By: Cecilia Morales
Secret Of The Stars
Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian are just a few of the fashionistas who shop at Morphew, the luxury fashion vintage archive near Midtown. Morphew’s co-founders Bridgette Morphew and Jason Lyon say their mission is to connect the past and the future through rich historical concepts.
Alexander McQueen, Dior & Chanel
Morphew began life as an archival source of inspiration for designers, including the late Alexander McQueen. “We found this niche in the fashion industry where we were consulting and inspiring fashion designers with vintage concepts,” explains Bridgette. The rare, perfectly maintained pieces presented by Morphew, come from the world’s top design houses including Dior and Chanel, as well as 200-year-old Victorian lace gowns. Realizing there was an increasing demand for high-end vintage fashion from a fashion history savvy shopper, Morphew opened a showroom, where they receive designers, in-the-know stylists and luxury shoppers every day on West 37th street.
Boasting an archive of over 6,000 vintage prints, Bridgette says, “Our archive is a library for designers who make us the second step in their design process. The niche pieces and the library we’ve created is vintage; everything here is very rare.” With direct access to such a comprehensive archive, the team decided to explore another option – reclaimed and re-done vintage. This led to the creation of Morphew Lab – a place where antique fashion, contextual history, future trends and technology meet, and consumers can purchase vintage inspired, reconstructed pieces that are both forward thinking and ripe with historical references. “We know that these are important pieces of fashion history,” said Jason, “and due to the amazing feedback we have always received, the retail market found us organically, and then we launched a separate retail venture.” Adding “Our greatest compliment is when someone is shopping and they say, ‘Is this old?’ because they don’t think it’s old because it reads so current,” said Jason. “You can say Valentino’s doing that and so is Cos, Zara and Top Shop, and it’s usually because we sold it to them.”
Founders Bridgette Morphew & Jason Lyon
Bridgette and Jason pride themselves in knowing trends years ahead of everyone else and keep vintage pieces in line with modern trends. Jason said, “This makes us different from a lot of vintage dealers who only work with a certain era or idea.” Like fashion itselfs, the Morphew brand has grown and expanded. “Five years ago, everything we were buying was late 70s, early 80s, Japanese minimalist designer pieces like Issey Miyake and Comme De Garcons, and we love that stuff but we have moved towards a different vibe because that’s what happening in fashion today.” They showcased this transition at Art Southampton, where they showcased their collection at the McNeill Art Group booth.
This designing duo says their ideal shopper is one who knows what she wants and pushes labels aside. “They say you can buy fashion but you can’t buy style,” asserts Jason. “Our consumer is a woman who knows and loves style. She’s a fashionable woman, but she’s not a fashion buyer. To her, a label doesn’t matter.” At Morphew, designer labels don’t lead the conversation. “We sell designs first, and designers second,” said Jason.
For appointments call 212.564.4331