Online clothing retailer Black Cat Vintage relocated to 111 W. Monroe in Downtown Phoenix, and kicked off the relocation by unveiling a winter- themed display window along First Avenue south of Monroe.
The 20 foot window depicts a vintage-clad mannequin riding a Russian Imperialist sleigh being drawn through a snowy forest by a black cat.
Though she has not finished moving her 3000+ piece inventory to its new downtown location, owner Claudine Villardito says she couldn’t resist the temptation to create her first window display before the facility’s completion.
“I grew up staring at the animated Christmas windows on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, and I couldn’t bear the idea of waiting another year to bring that experience to Downtown Phoenix. I love the thought of passing the same tradition I had to someone else halfway across the country,” Villardito said.
Black Cat Vintage opened in 2005 as an online vintage clothing boutique that sells the rare garments typically reserved for fashion museums.
Garments date from the 1850s to the 1990s, and every piece is restored to original condition using materials and techniques appropriate to the era in which the clothes were originally made—all by Villardito herself.
“I think of Black Cat Vintage as a museum where you can actually buy what’s on display,” she said.
When complete, the facility at 111 W. Monroe will house a quarantined decontamination room, a conservation-grade workroom for restorations-in- progress, and a sealed, climate-controlled vault for inventory