step back in time you take when you visit Rosie.
Down the road, she hopes to host workshops and fundraisers in the space.
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Now more than ever, I really want a platform to reach and connect with other women in the community," says Scott