Vintage Interview: Decades, LA

Decades
8214 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA  90046
Mon-Sat  11-6,   Sun 12-5
For consignment inquiries:  CustomerCare@DecadesInc.com

Site:  Decadesinc.com
Facebook:  Decadesinc
Twitter:  Decadesinc
Instagram:  Decadesinc

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I want to clarify the reason I choose to feature predominantly vintage store proprietors is a simple fact; their lives are eccentric to the highest caliber.  It’s always a story of struggle, adventure, hustle, travel and humbleness.  It’s a certain kind of eccentricity that only select people captivate throughout their lives, changing hats quite frequently and always keeping that free-spirited heart.

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Rarely do I consider featuring a consignment store on my blog, mostly due to the store’s inventory lacking in vintage (perhaps a single rack) and in staying true to my content, I don’t think that constitutes worthy of being featured.  However, when I researched Decades in Los Angeles, I discovered they had a well-manicured floor of consignment in addition to the vintage department on the second floor.  Not only does the store originate from owner Cameron Silver’s vintage collection from the early nineties but, the story behind it makes you want to come in for a browse.  From a traveling cabaret singer to worldwide vintage guru, TV personality, designer and now author, Cameron takes time out to talk with yes, even a girl blogging out of a tent.  He’s a true gentlemen and talent, making it easy to see why so many want to collaborate with him.

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Interview:

RNR:  Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, you seem insanely busy with projects.  

Cameron Silver:  I’m actually about to fly out East to shoot a campaign for a product launch.

RNR:  May I ask what your product is?

CS:  It’s a shoe collaboration with a big company but, I’m waiting for them to get the official announcement and it was alluded to Womens Wear Daily a couple of months ago but, I’m not allowed to say anything yet.

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RNR:  Did this company approach you about the collaboration?

CS:  Yeah, it’s a cool thing.  I’m proud of the project.

RNR:  Is this your first collaboration with a brand?

CS:  Oh no, I’ve done everything from Mariam Haskell jewelry to Samsonite Luggage…so, it’s been a lot of fun.

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RNR:  What is your professional background?

CS:  I grew up in Los Angeles and when I graduated college (UCLA) I toured around the country singing German cabaret…

RNR:  Come again?

CS:  …Yeah, so I had this whole weird past, which I wrote about in the book, which led me into the vintage world.  I was thrifting 18-19 years ago looking for men’s vintage to wear on stage.  There were very few directional vintage stores at that time, very different from what it is today.  ‘Cause everyone and their mother has a vintage store now, I just always have to remember, we do it the best!
So, circa 1996 I realized that I was going to segway out of singing and I had done an album that was about to come out and more or less, Decades opened in tandem with the album release, kind of marking my end to professional singing.  Two years into the business, the vintage moved upstairs and I opened with a business partner, an all-modern designer consignment business on the street level.  It has it’s trials and tribulations.

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RNR:  Can you give me an example?

CS:  The vintage business is more of a TLC experience but, I always say, it doesn’t have to be so much different than say, a different floor at Bergdorf’s.  At Bergdorf’s for the customers who buy Chanel, that floor is a different kind of nature than maybe a customer who’s on the denim floor.  It’s a different kind of experience but, everyone still needs to be treated well so, it is complicated.  I mean, retail is complicated but, we’re still here after 16 years.

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RNR:  Being here 16 years, what kind of clientele do you have?

CS:  (starts laughing)  Umm…yesterday was a really busy day so, everyone in here had really great breasts.  ( I start laughing too….obviously it was not the day I was in the store) No, I say that because I had an old friend in the store who flew in from Hong Kong to buy a gown and she was saying we had to tweet, “hashtag-goodbreastday”.  But, really, that day was so eclectic because we had an independent film maker and then we had a vintage collector…so, what I’m trying to say is that we are more about the trend setters, not the trend followers who shop here.  There’s definitely a bargain customer who comes in here to shop the downstairs.  I don’t think about it as designer resale, I think about it as future collectables.  People come into this store because they have an inherent interest in fashion.

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RNR:  What is your take on someone wearing a more current fashion but it’s over two years old?

CS:  See, to me that’s a chic thing.  That’s when you have style.  Stylish people can recycle it and make it look fresh.  I like to call it archival.

RNR:  If I were to go to your closet, what would I find?

CS:  I’m an avid collector of mens fashion, both vintage and modern.  Umm…much to the detriment of my financial future but, in a weird way, I kind of felt this responsibility to be really serious about collecting mens fashion.

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RNR:  Does decades offer a styling service?

CS:  Everyone that works here is a mini-stylist, they all have phenomenal style and I still do some styling on occasion, I just did a Sharon Stone (magazine) cover and I will style a lot of clients I have a personal relationship with.  The thing about this store is that you are representing us and we want you to look good so, you know you can come in here and we are honest.

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RNR:  Can you tell me about your book?

CS:  The book came out this past October and it’s been a great success.  It was a huge labor of love and I had a great writing partner, Rebecca Diliberto.  It took five years to write and I’m super proud of it.  Actually, before you came in, I was doing a print interview by email.  The book’s all about finding modernity in each decade and what is quintessential of that decade.  It’s written in the first person, it’s not a definitive history;  someone’s buying this book because it’s my take.

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RNR:  Tell me about this TV show.

CS:  We did this TV show for Bravo called Dukes of Melrose, we did 12 episodes.  And now I’m working on two more projects, one is scripted and it’s about a more exaggerated version of me and the other is more of a documental series, not so much about my life at Decades but my life in general and what I do.

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UPDATE:

The shoe collaboration came out this past fall 2013 for Nine West and sold out many styles in a “punk” themed collection by Cameron Silver.  Shop the collection HERE.

cameron silver for nine west 1

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