4 Buzzy Philadelphia Style Arrivals to Be on Top of Right Now
From Nancy Volpe Beringer's online boutique to Bryce Harper's re-opened barbershop speakeasy.
New Online Boutique: The Vault by Volpe Beringer
The Project Runway alum’s online store sells designer items customized for people with disabilities.
Philly Mag: Tell us about The Vault by Volpe Beringer. NVB: We launched last summer, creating history as the first luxury resale store with custom adaptable options to fit the unique needs of disabled persons. We cater to people with and without disabilities. PM: What are some of these adaptable options? NVB: You can exchange buttons for different closures, add port access points, add tucks for wheelchair users, adjust garment lengths. These are all free services. PM: When did you notice that the disabled community was being shut out of the high-fashion market? NVB: I first explored adaptive design and saw how unflattering adaptive garments looked while getting my master’s in fashion design at Drexel. Successfully designing for Paralympian Tatyana McFadden on Project Runway provided the impetus for me to seriously enter the adaptive-design market. PM: What designers do you carry? NVB: Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, YSL, Balenciaga, Fendi, to name a few! PM: Any favorite pieces? NVB: My rare Chanel pieces, from the embroidered boots to the Karl Lagerfeld leather suit.
New Online Marketplace: AptDeco
A Safer Way to Sell Your Furniture
Say goodbye to shady Craigslist messages and Facebook Marketplace deals that never pan out. With AptDeco, an online marketplace co-founded by Wharton grad Reham Fagirl in response to her own moving frustrations, you can buy and sell furniture and home decor safely and easily. All communication takes place on the platform, eliminating potentially uncomfortable interactions with strangers or scammers who won’t pay. Live on a narrow street? Don’t have a car? No worries. For a portion of the sale price, AptDeco takes care of pickup, assembly, delivery and logistics — because moving is stressful enough as it is.
Reborn Barbershop Speakeasy: Blind Barber
Fresh Cuts And Cocktails
After quietly opening — and then quietly closing due to COVID — in early 2020, Philly’s outpost of Blind Barber has grandly reopened. At 4,000 square feet, the Sansom Street barbershop/beauty shop/speakeasy/restaurant hybrid is the largest of five such shops across the country — and just another win for Phillies right fielder (and part-owner) Bryce Harper. Never has getting your hair done or beard groomed been so much fun: Mixologists serve up free cocktails to customers in a retro-chic atmosphere, and anyone can head to the after-hours bar for weekend DJs and special events or to the restaurant for gourmet grilled cheese and local pickle plates.
Handbags to Covet: Loyalty Leather
Cheryl Ellzysmith, an award-winning oil painter trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and her wife, Kyra Ellzysmith, a product designer who has worked with brands like IKEA, realized they had something special when Cheryl decided to “hang up a bag and paint it like a piece of modern art” in their South Philly home studio. These hand-painted brushstroke bags, like the office-friendly City Tote, quickly became top sellers, and the couple’s hobby took off. “You can’t duplicate them, and I don’t want to,” Cheryl says. Sustainability is key: “We prefer vegetable-tanned leather, the cleanest process for making leather,” Cheryl explains. “It takes longer, but the leather ages like fine wine.” The idea is that clients will pass the bags down through generations — and who wouldn’t want their grandmother’s wearable work of art?
Published as “Market Report” and “Obsessed” in the January 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.