Shopping for vintage clothing can truly feel like a treasure hunt sometimes. While vintage has most certainly made a comeback as of late, there still isn’t a huge abundance of quality stores here in the Garden State, and most of the time they tend to be hit or miss. But at Another Man’s Vintage in Jersey City, you will never leave empty-handed.
Husband and wife duo Warren and Meika Franz opened up shop at their original Brunswick Street location nearly 10 years ago, back in 2006. Meika, who was born in California but raised in New Jersey, comes from a long line of sewing industry veterans. Her family invented presser feet and embroidery hoops. She tells me, growing up in the family business she was obsessed with clothes from a young age “I started making my own clothes and got into thrifting,” she says, “I used to do trade shows at 11 years old.”
Meika worked as a seamstress at a bridal shop, where she learned to work with couture, while going to school for web design. She met her husband Franz, a native of Yorkshire, England, when his rock band was on tour in New York City. The two bonded over their love of vintage fashion and music. While living for a short time in London, Meika found herself at home while working her first vintage shop job at the now infamous Beyond Retro.
After moving back to the states and settling in Jersey City, Meika opened up Another Man’s Treasure with just $2,000 in the space below her apartment, thinking it would be a part-time job. In just 6 months she was able to take it on full-time, and a year later Franz came on board.
The couple found the inspiration for their unique name from their treasure hunting days. Meika says, “We used to go out out on the streets back in the day, and find cool things people would throw out. We used to always see this one guy who was one of the local drunks, and he used to always say ‘one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure.’ It was a joke, but hat’s how the name came about.”
After two years the duo moved over to Grove Street and kept the Brunswick Street space as their warehouse (which they are now outgrowing). After 8 amazing years on Grove Street, the couple couldn’t pass up an offer to expand to a bigger location a few blocks away. They officially moved into the 1,600 square foot space at 195 Montgomery Street in May, and couldn’t be happier.
Meika tells me, “I want everyone to see every piece, and I wanted everything to be together. We knew we were outgrowing the space. It wasn’t as much for us anymore because my passion was with the rare and unusual stuff, and I wanted them to be shown.”
Their showroom is full of women’s and men’s pieces, which they find primarily through private house calls, from the Victorian Era right up through the 90’s. Meika tells me, “The store is a mix of classic, vintage, and on-trend styles. The 80’s and 90’s are really in right now, so we are going for that minimalistic look. But then we also have those classic, iconic vintage pieces.”
You can find everything from delicate beaded gowns, to antique frocks, and vintage militaria. Meika and Warren also carry an abundance of designer duds in every name imaginable, like Ossie Clark, YSL, Hermes, Chanel, and Givenchy.
You’ll find a wide variety of prices at AMT, from $5 tops to $1,000 couture gowns. It’s because they like to be affordable, and they like to move stuff. “If you’re spending $1,000, you’re getting a couture gown that’s probably worth $2,000. We are very reasonable with our pricing,” Meika says, “We love the hunt, we love to find stuff, and we want to find more. We want our customers to see new stuff every time they come in.”
What Meika loves most about vintage clothing is that you can shop for your body instead of trying to force a trend that really doesn’t work. “You’re just shopping for what looks good on you. If you can shop for your body, you’re going to look great, no matter what the trends are,” she says, “I think that every body type has a cut that is great for them. You’re going to look good, and you’re going to feel good, and that’s going to go beyond being on trend. It’s all about feeling good.”
If you are a little nervous about taking the vintage plunge, Meika suggests incorporating something small into your wardrobe like an accessory. “I recommended just buying a necklace, or get a pair of shoes, or a purse. Mix and match, and one day you might be wearing all vintage.”
Its also a win-win because you’re doing something good for the planet. Meika says, “It’s guilt free shopping. and no matter what you buy, you don’t lose your value in it. Your’e buying a vintage piece, so it always has resell value.”
Meika and Warren’s goal for 2017 is to expand their online presence, but they hope to do so without losing the personal connection they love so much about brick-and-mortar. “I really love knowing who bought things. I love when people Instagram themselves wearing things,” Meika tells me, “They are like my children. I’m fostering all these pieces.”
For Meika, vintage shopping is all about happiness. She says, “If you love it, I want that person to buy it. It’s fun that way. For me shopping is fun when you can buy a bunch of things because its affordable.”
Another Man’s Treasure Vintage Store
Brands: Vintage Clothing
Price Range: $5-$1,000
Specialties: Victoria Era to the 90’s
Address: 195 Montgomery Street
Hours: Mon-Sat 11-8, Sun 11-6
Social Handles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram