The Girl: Suzanne Ford Carafano
The Shop: Spanish Moss and American Gold
Where We Spotted Her: In her studio
Suzanne Ford Carafano is never in the same place for long–she's constantly venturing the American roads, on the hunt for unique clothing for her online boutique, Spanish Moss. Even when she's home in her native California, it's only to work on the designs for the latest collection of her in-house line, American Gold.
What do you look for when selecting vintage pieces for Spanish Moss? Do you ever have a hard time parting with certain ones?
In general, I look for pieces that are unusual and unique, rare, or just plain beautiful. Spanish Moss specializes in statement vintage, not just vintage because it is old enough to be considered so, and so I am always on the hunt for the pieces that are that next level. It really is a hunt. There have been lots of shopping trips where I came up with next to nothing because none of the pieces we found were up to par. Parting with amazing pieces was really hard in the beginning, but after selling for 7 years, I inevitably became a serious editor and now know what I will and won't wear.
Why do you think more people are gravitating towards vintage and vintage-inspired clothing?
My friends and I all started shopping vintage in early high school, so vintage has always been a part of my wardrobe. I'm a little out of touch with the mainstream in terms of vintage becoming more popular, but I do know my own tastes and the tastes of my customers. Generally speaking, if you're into art and fashion as opposed to trends and the garment industry, you're automatically attracted to what's special, unique, and rare. And that usually ends up being the more artisan designers and vintage.
How did American Gold come to be?
American Gold comes from a large collection of vintage Victorian lace dresses, Vintage Pucci bell bottoms, Carol Little '90s velvet burnout fringe dresses, a collection of late '70s photos of groupies and Jane Birkin, my collection of Mexican folk art, and road trips from Yale to the Fountain of Youth in Florida, the caves of New Mexico to the Northwest.
What kind of girl is the Spanish Moss and American Gold girl?
She's a girl who thoroughly knows who she is. She avoids trends and the reigning aesthetic of the moment and lets her love of art, history, archeology, travel, and literature manifest itself in her outward presentation. She’s really a woman but with a girlish romance. She craves new experiences, adventure, and is a thing of beauty inside and out.
What makes a successful road trip?
Releasing yourself from all time constraints and caring more about the journey than the ultimate destination.
What are your favorite pieces in your closet?
My collection of vintage '20s and '30s kimonos and my 1920s wedding ring.
Best style advice you've ever received?
Tailor everything. Treat your wardrobe like a museum.
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