We’re starting a new series here at The Garment District: Staff Spotlights! We have such an amazing group of employees, we want to introduce you to them all. And to start off this new feature, we could think of no other person to be our first Staff Spotlight than the fabulous Eddie Kent: longtime Garment District employee, fashion designer, and pop culture fan, Eddie makes The Garment District a more beautiful, bright, and fun place to work and shop.
We sat down with Eddie to ask him some questions about his career so far here at the store, listen to some of his stories, and look at some of the pictures he’s collected over the years. Keep reading for the goods!
Hi Eddie! Can you tell us how long you’ve been working at The Garment District, and what you do here?
Longer than anyone else! I started in 1988, at the end of October or November. Currently, I am the visual merchandiser, but back when I started I worked as a restyle designer.
Can you describe your style in five words or less?
Versatile, unconventional, rock & roll!
Do you have a style icon?
Male: Peter Berlin
Female: Cher, of course!
What is your favorite fashion era or decade?
That’s a little tricky: a mix of 1960’s, 1970’s, & 1980’s. Most of my favorite clothing is “nightclub clothes” within those decades. But as far as aesthetics, my favorite is 1920’s women’s clothing.
Do you have any secondhand shopping tips?
Look thoroughly at the garment for quality of workmanship, fabric, and construction. It’s good to have knowledge of your shape and size – so you can tell whether a piece would work based on just looking at it on the rack. Make sure you know your color palette!
Do you have a favorite memory of The Garment District?
There are a few!
-Working in the Restyling Department. There were 4 stitchers, with piles and racks of clothes to do whatever we wanted with! They turned the Red Room into a restyle showroom, and we had weekly meetings to decide what to restyle.
-In about 1996 I met with the then-store managers, Liz and Denise, to present my pop culture magnets which are still to this day sold at the store!
Eddie with a batch of his pop culture magnets in 2013.
-Taking the Subway Poster picture ad. I had only worked here for about 4 months, and was so excited to be modeling! The shoot was after the store closed on Valentine’s Day, and ran about 3 hours over time, which meant that I couldn’t make my Valentine’s Day date with my now-husband, Tony. It was our first Valentine’s Day together, so my memory of that night is bittersweet.
What are some of your favorite finds from The Garment District?
There are so many to choose from!
-“Landlubber” brand orange hip-hugger bell-bottoms from the 1970’s
-Full Navy Sailor outfit – hat and everything!
Eddie in his sailor outfit. Photo by Tony Bella.
-Marching band jacket
-Dolce and Gabbana red leather bell-bottoms
-Faded Glory 1970’s satin cowboy shirt with pictures of blonde starlets all over it
-1970’s original red leather platform shoes from Eleganza – worn until the glue fell apart and they broke!
-Brown suede 1960’s fringe vest
-Black floor-length canvas trail duster coat
-Gray wool vintage mariachi pants
Eddie’s mariachi pants. Photo by Tony Bella.
-1960’s 2-piece men’s swimsuit
-Really cool and rare t shirts: Divine with Pink Flamingos opening at Orson Welles cinema, and a Nina Hagen rebel wedding tour tee.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Eddie! We can’t imagine what The Garment District would be like without you, and it’s been a joy to hear a little more of your story!